Checking Out Materials

A current library card is needed in order to check out materials. If the library card is not in your possession, materials may be checked out with photo identification.

All circulating materials may be borrowed by cardholders for three (3) weeks (21 days), except for DVDs and magazines which check out for seven (7) days.

The following  non-print items may be checked out as follows:
DVDs 10 per card
Books on CD  10 per card
Total items checked out may not exceed  100 per card

A receipt received at checkout serves as the official notice of the due date for an item or items. Customers with outstanding fees over $5.00 will not be allowed to check out additional materials.

Information for applying for a Chattanooga Public Library Card can be found here.

Placing Material on Hold

Customers may place up to 30 hold requests on circulating items. 10 of these holds may be DVDs and 10 may be CDs.

Holds can be requested online within a catalog search or over the phone.

Items are held for seven (7) days. If the item is not picked up within the time allotted, the hold is cancelled and the item is returned to circulation or fills the next hold in the queue. In order to check out the hold item, the customer must present the library card on which the hold request was made. No pickups will be allowed without the originating card. If a customer presents the card that originated the hold, check-out will be allowed even if the cardholder is not present at the time of pick-up.

Notary and Fax

The Downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library has a Notary Public on staff. Call 423-643-7700 for availability. There is no charge for this service.

Personal fax services are available at all library locations. Transmissions may be made using the self-service equipment at the rate of $1.00 per each multiple of 5 pages (for example 7 pages would be $2.00) for local calls. Long distance transmission costs $2.00 for each multiple of 5 pages. At this time we cannot receive fax transmissions for patrons to pick up.

Meeting Rooms

The meeting rooms at all locations of the Chattanooga Public Library may be used by non-profit and for-profit organizations free of charge to those who have a Chattanooga Public Library card in good standing. Final approval of meeting room applications will be made by Library Administration. To find out more about meeting space available at the Downtown Library call 643-7700. If your organization wishes to meet at a library branch, contact the Branch Manager. Organizations can fill out an Application for Library Meeting Room Use. After you submit the application, you will be contacted by a library representative to inform you of the approval status. Please allow up to two weeks for confirmation. Any payment required by the library must be submitted 7 days prior to your program or event.

Tool Library

The downtown Chattanooga Library is now loaning tools, such as socket wrench sets, cordless drills, and power sanders! Library cardholders ages 18 and up can check out up to 3 tools at a time for a one-week period. Signing a liability waiver and tool use policy is required prior to check-out. Tools can be checked out at the Reference Desk on the 1st Floor of the Downtown Library.

Questions? Call the Downtown Library’s Reference Desk @ 423-643-7740

The collection is made possible from support of the UnFoundation and the Friends of the Chattanooga Library.

Click here to view the Tool Library Inventory

Local History Remote Services

Local History and Genealogy staff can provide photocopies from our newspaper collection (such as obituaries), historical photographs, and other non-circulated reference materials from the Local History Department. For rates and requirements, call 423-643-7725 or email staff at



The Chattanooga Public Library offers U.S. Passport Acceptance service by appointment only, at our Downtown location, Monday through Saturday. For appointments and questions, call (423) 643-7740.

Información general sobre pasaportes en español

Please read the following information before you call:

New Passports

Passport applications may be filled out online and printed from the Department of State or printed and filled out by hand, or obtained at the library ahead of time. Black ink must be used to fill out applications. Please don’t sign them until asked to do so by a Passport Acceptance Agent.

Applicants for a new passport or replacement of a lost or stolen passport must provide the following:

Proof of U.S. citizenship, such as:

  • Certified, government-issued birth certificate showing parent(s) name(s), or
  • Original Naturalization Certificate, or
  • Previous passport, or
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad.

Current proof of identity, such as:

  • Tennessee driver’s license or State ID or Out of State drivers license along with secondary ID, or
  • U.S. Government ID card, or
  • Certificate of Naturalization, or
  • Military ID.

One 2″x2″ photo which may be made at the library for a fee, or brought in. Photos:

  • Must be in color with a light background
  • May not be in profile
  • Must include only the head and top of shoulders.

All passport applicants must appear in person. Both parents must be present for applicants under 16 years old.

Passports Renewals

Adults wishing to renew expired passports should see the questionnaire on the front of the DS-82 form or on the Department of State website. Documents are then mailed in by the applicant.

Anyone under 16 or under 16 for previous passport must use the DS-11 form, Application for a U.S. Passport.

The library has forms and labeled priority envelopes for your convenience at the downtown location. We can take your photo for $10.00. We are happy to look over your renewal application and make sure everything is correct.


Payable to U.S. Department of State by check or money order only:

  • Adult passport books: $110
  • Adult passport cards: $30 (covers limited travel options)
  • Minor (under 16) passport books: $80
  • Minor passport cards: $15 (covers limited travel options)
  • Expedite fee to receive passport in 2-3 weeks: $60 per applicant

Payable to Chattanooga Public Library by check, money order or cash:

  • Execution fee per passport application: $35
  • Passport photos if made here: $10 per person.


How long will it take to get my passport?

The U.S. Passport Office guarantees delivery as follows:

  • Routine times vary during the year — check for current delivery times. It can range from 4-8 weeks depending on how busy the Passport agencies are.
  • Expedited service is 2-3 weeks with Overnight Delivery Services
  • Applicants may choose overnight delivery, one way or both ways, for additional fees

What if I need my passport sooner than the Expedite delivery date?

You may:

  • Contact the Atlanta Passport Office if you are traveling within 14 days, and have proof of travel or need for visa in 4 weeks or
  • Contract with a third-party expediting service (listings available online; we cannot recommend services), or
  • Contact your local Congressman’s office.

What is acceptable proof of U.S. Citizenship?

  • A certified copy with official seal (not a photocopy) of a government-issued birth certificate showing parent(s) name(s).
  • Hospital certificates are not acceptable.
  • California and Texas Certified Abstracts of Birth are not acceptable.
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad

Where may I obtain a certified birth certificate?

Tennessee natives may obtain a certified birth certificate by contacting the office of vital records in the county in which they were born. Those born in Hamilton County can usually go to the Health Department at 921 E. 3rd St.

People born in another state should contact the Vital Statistics office in the state of birth.

What is acceptable proof of identification?

Any of the following is acceptable proof of identification:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid state-issued ID along with secondary ID
  • Current passport
  • U.S. Government ID
  • Military ID

For any other questions, please call (423) 643-7724 or 7740 and ask to speak to a Passport Acceptance Agent. We will be glad to help.

Computer Access and WiFi

Public computers and WiFi are available at all four branches of the Chattanooga Public Library. Access to the computers is limited to 2 hours per day if other patrons are waiting. Reservations can be made for the next available computer by phone or in person. A library card or a single-use guest pass ($1) is required to use the public computers.

To listen to audio files online you may bring your own headphones or purchase $1 earbuds at the service desk.

The following applications are installed on most of the public computers: Microsoft Office 2016 including Word, Excel & PowerPoint; Chrome; Firefox; Edge; Internet Explorer; typical plug-ins such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, VNC player and PDF Creator.

To search the library’s full catalog please use the catalog computers. These stations may be used without a library card and do not have internet access.

Black-and-white printing is 10¢ per page. Color printing is 50¢ per page.

Public computers at all locations shut down 15 minutes prior to closing.

Please call your branch with any questions.