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Getting and Using a Library Card

Who can get a Library card?

Evanston Public Library cards are free of charge to all Evanston residents living in zip codes 60201, 60202, and 60208. 

Other types of cards:

  • Temporary eCard get a card to access online services, good for 30 days
  • Books on Wheels  for residents in need of homebound delivery service
  • Cards from other Illinois Libraries (Reciprocal Borrowers)
  • Non-Resident “Fee” Cards for those who live outside of Evanston who wish to purchase privileges at the Evanston Public Library.
  • Non-resident Taxpayer Cards for non-residents who own taxable property in the City of Evanston.
  • Business Cards for any Business entity, profit or nonprofit, that owns or rents property in the City of Evanston.
  • Organizational Cards for any organizations or units of local government located in the City of Evanston.
  • School Cards for schools located in the City of Evanston

How do I get a library card?

All you need to do is bring in a government-issued photo ID or a utility bill that shows your Evanston address.

You can also use a current ID from a school located in Evanston in place of government-issued identification when necessary.

If the address on the identification is not current, you will need bring in one of following items to verify residence:

  • current property tax bill
  • current utility bill
  • current title/lease/renter’s agreement
  • current account statement from bank/credit card/phone/etc
  • mail postmarked within the last 30 days to the resident’s home address.

An account statement or bill must be not more than sixty days old.

You can also fill out our online application form if you can’t make it into the library.

How often do I have to renew my card?

Resident cards are valid for 3 years and may be renewed in person with one valid picture identification showing name and one proof of Evanston address such as a bill or utility statement . University Students are issued a library card with a one-year expiration date. Residents of transitional shelters or assisted living homes and temporary visitors are issued a library card with a 90 day expiration date or the length of their lease.

What if my card is misplaced, lost or stolen?

If your library card is damaged or lost, a replacement card will be issued when you provide one form of identification. There is a $1.00 replacement charge. The original library card will be invalidated.

If your card is lost or stolen, let us know immediately

In cases of unauthorized use of a lost or stolen card, the cardholder will be responsible for all costs and charges including charges for collection agency referral.

Residents of Temporary Housing in Evanston

Clients of temporary housing in Evanston must present valid picture identification as listed above and a letter from the local organization indicating they are a client. These cards will be valid for three years.

Skokie/Evanston Area – Zip Code 60203

Individuals residing in zip code area 60203 are required to apply for a library card at the Skokie Public Library. You can then register and use your Skokie card at the Evanston Public Library. In addition to presenting a currently valid library card, the applicant must present one form of picture identification and  current address such as a lease, bill or statement with the applicant’s current address within the last 60 days.

ETHS Students

A valid ETHS student ID may be used as proof of Identity and residency for students 14-18 in order to obtain a library card.

Youth under 14

Individuals under the age of 14 must have a parent or legal guardian sign an application form, or must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can supply acceptable adult identification.

Cash Deposits Borrowing

New residents or temporary residents who do not meet residency requirements or identification requirements may borrow books by making a cash deposit equal to the value of the materials and the appropriate replacement service charges. The entire fee will be refunded if the books are returned on or before their due date; if materials are overdue, fines will be deducted from the fee.

People with a Library Card from Other Libraries

The Evanston Public Library will register for use any currently valid library card from a Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) or from any library having reciprocal borrowing agreements with RAILS or with the Evanston Public Library. In addition to presenting a currently valid library card, the applicant must present one form of picture identification with the current address and a lease, bill or statement with the applicant’s current address.

All Reciprocal Borrowers who register their cards with the Evanston Public Library will be given the same expiration date as the one on their home Library account.  Please note that Reciprocal Borrowers do not have access to electronic resources due to restrictions required by vendors.

Library Card Renewals

All applicants for the renewal of a library card will be required to meet the same identification requirements as a new applicant, as described in the applicable section.

Access your Library Account

You can access your Library account information with your library card number and password. The default password is the last four digits of the primary phone number. Go to the Library Catalog and type in your card number and password.

Once logged in, click on My Account near the top of the screen to view items currently checked out, renew items, view or place reserves, and see your fines. Remember to click on the Logout button when you are finished.  You can sign up to be notified by email for available holds and pre-overdure alerts via the email notices form.

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