Getting a Library Card

Registration can only be done in person. Library cards for resident and reciprocal members are valid for two years before they must be renewed in person. Non-resident membership types are valid for one year at a time.

How do I get registered?

Residents

Bringing a valid driver’s license or state ID with your current, in-district residential address on it is the easiest way to begin the registration process at the Checkout Desk of the library. With appropriate documentation, library cards are issued and available for use immediately. Minors who come with a parent who is able to demonstrate identity and current residence within the Library district can also be issued a library card.

Residents of a library with reciprocal access

Aside from documenting identity and current residential address, reciprocal borrowers must also show an in-district library card in their name from a participating library. Find libraries that qualify for reciprocal borrowing privileges.

Educators

In addition to documenting identity and current residential address, teachers need a letter from an authorized school administrator documenting proof of employment at an in-district institution in a position as an educator. The letter should include the name, position and institution of the applicant and the name, title, and signature of the authorized administrator on the organizations letterhead.

Businesses

Businesses in the Portage library district are required to present other documentation, and/or a letter of intent from the business owner or a financial officer, if the owner is not making a direct application for membership. Please call the Checkout Desk Supervisor for more information about the necessary documentation requirements. Business memberships may not be immediately available.

Visitors/Non-Residents

Proof of identity is still required, even for those who are only seeking internet usage. A current residential address must be provided for registration. However, paying members or those getting an internet access card only can provide this information verbally if it is not documented on their proof of identity.

What other documentation can I use to get registered?

Alternative Photo ID Types

Those who do not have valid driver’s license or state ID can also use one of the following items for identification, but will need to provide additional proof of residential address.

  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • School ID

Additional Proof of Address

If you haven’t changed your address on your valid driver’s license or state ID or you are using an alternative photo ID, you will need to provide additional documentation to prove your current residence by showing one of the following that has your name and current residential address on it:

  • Voter’s registration card
  • Property Tax receipt or bill
  • Gas/Electric/Water/ Sewer bill
  • Lease Agreement/ Registered Land Contract
  • Current vehicle registration

Is there any other way to get a library card?

To qualify for a free membership we must have some proof of residency in the library district in addition to proof of identity. Students with only a school id or minors in special circumstances may be offered an alternative form of registration. In these cases, the library card will be mailed home and will not be available for use until received.

Additionally, we recognize that even adults may be in unique circumstances, such as living in alternative or temporary housing situations, or care facilities and may not be able to register in the standard way. While we still require proof of identity, we will work to find an alternative way for these individuals to provide proof of their current residential address in the library district. Depending on the situation, this may include a limited membership type and/or mailing the library card. Library cards that are mailed may not be used until received.