Frequently Asked Questions

How can I join the library?

If you live or work in Westmeath County you can join at any branch of Westmeath County Library Service. 

  • Simply fill out an application form available at the information desk
  • Provide official identification to staff , photograph and address eg driver’s license, or passport & utility bill.
  • Fill out our online form and make a note of your temporary number. You can collect your card the next time you visit the library
  • Any Libraries Ireland member can use their membership card in participating libraries

What is the charge for joining the library?

  • Membership is free for all from Jan 2016

What can I borrow from the library?

You can borrow books, cassettes CDs, DVDs and videos. You can borrow 12 items on a ticket.

You may also download audiobooks, ebooks and magazines. All you need is your library card number and your pin.

How long can I keep a book out for?

Most items can be borrowed for a loan period of 3 weeks.

Are there fines if I do not return my books on time?

From Jan 2019, there are no fines on overdue items. Overdue notifications by text and email will still be sent as reminders.

Can I keep library books for longer than three weeks?

You can renew items for a further period by phone, by on-line renewal or in person. You cannot renew an item that is reserved by someone else, or where its renewal limit has been reached To renew items by phone or in person please have your membership card ready.

How do I renew online?

Visit Libraries Ireland login to your account. To use the My account facilities, you will be asked to enter:

  • your 14-digit library card barcode
  • and your four-digit personal identification no. (PIN), you can get this by asking our staff.

1) Select Loans from the menu on the left. Tick the boxes to the left of each title and select the Renew button to extend the loan. Items can be renewed provided they are not already requested by another library member. Each item can only be renewed 5 times.

For more details please refer to How to Renew Online

Can I request a book that is out on loan?

After searching the catalogue, library members can request (or place a ‘hold’ on) books or other items by clicking "Reques"Place reservation". You then enter your barcode & PIN, before clicking on the final Request button. (You also have the option to add a comment, e.g., “Cancel request after 1st January ”). Some items may not be requested for loan, e.g., Reference items. (read more)

Can I request a book that my library doesn’t have?

If the book you require is not available in any public library in Ireland you can request a book via Inter Library Loan. Please speak to a member of staff for more information.

How do I contact my local library

Contact details for individual libraries are listed under your library

What are the opening times for my library?

Opening times vary. Check individual libraries for details.
My Open Library lets you visit Castlepollard, Moate, and Mullingar libraries from 8am until 10pm, 7 days a week. To sign up to this service you must visit your local library and undergo induction training. Click here to find out more.

What about holiday arrangements?

Holiday arrangements vary. Westmeath Libraries closes for a number of days over the Christmas and Easter periods; and on St. Patrick's Day and bank holidays (e.g. Bank Holiday Mondays, libraries close on the Monday and preceding Saturday).

Check the library website and your local library noticeboards for details of particular holiday arrangements.

Can I check my library membership record online?

You can check your personal record online if you have a PIN. This number prevents unauthorised people from gaining access to your record. If you do not know your PIN you can reset this online (click here). You will need an email listed on your account for this to work.

How do I get a PIN?

Present your library card at any library and you will be assigned a PIN. It is important that you attend in person so that your identity can be verified. This is to prevent unauthorised people from gaining access to your personal record. If you have forgotten your PIN you can reset it online, or by contacting a member of staff.

Can I access the Internet in my library?

Westmeath Libraries provides internet access in all our local libraries. There is now wi-fi access in Athlone, Mullingar, Castlepollard, Moate and Kilbeggan libraries. Internet sessions are free and may be booked in 60 minute sessions.

A maxium of 2 hour sessions may be booked in order to accommodate demand.

Children and teenagers must have written parental permission. The Internet Permission Form (7kB)   must be signed by a parent in your local library.

WiFi Internet is available for library members in Mullingar, Athlone, Moate, Castlepollard and Kilbeggan libraries. Please read the Wi-Fi Guidelines (83kB) .

Restrictions apply on access to certain sites. For further details of our internet usage policy, please read the Guidelines for internet usage (10kB) 

Can I search the catalogue online?

Yes. The online catalogue may be searched by author, title or keyword. The catalogue will tell you the location, and if the item is available or on loan.

Can I view newspapers?

Current issues of newspapers are available in a number of local libraries. Older local papers are available in the Local Studies Department on microfilm in Mullingar and Athlone libraries. You can also find the Westmeath Examiner online through the online Irish Newspaper Archives which you can access in any Westmeath library.

The Irish Times Digital Archive is available online and free of charge. The digital archive contains the entire The Irish Times from the first edition in 1859 to the present.

Can I get information on local history and tracing my family tree?

Yes. North Westmeath resources and General Material on Westmeath are held in our Library in Mullingar. The Aidan Heavey Public Library in Athlone holds South Westmeath resources. Small collections of local interest are held in all our libraries. Before your visit contact us by e-mail or with a phone-call to check on the availability of particular material.

What if I lose my library membership card?

Report the loss of your card to your local library. You will be then issued with a new card, there is a fee of €1.00 for your replacement card. Your borrower information, including outstanding loans or requests will be transferred to the new card.

What if I lose an item borrowed from the library?

There will be no replacement charge for children’s items which have been lost or damaged. Library members under 18 will not be asked to pay replacement costs.

You will be asked to pay a replacement charge if the item which has been lost or damaged is an adult item. This cost will be calculated as the purchase price of the item. Replacement charges can be paid at any library branch, regardless of where the item originated from. Alternatively, you can provide us with a replacement copy.

Please note, if you have not notified the library of the loss or damage, your card will be temporarily blocked from borrowing or renewing items, including e-books and e-audio books until you make contact with a library staff member.

Can I donate books to the library?

Westmeath Libraries is always grateful to those who consider donating material to the library service. However, we have to be selective in what we accept as donations because of the work involved in processing stock, the cost of book storage and the cost of disposal of irrelevant stock. Westmeath County Library Service reserves the right to accept or reject any donation. Donations must be outright and unconditional with ownership transferring immediately. (Please see our Donations Policy   for further information) 

There is one exception to this rule. Archival / historical material relating to Westmeath may be accepted on a permanent or short term loan in certain circumstances. (Please see our Deposit Agreement Form (93kB) for more information).

Donations are also accepted on the basis that access, location and disposal of donations will be determined by Westmeath County Library Service.

Can I print and make photocopies?

Yes. All Westmeath libraries, apart from Ballynacarrigy, offer printing and photocopying services for a fee.

Westmeath Libraries have teamed up with Surfbox to offer an improved and easily accessible printing service in our libraries.

In addition to using a library computer to have your document printed, you can now email your document or download the PrinterOn Mobile App on your phone or tablet.

You will receive a “Privacy Release Code” which you can enter on the Surf Box Self Service Machine to retrieve your documents. Documents are available for you to print for 72 hours but ONLY with this code.

Both Colour and Black & White printing are available and all machines accept both card and cash.

To collect your printouts at Mullingar Library:

Email your document to:         (Colour printing. 60c per A4 sheet)              (Black & white printing. 20c per A4 sheet)

To collect your printouts at Athlone Library:

Email your document to:           (Colour printing. 60c per A4 sheet)                 (Black & white printing. 20c per A4 sheet)

To collect your printouts at Moate Library:

Email your document to:         (Colour printing. 60c per A4 sheet)              (Black & white printing. 20c per A4 sheet)

To collect your printouts at Kilbeggan Library:

Email your document to:     (Colour printing. 60c per A4 sheet)          (Black & white printing. 20c per A4 Sheet)

To collect your printouts at Castlepollard Library:  (Coming Soon)

Email your document to:   (Colour printing. 60c per A4 sheet)        (Black & white printing. 20c per A4 sheet)


Install the free ‘PrinterOn Mobile’ App

Remember your Privacy Release Code and collect within 3 days.

Our Surfbox terminals can also be used for photocopying and scanning.

Please see either of the below websites for more details.

Prices are as follows:

Per sheet A4                Black & White                          €0.20

                                    Colour                                     €0.60

Per sheet A3                Black & White                           €0.40

                                    Colour                                      €1.20

Scanning is free