Last Updated: Jun 19, 2018     Views: 10260

You can use Library Elf, the 3rd party service SFPL subscribes to on your behalf, to:

  • receive a text message* for items due, holds ready for pickup, and holds about to expire.
  • receive email when and as often as you choose for items due, holds ready for pickup, and holds about to expire.
  • consolidate multiple library card accounts.  
  • view due dates / hold expiration dates on a calendar.

*Charges from your text messaging provider may apply.

You can view a real-time demonstration of Library Elf by going to the demo page.

Library Elf


What does Library Elf do?

Elf is an Internet-based tool for keeping track of what's due, overdue, and ready for pickup. You can keep track of one or more library accounts and receive reminders. Reminders are sent when you want them (up to seven days in advance, weekly, or daily reminders). 

Is the Library Elf service free?

  • Yes. The San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) has subscribed to Library Elf and library users can receive the multiple-cards premium service at no cost. Charges from your text messaging provider may apply.

How do I sign up for Library Elf?

  • Visit Library Elf to set up an account.
  • Add your library card by selecting CA – San Francisco Public Library (subscriber) from the list of libraries and by entering your library card number and PIN.
  • Specify the types of reminder notices you would like to receive, how you would like to receive them (email, RSS and/or text message) and how frequently.
  • Confirm your subscription by clicking the link that Library Elf sends via email.

If I choose text message alerts with Library Elf, can I turn off my other alerts from SFPL?

  • No. You will still receive notifications directly from SFPL via email, telephone, or mail.

Important Privacy Notice

Library Elf is a private service not affiliated with the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). You use Library Elf at your own option and risk. Users of Library Elf are required to submit personal information, including library card barcodes and PINs, to a database unaffiliated with and located outside of the Library. Please read Library Elf's privacy policy and FAQ before deciding to sign up for the service.