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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a library card? What ID is required?

Residents of South Orange may apply for a free library card. In addition to borrowing books, audiovisual materials, and tablets/hotspots, your card allows you to download digital media, use electronic databases, and take online classes. Library card replacement fee is $2.50.

A qualified valid ID is required to get a library card. These include: a driver’s license, a lease, bank or any other statement that shows home address.

How can I renew my library card?

South Orange Public Library cards are valid for 3 years for town residents, and 1 year for patrons who work or attend school in South Orange.

Your library card can be renewed in person, by showing your library card, proof that you continue to reside or work in town, or school ID; email with name, home address, and phone number, or by phone when you provide information to verify your account.

How do I renew books and other materials?

You can renew materials online by logging in to your library account, and entering your library card number (beginning with 29507) and PIN. The renewal will be denied if the materials are past their due date, or they are on request by another patron.

Additionally, you can call the library (973-762-0230) and have a library staff member renew your materials, or email librarian@sopl.org.

Interlibrary loans must be coordinated with the lending library and cannot be renewed automatically.

Does the library offer free Wi-Fi?

Yes! You can use our Wi-Fi anywhere in the building, as well as around the library grounds or parking lot. There is no password needed to use it, just an agreement to our user policies before you can proceed.

Does the Library accept book donations?

Yes. The library accepts books published in the past year, in very good condition, and DVD’s/CD’s.

For older publications, we recommend getting in touch with Friends of the Library via email at friends@sopl.org for their book sale donation times.

Also another option is using the Better World Books Dropbox (Green box) located at the corner of the Library’s parking lot. They partner with Friends of the SOPL.

Are there quiet study areas in the Library?

Personal quiet study is possible, at the side of the main floor designated as the “Quiet Area”. There are no study rooms at the library at this time.

Does the Library offer scanning and faxing services?

We offer free scanning services; we do not offer fax service.

Are there any volunteer or community service opportunities at the Library?

The SOPL has a popular Volunteen program that is offered during summer, and offers community service opportunities to local students. Other opportunities may become available by request. Contact Us.


How long are loan periods for library materials? What are the fines for overdue library materials?

Most books in the adult and young adult department circulate for four weeks, with more recent books loaned for one or two weeks depending on length or demand. Children’s materials circulate for two weeks.

There are no fines for Children and Teens. Adult fines are 15 cents a day for books, 50 cents a day for DVD’s, CD’s and audio books.

May I replace a lost book with one I purchase?

Yes, you can replace it with a new book of the same format. There is a $5.00 processing fee for replaced materials.

Used books, discarded or in poor condition are not accepted.

How do I place a hold on an item online?

You can place requests online in three different ways:

  • Online, using My Account with your library card number and PIN (let us know if you need a PIN).
  • Email your request to pickup@sopl.org
  • Call 973-762-0230 during library operation hours.

What is the ELibraryNJ/ Libby eBook/e-audiobook collection and how does it work?

SOPL cardholders have access to digital books and audiobooks through ELibraryNJ, a statewide consortium powered by Overdrive. The digital catalog can be accessed in two ways:

Users can borrow up to 5 titles at one time for up to 3 weeks per title. Titles will be returned automatically on the due date. Renewals are possible unless there is a waitlist.

We share materials in the consortium with more than 50 libraries around the state, so there may be waiting lists for items.

What is Kanopy and how does it work?

Kanopy offers thousands of critically acclaimed films and documentaries for free via a credit system. Kanopy also includes Kanopy Kids with unlimited plays within a 30-day time period. South Orange cardholders can stream up to 7 titles per month.

  • Kanopy is a streaming service available on the following platforms and smart-devices:  iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Samsung.
  • ​Each film uses one credit. (Credit is deducted once “Play” is pushed.)
  • Once a credit is used, films are available for three days (72 hours).
  • Kanopy Kids (K-kids) are available for 30 days with unlimited views of all titles. They do not use Kanopy credits.

What Museum Passes does the library offer?

Please visit our Museum Passes page for a full list of passes, funded by the Friends of SOPL.

How can I research my old house?

Library materials to assist patrons with house search are City Directories from 1880s to 1934 and some volumes until 1970, in print or microfilm.

Other publications with information and pictures of selected houses include: South Orange, Gem of the Oranges; South Orange and Maplewood in Pictures; South Orange and South Orange Revisited by Naoma Welk, as well as a collection of historic atlases from 1881, 1904, 1912 and 1927.

The Library’s local history wiki, accessible from the library’s website, offers a collection of Real Estate files for South Orange properties that were on the market from 1960 to 2000.

Montrose Park Historic District has a collection of House Tours over the years, and the Library has possession of some of them.

How do I reserve the Meeting Room?

The meeting room is temporarily unavailable for public meetings.

The Library’s Meeting Room is available for local nonprofit groups and organizations to hold their meetings and events. The applicant must be a South Orange resident, or the organization must have ties to South Orange.

To reserve the room you need to fill out an application for use of the space and get a copy of the Meeting Room Policy. You can email librarian@sopl.org or call the reference desk at 973-762-0230.

How do I apply for a job at the Library?

You can inquire in person and fill out a job application, email your resume to librarian@sopl.org, or mail your resume to South Orange Public Library, 65 Scotland Rd., South Orange, NJ 07079.

Is tax help available at the library? How do I sign up?

The AARP volunteers offer tax assistance service from February to April. Please call the library (973-762-0230) to reserve an appointment.

How can I make a donation to the library?

Library donations can be made through Donate on library’s website, mail a check to South Orange Public Library at 65 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ 07079 Attn: Melissa Kopecky, library director, stating the reason for donation (memory/honor of someone, or a designated use of funds)

Can I place out-of-library requests for items?

South Orange Public Library cardholders can place up to 3 interlibrary loan requests at one time either by filling out a request slip in the library or through JerseyCat, the statewide catalog. You will be notified once the items have arrived, which usually takes 5-7 business days under normal operations. Due dates and renewals are determined by the lending library.

Does the Library have microfilm and microfiche readers?

Yes, the library has a ScanPro that enables reading of microfilm and microfiche.

Does the Library have wireless printing? How does it work?

Send any document or photo you wish to print as an attachment by emailing print@sopl.org. Then come to any service desk over the following 4 days to request your prints; we will remove unclaimed print jobs from the queue after 96 hours.

File formats that can be printed wirelessly include: .doc, .jpg, and .pdf. We cannot print Mac documents; they need to be converted to one of the accepted formats.

Does the Library offer computer classes?

Yes, during normal operations the library offers basic computer classes on alternate Mondays at 10 am. Sessions are 90 minutes long and cover a general topic such as Internet, email, or word processing basics. At the end of the session, we will try to address any other computing questions.

Are there hotspots and tablets to borrow from the library?

Yes. The library has a limited number of hotspots that SOPL cardholders can borrow from the library for 2 weeks. The hotspots will provide a wireless signal to your devices.

Still Have Questions? Ask a Librarian.

Contact Us