Am I eligible to get a library card?
If you live in the city of Whiting, you are eligible to get a free Resident Evergreen library card.
If none of the above applies to you, you can get a Reciprocal Borrowers card with limited access, but you will have to get a library card from your home library first.
If you do not live in Indiana, you are not eligible to get a library card.
How do I get a card?
You can come into the library and fill out a short application to get a library card.
You must also present a photo ID with proof of residence when signing up for a card. One way to do this is to present an official government ID showing your current name and address, such as a driver’s license or passport. However, we realize that when you’ve recently moved, you may be unable to update the information on these IDs immediately. Along with your photo ID, you must present one of the following: a computer-generated credit card, bank, or utility statement, lease or rental agreement, or doctor or hospital statement issued within the past 30 days that shows both your full name and your current address.
If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must be present, and they must sign your application when you apply for a library card. Proof of residence must be presented in the parent or guardian’s name.
Is there a minimum age to receive a library card?
The library does not set a minimum age for cardholders. We believe that parents are the people best suited to determine when their child is ready to get their own card. If you are considering whether to sign your child up for a card, remember that they will be able to use it to check out a wide range of materials on their own and that they will be responsible for returning materials on time and in good condition. All fines and fees assessed to a minor’s card are the parent or guardian’s responsibility.
I don’t live or own property in the city of Whiting, but I’d like to check out materials. Can I do that?
There are a few different ways in which people who do not reside in our library district can still check out materials at the library. Which one applies to you will depend on your specific situation:
- If you live in the library district of an Indiana library that is a participant in the Statewide Reciprocal Borrowing Covenant, you may be eligible for a reciprocal borrower’s card. See this list of libraries to determine if your home library participates in reciprocal borrowing. To get a reciprocal card with us, you must have a resident card with an account in good standing at your participating home library. Reciprocal borrowers can check out materials owned by the Whiting Public Library, but they may not be able to access some digital library services.
- If you want to be able to borrow items from libraries all over the state (not just ours) and you live in an area served by an Indiana library district, you may be interested in purchasing a Public Library Access Card (PLAC). The difference between PLAC and reciprocal borrowing is that a PLAC allows you to use libraries that don’t participate in the Reciprocal Borrowing Covenant. See the “Public Library Access Cards” section below.
- If you do not live in the state, you are not eligible to get a library card or check out materials at an Indiana public library. You may, however, use the library’s computers (see “I don’t have a card with the library, but I need to use the computer. What can I do?”
Please note that events and programs at the Whiting Public Library are open to all members of the public, regardless of where you’re from!
Can I use my library card at other libraries?
If you have a Resident Evergreen library card, you are able to use your library card at any Evergreen member library in Indiana. In addition, our library participates in reciprocal borrowing agreements with several other libraries in the state. If you are a patron in good standing, you can get additional cards at many other libraries across the state. WPL would remain your home library; you would be a reciprocal borrower at a different library. To determine whether you can get a reciprocal card at a specific library, see this list.
If you want to be able to borrow items from all public libraries in the state, you may also be interested in a Public Library Access Card (PLAC). See the “Public Library Access Cards” section below.
What are Public Library Access Cards?
If you want to be able to borrow items from all public libraries in the state, you may be interested in a Public Library Access Card (PLAC). The PLAC program allows you to borrow materials directly from any public library in Indiana. Any individual who holds a valid Indiana public library card may obtain a PLAC. As of January 2018, the fee for a PLAC is $65.00. PLACs expire one year from the date of application for the card. See the Indiana State Library’s PLAC Rules and Guidelines for more information.
Why doesn’t my library card allow me to use your digital services?
Some of the library’s digital services are only available to resident library patrons. In general, this is due to the library’s contractual agreements with service vendors, which are based on the legally defined area of the Whiting Public Library District. If your library card is not a resident card, you will not be able to use certain digital services.
How long is my card good for?
As long as you live in the area and are actively using the library in good faith, we won’t revoke your card. Each card type has an expiration date; however, renewing an expired card is usually a simple process.
Resident cards expire after two years; all other cards (e.g., reciprocal and PLAC cards) expire after one. This doesn’t mean you need to get a new card at that time. Instead, this is just a way for us to make sure our patron information is up to date. When your card expires, you must come in to verify and/or update your contact information. Once that’s done, you’ll be ready to start using library services again.
There are a couple of other special circumstances worth pointing out. When a young adult turns 18, they will need to change their status to Adult. (An adult card will allow you to use even more of the library’s services, including checking out movies, placing holds, and borrowing material throughout the Evergreen Indiana Consortium.) If you move away, you will have to get a new card at your new local library.
I lost my card. What do I do?
If you’ve lost your card, you must pay for a replacement in order to check out items. The replacement fee is $2. To get your new card, you must come into the library, present proof of identity and residence, and verify your contact information.