Getting and Using a Library Card


Getting and Using a Library Card

The library will serve all residents of the community and the public library system area. Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Library records, including materials consulted or borrowed, database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, registration records, and all other personally identifiable uses of Library materials, computers, facilities, or services are confidential. For more information, view the Confidentiality of Library Records and Library Use Policy.

Getting a Library card

Patrons who borrow materials from the Library must have a valid library card issued by Platteville Public Library or other members of the Southwest Wisconsin Library System.

Library cards can be applied for in-person, or temporary cards online.

Because patrons are legally responsible for all items borrowed on their card, all applications must include a valid form of identification. All applications must include one of the following:

  • Photo ID that includes current Wisconsin address
  • Photo ID plus proof of Wisconsin residence or property ownership
  • Photo ID plus a Wisconsin school or university student identification card

Other forms of identification may be approved at the discretion of the Library Director or designated library staff.

Juvenile Library Cards

Use of the library is a joint responsibility of the juvenile and their guardian. The library does not have a minimum age for obtaining a library card.

  • Children aged 15 and under must be accompanied by a guardian to apply for a library card
    • An exception may be made in the case of school library visits, where application forms may be distributed and collected by teachers
  • Guardian must present identification and proof of address (as listed above). Juveniles with guardians who are not able to provide proof of address are eligible for temporary cards (as described below)
  • Guardians are responsible for all items borrowed.
  • Guardians acknowledge that it is their responsibility, not the library’s, to monitor and approve the child’s choice of materials and access to other information resources.
  • Custodial parent or guardian of a child under the age of 16 may request any records relating to that child’s use of the library’s documents, materials, resources, or services.
  • Patrons ages 16-17 may get a library card on their own if they can provide identification and proof of address (as listed above). If teens do not have identification and proof of address, they must be accompanied by a guardian who can show identification and proof of address (as listed above).

Wisconsin Residents and Property Owners

A free card is issued to Wisconsin residents who present identification and proof of current address. Applicants who do not live in Wisconsin but own property within the state are also eligible for a free card. Applicants must provide documentation of property ownership (property tax bill, mortgage, etc.) at the time of application.

Non-Wisconsin Residents

Library cards are available to out-of-state residents for a fee, upon completion of a Library Card Application. Out-of-state residents do not have access to inter-library loan outside of SWLS, the Wisconsin Digital Library, or any state-funded resources (unless using them from within the library).

  • SWLS Full-access card: $140
  • Platteville Public Library only: $40
  • 6-month Platteville Public Library only: $20

Temporary Cards

  • For individuals who cannot provide proof of current Wisconsin residency or property ownership, the library offers a three-month card with limited privileges. Some form of identification is required, such as an out-of-state driver’s license, or a letter of support from a supporting agency.
  • After two temporary cards, patrons are eligible for a permanent card if there are no unresolved lost or damaged items on the account.
  • Temporary cardholders may check out a total of ten items at any one time: 5 books, 5 media items.
  • Temporary cardholders do not have access to inter-library loan outside of SWLS.

Business Cards

Corporations, partnerships, government agencies, associations, and non-profits located in the City of Platteville are eligible for Business cards. Business cards may be used to check out business-related materials, and for remote access to subscription databases. Apply in person at the library with the following:

  • Signature of owner/president and financial manager/treasurer
  • Wisconsin Employer Identification Number (WEIN) or 501(c)3 Number
  • Address verification indicating that the business is located in the City of Platteville
  • Name of the custodian for the card
  • Names of the persons allowed to use the card

Educator Cards

All education professionals currently employed at a school located within the City of Platteville are eligible for an Educator card that may only be used to check out school-related materials through the Platteville Public Library. Educator cards have more holds and longer due dates than Resident cards. Responsibility for lost and damaged items resides with the school district, and a list of any unreturned items may be shared with the school administration. Apply in person at the library with proof of employment at a school located within the City of Platteville and the Educator card application form signed by the school’s designated representative as determined by the Library and the school. The Educator card is valid for one school year. Excessive loss of library materials may result in the non-renewal of an Educator card.

Using Your Library Card

  • Any library materials checked out on a card are the sole responsibility of that cardholder.
  • Users will present library card at check-out. If a user has forgotten their card, Library staff may accept alternate identification.
  • Users will promptly report a lost or stolen card.
  • Replacement cards are available for $1.
  • Library card accounts periodically expire regardless of card use. Expired cards can be renewed once the user’s contact information is updated.
  • Expired cards that have not been renewed will be deleted.
  • Users will promptly report any change in contact information.
  • Users will promptly return all borrowed items by the due date. Users will pay any replacement costs assessed for unreturned or damaged items.
  • Failure to pay library fines or return materials may result in local and state criminal penalties.
  • Cardholders using their library card at other member SWLS libraries agree to comply with the policies of that member library.

Approved by the Platteville Public Library Board of Trustees on September 6, 2016
Approved by the Platteville Public Library Board of Trustees on August 4, 2021
Approved by the Platteville Public Library Board of Trustees on November 1, 2022