Customers obtain a library card by submitting a completed Borrower Registration Form. Any customer who wants to obtain or replace a library card from Racine Public Library must provide a valid non-expired government issued identification. There is no charge for the initial card; however, replacement cards cost $1. The library accepts the following as valid identification:
- Driver’s license issued by a State in the U.S.
- Photo ID issued by a State in the U.S.
- United States Military ID Card
- United States Passport
- Matricula Consular Card issued by Mexico
Expired identification will not be accepted. If the identification does not show current address, additional proof of address showing name and residence address must be provided. The library accepts the following to show address:
- Rent Receipt
- Postcard sent from our Library
- Utility Bill
- Postmarked mail from last 30 days
- Property tax receipt from City of Racine
For customers who are unable to provide valid identification or proof of residency a library card can be issued that allows only one item checked out on the account at a time. This exception would apply to customers with a valid identification without the correct address and no other identification with the correct address. It would also apply to customers without a valid identification, but they do have a checkbook, rent receipt, library postcard, utility bill, or postmarked mail showing the correct address. In these cases library staff will put a note in the customer’s account until the missing information is provided.
Customers through age 15 must have a parent or legal guardian register them to obtain a library card. The parent/guardian must provide their valid identification and show proof of address.
Customers age 16 and 17 may register without parent/guardian signature provided the customer can provide a valid official identification and show proof of residency. A parent or legal guardian may also register them to obtain a library account with the parent/guardian providing valid identification and proof of residency.
Non-residents with residency in Milwaukee County and outside of Wisconsin are required to pay a $50 per year fee to obtain a library card.
The library shall issue a valid library card to the customer whose application has been accepted. The library reserves the right to deny issuing a library card if the application is incorrect or incomplete, i.e., failure to provide the home address. By submitting the application for registration, and by accepting the valid library card, the applicant agrees to the following:
- Notify the library when any information given to the library has changed, i.e., change of name, address, or phone number.)
- Promptly report to the library the loss or theft of the library card.
- Assume responsibility for all materials borrowed on the account.
- The library card may be used only by the person whose name is on the card, or in the case of a minor, by the parent/guardian who signed the application. For legally handicapped persons, a special arrangement may be allowed.
The library reserves the right to cancel the borrowing privileges of any customer who fails to abide by library rules.
The library will conduct periodic purges of inactive library cards.
To borrow library materials, the registered customer presents their library card and the materials to check out to any circulation location. At circulation locations where it is possible to search by customer name, staff can access customer records using valid identification. At circulation locations where it is not possible to search by customer name no loan of library materials shall be allowed without the customer’s valid library card in hand. Loan may be further disallowed if there are outstanding fines or charges in excess of $5.00 on the borrower’s card. Loan is allowed only for those materials designated for public circulation by the library. All loans are free with the exception of materials classified as Rental. The following loan periods and quantity limits are applicable to loans of library materials:
Type of materials Loan period per borrower’s card
Audiobooks on cassette 3 weeks up to 10
Audiobooks on compact disc 3 weeks up to 10
Books – Adult New Fiction 2 weeks no limit
Books – Nonfiction/Fiction 3 weeks no limit
Books and Cassette sets 3 weeks up to 10
Books and Compact disc sets 3 weeks up to 10
Cd-roms 3 weeks up to 10
Compact Discs 3 weeks up to 10
Documents 3 weeks no limit
Dvds 1 week up to 10
Learning Aids 3 weeks up to 10
Periodicals 1 week up to 10
Vertical File 1 week no limit
Videotapes 1 week up to 10
Loan periods on items borrowed from other libraries may vary.
Renewal of loan periods
Loan periods for library materials are extended in a process called “renew.” For items that are renewed, the item is checked out again from the date of the renewal. Renewal is allowed up to ten times as long as there are no holds on the item. Items borrowed from other libraries may not have renewals allowed. Fines are assessed for items that are overdue when renewed. The following are available renewal methods:
- At a circulation desk, the registered customer presents their library card. Where it is possible to search by customer name, staff can access customer records using valid identification. When it is not possible to search by customer name or a valid id is not present, no renewal of library materials shall be allowed without the customer’s library card. Staff may renew when the customer card is blocked.
- With a staff member by phone, the customer calls 262 636-9241. No renewal of library materials shall be allowed without the customer’s library card being read to staff. Staff may renew when the customer card is blocked.
- Self service by phone, the customer calls 1-866-495-0348. This service is generally available 24/7. The customer must have their library card and pin number. This method may not be available to customers who are blocked because of fees owed.
- Self service in the library catalog at www.racinelibrary.info or at a public access computer in the library. The customer must provide their library card and pin number. This method may not be available to customers who are blocked because of fees owed.
Library materials may be reserved by registered borrowers by placing a “hold.” Holds may be placed using one of the following methods:
- The circulation staff will place holds when the when the author, title, or item barcode are known by the customer. Where it is possible to search by customer name, staff can access customer records using valid identification. Where it is not possible to search by customer name, no holds for library materials shall be allowed without the customer’s valid library card. Staff may place holds when the customer card is blocked.
- The reference staff will place holds in person or by phone 636-9217 for all customers. No holds will be placed by reference staff without a valid library card. Staff may place holds when the customer card is blocked.
- Self service in the library catalog at www.racinelibrary.info or at a public access computer in the library. The customer must provide their library card and pin number. This method may not be available to customers who are blocked.
Return of borrowed library material
Borrowed library materials must be returned to the library on or before the due dates. Books and magazines may be returned to any circulation outlet or book return. Audio visual items may be returned to any circulation outlet or return marked for videos, cassettes, CDs, and DVDs. Materials that do not fit in a drop box must be returned directly to a circulation desk.
In order to encourage prompt return of library materials, RPL assesses fines for the late return of materials at the rate of $0.25 per day per item. The maximum fines are stipulated in the paragraph immediately following.
Fines shall not exceed the replacement cost of the item and the following maximum charges for overdue fines shall be applied:
Adult Material Juvenile Material
Item Charges Charges
Audiocassettes 5.00 2.50
Book Cassettes NA 2.50
Books (cataloged) 5.00 2.50
Compact Discs 5.00 2.50
Documents 2.00 NA
DVDs 5.00 5.00
Learning Aids NA 2.50
Periodicals 2.00 1.00
Vertical File 2.00 1.00
Videotapes 5.00 5.00
Charges for lost and damaged library materials
In order to replace lost library materials, the library shall assess the borrower the full replacement cost. In order to repair or replace damaged materials, the library shall assess the borrower up to the full replacement cost. Customers who purchase an identical copy in good condition may donate the item and pay $5.00 for processing to have the charge removed.
The following notification process is used by the library
Email-patron can give email address at registration or fill out email contact sheet.
Please keep in mind that email notifications are a courtesy service and are not meant to replace the date due slips that are given at the time of check out.
Phone-home numbers and cell phone are accepted, some cell phones may not be compatible.
Mail-patron is responsible for keeping home address contact information current with library.
- Two days before the due date a reminder notice is emailed.
- One week after the due date, a first overdue notice is generated and sent by email, phone, or mail.
- Two weeks after the due date, a second overdue notice is generated and sent by email or mail.
- Two months after the due date the item becomes lost and a bill for the replacement of the item is sent by mail.
- Bills for overdue and damaged items are sent when the balance exceeds $5.00.
The customer is responsible for any overdue fines when notices are not received or items are not renewable.
Charges for collection agency
Unresolved overdue fines, charges for various damages, and charges for lost library materials resulting in balance amounts of $25.00, and up and not resolved within 30 days of billing are eligible to be sent to a collection agency. A $10.00 collection fee will be assessed to the customer when an unresolved account is sent for collection.