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Libraries

 

Library

FAQs on Library Cards, Fines, Materials and More

How do I get a library card and what can I do with it?

What can I check out?

How long can I keep materials?

What if the library is closed and I need to return materials?

How much are fines for overdue items?

How do I renew materials online?

How do I request materials and how do I find out when they come in?

How do I manage my requests so they don't all come to me at once, or if I go on vacation?

How much do you charge for making copies, faxing, or scanning documents?

Question: How do I get a library card and what can I do with it?

Answer: Any Wisconsin resident or Wisconsin property owner may apply for a free library card. This card entitles you to check out materials, place holds, access the internet on our public computers and make use of other services. Your library card will expire annually so that we can assure we have the most current information. Should you find your card expired, please call your home library location to update.

Even if you already have a card from your local Wisconsin library, we will issue you one from ours so we will have you in our system.

Out-of-State residents may obtain a card for a fee based on the length of time they wish to use the card

Regardless of residence, anyone may use the materials in the library without fee and may take advantage of our trained staff members as a resource to find materials or information.

To apply for a library card, a proof of current address is required. Parent or Guardian proof of address will also be required for minors to register for a card. We will accept the following if they have your current address:

  • Driver's license
  • State ID
  • Fishing license
  • Bills for services at current address
  • Checkbook
  • First Class Mail with recent postmark
  • Medical Assistance card
  • Lease or rental agreement for current address

Please note - During this current period of time, we are also offering a contactless card sign-up. Please allow up to 72 hours to receive a response after completing this form.


Question: What can I check out?

Answer: All La Crosse County Library collections contain a variety of the following:

  • Books
    • hard covers
    • best sellers
    • fiction
    • large print
    • paperbacks
    • children's books
    • nonfiction
    • young adult
  • Movies/TV Series (for adults & children)
  • Audiobooks (for adults & children)
  • Reference Materials
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Family Fun Bags
  • CDs with Books (for children)
  • Music (CDs for adults & children)
  • Hot Spots (for internet access)

There is a limit of 100 items that may be checked out on one card.

The check-out period for most materials is 21 days. Movies and magazines (for adults) circulate for seven days or as marked.

A library card is required to check out all materials.

Materials may be renewed for an additional check-out period, as long as no one is waiting for them.

Fines of over five dollars must be paid before items may be renewed, additional materials may be checked out, or the Internet used.

Renewals may be made in person at the library or over the phone.  You can also renew through your account online.


Question: How long can I keep materials?

Answer: The lending period ranges from 7 to 21 days, depending on the item:

 

Media - Loan Period

7 days

  • Magazines
  • Movies 

14 days

  • Movie Sets (Series/Season)

21 days

  • Audiobooks
  • Books
  • Book Sets 
  • CDs 
  • Family Fun Bags 
  • Hot Spots

Varies

Interlibrary loan lending periods vary.


Question: What if the Library is closed and I need to return materials?

Answer: All five County Libraries are equipped with outside book drops for your convenience.


Question: How much are fines for overdue items?

Answer:

We’re eliminating daily overdue charges, but please be aware of our new process for overdue items that begins September 1st, 2021.

  • As a courtesy, we attempt to notify you twice to return items before they become due. We ask that you help make items available to others by returning your items prior to the due date whenever possible to easily avoid charges. 
  • Even though there are no longer daily overdue fees, once an item is 21 days overdue, your account will be charged the current cost of the item, PLUS a $2.00 recovery fee per item.
  • If you return the item, the current cost will be removed from your account, but the recovery fee will remain on your account until paid.
  • If your account has a balance of $5.00 or more, you will be restricted from requesting or checking out items and will be blocked from computer use.
  • If your account has a balance of $50.00 or more, your bill will be forwarded to a third-party recovery service.  If forwarded, an additional $10.00 recovery fee will be added to the account.
  • Exceptions: Equipment (such as Hot Spots) and Interlibrary Loans still have overdue fines of $1/day.

Replacement Costs

If the exact cost is not available in our records, the following averages are used:

Materials - Replacement Cost

  • Adult Book $30.00
  • AV Materials $25.00
  • Children's Book $20.00
  • DVD/Blu-Ray $25.00
  • Family Fun Bag $50.00
  • Magazine $5.00
  • Hot Spots $150.00
  • Paperback $12.00

Question: How do I renew materials online?

Answer:

  • Click on “catalog” on the blue menu bar near the top of the screen
  • Once the Encore catalog system has loaded you will see in the upper right corner of the screen a Login link
  • Enter your library barcode number (no spaces)
  • Enter your PIN number (usually the last 4 digits of your telephone number)
  • Enter or Click “Submit”
  • Near the top of the screen on the right, click on your name
  • Click on ”Checkouts"
  • Select the titles you wish to renew by checking the box
  • Click "Renew Marked" and follow the prompt
  • Verify new due date is listed.
  • Items with outstanding requests cannot be renewed.

Of course we will still be glad to renew via phone or email. Please be prepared to provide your library barcode number and item barcodes you wish to renew. Please call if you have any questions.  


Question: How do I request materials and how do I find out when they come in?

Answer: Requested materials are frequently referred to as "Holds"

  • Click on “catalog” on the blue menu bar near the top of the screen
  • Once Encore has loaded you will see in the upper right corner of the screen a Login link
  • Enter your library barcode number (no spaces)
  • Enter your PIN number (usually the last 4 digits of your telephone number)
  • Enter or click “Submit”
  • Near the top of the screen on the right, click on your name
  • Complete your search query in the Search box
  • Once you find the item you are seeking use the "Request It" link to place your request
  • Be sure to verify the pick-up location of your choice
  • When the item is available, you will be notified by e-mail, text, phone or postal mail depending on your preference.  Please inform a Library Staff member if you would like to change your notification method.

Of course we will still be glad to place your requests via phone or email. Please be prepared to provide your library barcode number to place requests. Please call if you have any questions.


Question: How do I manage my requests so they don't all come to me at once, or if I go on vacation?

Answer: Unfortunately, at this time there is no automated mechanism to manage requests. Requests not picked up in 7 days will expire. 

If you leave on vacation, you can "Freeze" your requests by logging into your Library Account in Encore and choosing "Holds".  Select "Freeze" and "Update List" .  You must remember to reactivate your requests upon your return.


Question: How much do you charge for making copies, faxing, or scanning documents?

Answer: We currently charge the following:

  • Photocopies/Printing (B & W) 10¢ per page
  • Photocopies/Printing (Color) 50¢ per page
  • Scanning 10¢ per page
  • Fax  $2.00 per fax job