Circulation Policy

Effective Date: 09/15
Reviewed and Revised: 11/22


The Ela Area Public Library District issues library cards to all eligible residents of the Library District. Out of District patrons can use their valid Illinois library card to checkout and reserve materials at the Ela Area Public Library. Teacher Cards are available to those who teach in schools within the Ela Area Public Library District boundaries. Ela Library cards are also available to non-resident, active Library employees.

Materials are loaned free of charge. Cardholders are responsible for all materials that are checked out on their library card. The Library reserves the right to charge fines or fees for materials that are returned late, that are damaged or that are lost. Lending privileges can be revoked if the card holder abuses privileges or is delinquent on fines or fees.


Library Cards for Residents
To obtain an Ela Library card, you must live within the Ela Area Public Library District. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with proper identification. You will need to show two forms of identification with your current address. One ID must be a photo ID issued by a government agency. Second ID must show a current address within the Library District. Acceptable forms of ID include: driver’s license, utility bill, personal check, voter’s registration card, lease or mortgage papers, or current tax bill.

Library Cards for Businesses
Businesses located in the Ela Area Public Library District may apply for the Ela Biz Card. One card will be issued to the owner or the principal officer of the business or to an officer who has the authority to assume financial responsibility for library materials checked out on the business card. Identification requirements are the same as those for resident cards. We also ask for a business card that we can keep in our files.

Library Cards for Teachers
Special library cards are available to those who teach in schools within the Ela Area Public Library District boundaries. These cards allow teachers to check out materials for classroom use with an extended checkout period of six weeks. Staff directories, posted on school websites, are utilized to obtain official lists of current teachers.


Library Cards for Temporary Visitors and Residents in Transition

Seasonal visitors or residents in transition residing within Library boundaries will be eligible to obtain a temporary borrower’s card for all library services upon providing a photo ID and a letter from a social service agency, temporary employer and/or landlord, relative, guardian or host family verifying the temporary address. Patrons under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with the above identification. This library card will be valid for one year.


Library Cards for Staff

Ela Area Public Library cards are available to non-resident active employees of the Ela Library.


Loan Periods


3 Weeks:   Books, TV series, CDs, audiobooks, videogames, Library of Things, board games and Launchpads.


2 Weeks:  New adult fiction and Adult Most Wanted.


1 Week:    DVDs, new TV series, magazines, and Curiosity Kits.


Ebooks and other digital content may have varying loan periods due to licensing or group membership agreements.


Each library card account has a total limit of 150 items. Only by approval of the Executive Director or his/her designee may anyone exceed this 150 item borrowing limit.


Many materials are eligible for an automatic renewal three days before the due date. The renewal date is based on the original due date. Otherwise, most materials may be renewed in person, online through the Library’s website (, the Library’s mobile app, or by phone. Items which cannot be renewed include: Most Wanted items, New DVDs, Library of Things, board games and materials that are reserved for other patrons. Items available for renewal may be renewed no more than two times.


A patron may place holds on items that are checked out or that are located at other libraries. The maximum total number of holds for individual patrons is 30. Item availability is at the discretion of the lending library. Materials borrowed from outside our shared catalog are subject to the Inter Library Loan policy.

Late Notice Schedule & Long Overdue Items:
Late notices are sent at 3, 15, and 28 days overdue. At 45 days overdue collection notice is sent.

Items that are 90 days overdue will be billed to the patron’s account and can no longer be returned.

Lost or Damaged Items
Replacement cost plus a $5 processing fee is charged for lost or damaged items. A replacement fee is charged for missing pieces, including covers and instructional booklets. A $1 fee is also charged for missing barcodes from all items. A non-refundable $10 referral fee is charged for accounts sent to collections.

Loss of Lending Privileges
Checkout privileges will be suspended when materials are 14 days
overdue. When fees on a patron’s library card reach the threshold of $10 checkout privileges are suspended until fees are paid.

A patron's library card will be revoked if it is learned that a card was obtained fraudulently. For example, if a card was obtained using an incorrect name or address, it would be revoked.

When a patron moves out of the Library District, their Ela Area Library card is no longer valid and they must obtain a card from
their new home library to borrow materials.

Renewal of Library Cards
Ela Area Public Library District cards must be renewed every three years by providing proof of residency in the District.

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