Library Cards

How Are Library Cards Issued

Who issues library cards?

Prairie Lakes Library System does not issue library cards. Each member library purchases and issues its own library cards.

Who may obtain a library card?

All Wisconsin residents are eligible for a free library card at any Wisconsin public library.*

*Milwuakee County (MC) residents may obtain a free card at any library within MC; fees apply to cards MC residents obtain outside of MC.
*Non-MC residents may obtain a card to a MC library for a fee.

Property Owners: For patrons that do not live in a library’s municipality but own property in that municipality, that library may determine whether or not they will allow these patrons access to their library.

Out of State Borrowers: Libraries may issue a local library card to a nonresident who does not qualify for a PLLS member library card or to residents of another state. Local library nonresident cards are not required to be honored by all PLLS member libraries.

Can a person have a library card at multiple libraries within PLLS? What about from multiple systems.

Yes, residents of Racine County, Rock County, and Walworth County municipalities may obtain a valid library card from any library within PLLS, though it is preferred cardholders have a single card.

The patrons Home Library, Patron Agency, PCode 4, and Patron Type should always reflect the municipality in which they live. Residents of unlibraried municipalities/townships within PLLS and those residing outside the PLLS system boundaries may choose their home library. If the individual has more than one residence, determine which residence is considered the primary residence.

Restrictions apply at Milwaukee County libraries.

Terms of a Borrower’s Card

Do library cards expire? Can they be renewed?

Library cards of any SHARE library are valid for two years. If a library card is not renewed within three years of expiring, the associated patron record will be purged. If this happens, the patron may re-apply for a library card by completing the registration process again. It is a good practice for library staff to verify demographic information and notification preferences at the time of renewal.

What card types do libraries offer?

Each library may offer a variety of cards with different privileges or restrictions, such as Youth Cards, Teacher Cards, Institution Cards, Adult Cards, etc. Please consult the local library board’s policy.

Where are PLLS library cards accepted?

The public libraries in Kenosha, Racine, Rock, and Walworth counties are members of the SHARE Consortium, any public library in these counties will accept each other’s cards. As part of this partnership, materials owned by any of these public libraries may be borrowed by and returned to any other SHARE Consortium Public Library (or their dropbox). See our Member Libraries page for locations.

Are library cards available online?

Those who qualify may obtain a temporary online card, which is valid for 30 days. A temporary card ID allows new patrons to place holds on library materials and use any SIP2 authenticated services (such as OverDrive and Hoopla). Libraries may wish to reach out to temporary cardholders with an invitation and instructions on how to obtain a permanent card.

Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with a photo ID to sign for the permanent card.

Identification & Proof of Address

What forms of identification do borrowers need?

A photo ID and proof of current resident street address (a mailed bill or another official document) are required. A library may choose to enact a policies that broaden the options for verifying a resident’s address, e.g. mailing a postcard to be returned or mailing the actual library card to the address provided. SHARE policy prohibits the storage of Driver’s License number storage.