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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a library card?

In order to receive a library card that permits the holder access to the free services of the Ruth Enlow Library System, the applicant must:

  1. Show his/her state ID or other proof of address (military addresses are acceptable) listed below.
  2. Complete and sign the application/borrower's agreement.
  3. If the patron cannot provide a state ID, other forms of identification may be accepted.
    Acceptable forms of identification include:
    • Military ID
    • Consular ID
    • Passport
    • Employer ID with photograph

    Acceptable proofs of address include:

    • Utility bill
    • Bank-issued checks
    • Mortgage or lease
    • Other mail processed through USPS with the patron’s name and current address
      If the patron is unable to provide any of these acceptable forms of identification, a post card will be mailed to the patron’s home address. The patron must return to the library with the post card to pick up his or her card.
  4. Applicants under the age of eighteen without a state ID must have a parent or legal guardian sign the Borrower's Agreement for them.
  5. Applicants sixteen years or older with a state ID should sign a Borrower's Agreement for themselves.
  6. Library cards are valid for three years, after which they must be renewed.

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How can I get items REL doesn't own?

Just call or visit the nearest branch to place an interlibrary loan request for an item which we do not own.

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How can I get wireless access?

WiFi is available for free at all of our branches.

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How can I pay my fines?

Fines can be paid by cash or by check at the front desk of any branch.  Checks are to be made payable to the Ruth Enlow Library.  Credit and debit cards cannot be accepted.

Fines can also be paid by mailing a check to any branch.

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How can I renew items?

You can renew items in person or by calling any of our branches.  You can also renew items online if you have a PIN for your account.

Please note that some types of items are not renewable.  Overdue items cannot be renewed online.

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How can I request an item?

You can request an item in person or by calling any of our branches.  If you have a library card with us and you have a PIN for your account, you can place a request on any item which we own.  To place a request for an item which is not listed in our online catalog, you can call the nearest branch to place an interlibrary loan request.

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How can I return items from a different library?

Most public library materials may be returned to any public library in the county or elsewhere in the state. The exception is DVDs or videos. All locations of the Ruth Enlow Library, excluding the Kitzmiller Branch, have outside bookdrops.

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How can I use the public computers?

All branch locations of the Ruth Enlow Library have computers with internet access for public use and Wireless Internet Access (WiFi) for your laptop pc.  Here are a few policies for using the computers:

  • Misuse or illegal use of the computers or Internet access will result in the loss of computer privileges. 
  • There is a thirty-minute time limit if others are waiting. 
  • There is a limit of 2 internet computer sessions per day per person (for a limit of 2 hours per day per person).
  • There is a charge of $.20 per page for black and white printing.
  • A complete set of rules is posted at each branch.

Please review our Computer Use Policy here.


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How do I access the Internet?

There are three ways to access the Internet through the Ruth Enlow Library: 

  1. You can visit any of our branches and access the Internet using our public computers. 
  2. You can access the Internet at any of our branches using WiFi. 
  3. You can sign up for a free dial-up account through our Sailor network. The account is good for 180 days and is renewable. You must be 18 years of age and have a valid Ruth Enlow Library card. You need a PC or Mac with a dialer and a telephone modem and land line.
    • The necessary Request/Renewal forms for a Sailor account are available at this link. Print the form and bring it, along with your library card, to any of our branches.

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How do I apply for a job?

We accept applications but review them only when we have a position open. We keep applications on file for a year. An application is available at any library branch or at this link.

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How do I book a Meeting Room?

The main library in Oakland and our Grantsville branch have meeting rooms available to the public.  To book a room, please call the main library at 301-334-3996 x100 or the Grantsville branch at 301-895-5298.

The meeting room is open to nonprofit organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual, and charitable activities.

All meetings in the library meeting room must be free of charge and open to the public. No selling or commercial activities are allowed.

For the complete meeting room policy, please contact your nearest branch.

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How do I buy used material?

Patrons can purchase used materials by coming to the library and choosing items of interest from the used material bookshop for the following prices:


Hardback books $.50
Paperback books (250 pg or less) $.10
Paperback books (251 pg or more) $.20
Magazines   $.10

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How do I change my PIN?

Go to the online Catalog and click Patron Account. Log in with your current password (PIN) and then click Change Logon. You can change your PIN at this screen.

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How do I check out equipment?

The Oakland Library has the following equipment which can be checked out for a week at a time:

  •  Carousel slide projector
  •  Filmstrip projector
  •  Opaque projector
  •  Overhead projector
  •  Movie screen

The patron must complete and sign an equipment loan form first. Overdue items incur a fine of $.50/day.

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How do I check the status of a hold?

At, click on the "my account" icon My Accountat the top right from any page. 

Enter your library card number without spaces and your PIN.  Press enter or click Submit Request.  Click on Holds. You will be able to determine the status of your requests.

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How do I donate used material?

Ruth Enlow Library may accept donations of materials based upon their suitability for the library's collection. The library staff will evaluate the suitability of the donated materials. If they are suitable, current bestsellers, recently released DVDs and books on CD will be accepted for inclusion. Materials that were published or produced more than a year before the donation date will generally not be accepted unless they are of particular local interest.

Donations that do not meet the system's objectives and policies will be sold or returned to the donor, if the donor wishes them to be returned. Money from the sale of donated items will be used to purchase new materials and supplement the library's operating budget. 

No other conditions may be imposed by the donor either before or after the acceptance of the materials into the collection.

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How do I find a branch?

The locations of our branches can be found at the following links:

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How do I find out about fines?

The fines at the Ruth Enlow Library are as follows: 

DVDs and Blu-Ray $0.50/day $5.00 max
All other matetials $0.10/day $5.00 max

In the event of closure during emergency winter weather conditions or school closings fines to be incurred that day will be waived.

While overdue notices will be provided as a courtesy, patrons are responsible for monitoring due dates and ensuring that their materials are returned on time.

Items more than 30 days late will be considered lost, and the patron will be billed for their replacement. 

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What are the checkout limits and lengths?

Except for a limit of five (5) new books, twenty (20) videos, five (5) DVDs, and two (2) Reading Express books, a patron may borrow unlimited items at one time.

  • DVDs and videos can be checked out for one week with one renewal allowed if there are no holds on them.
  • Magazines for adults can be checked out for one week with no renewals allowed.
  • New books, new Teen books and Reading Express books are checked out for two weeks with no renewals allowed.
  • Regular adult books, books on cassettes and CDs, music CDs, Teen books, Teen magazines, children's books, children's magazines, puzzles, and pamphlets are checked out for three weeks.  They may be renewed for three weeks if no one has placed a request on them.

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What are the library fees?

Library's fees:

Replacement of library card $0.50
Mailing fee for holds notices $0.50

Fees for faxing:

Sending and receiving $1.00/page


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What if I lose my library card?

If you lose your library card, please call a branch of the Ruth Enlow Library as soon as possible.

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Who are the Friends of the Library?

The Friends of the Ruth Enlow Public Library of Garrett County is a group organized to bring together fellow citizens who value their public library, are willing to work for a better library for the community, and who speak up for good library service whenever and wherever their efforts are needed.

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Who are the Library Board Trustees?

The Board of Library Trustees meets on the third Monday of every month at 5:00 pm. The location and time can vary – look at our Calendar of Events to find out where each meeting will be held, or call 301-334-3996.

Contact Information:

Ruth Enlow Library
Board of Trustees
6 N Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550

Board Bylaws

Board members:

  • Karl Schwalm, President
  • Carol Newman, Vice President
  • Cosette Harman, Treasurer
  • Fred Fox
  • Wanda Guard
  • Rosie Cupler
  • Tina Buckel


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Why is my account suspended?

Borrowing privileges may be suspended for the following reasons:

  • Long overdue items (overdue 35 days or more)
  • Fines due of $5.00 or more
  • Five or more overdue items

Once material is returned and/or payments made, most borrowing privileges are reinstated. Fines must be paid in full to check out interlibrary loan items.

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