Get A Card

Waukegan residents can get a library card or sign up for a temporary library card. This card will allow you to use all of our online resources. Click to register for a temporary library card.

Walk-ins are subject to availability. Call 847-775-2538 to make an appointment. Last appointment for the day will be scheduled 1-hour before closing.

For more information on the types of cards available or documentation needed, please see below.

Types of Cards

Adult Residents are patrons in the ninth (9th) grade and above, or aged 14 or older. These patrons are entitled to full privileges to library services and resources. Cards are issued for two (2) years.
Youth Residents are patrons in the eighth (8th) grade or below, or who are under the age of 14. When a parent or guardian registers a minor child they accept responsibility for their child’s card use. Cards are issued for two (2) years.
Property Owners are patrons who do not live in Waukegan but who pay real estate taxes for property owned within the city limits. These patrons are entitled to full privileges to library services and resources. Cards are issued for one (1) year.
Organizations or businesses with a Waukegan mailing address, verified by TIN paperwork or business permit, are issued a card in the name of the organization. These patrons are entitled to full privileges to library services and resources. Cards are issued for one (1) year.
Temporary library patrons are temporary residents of Waukegan in housing considered to be any residence where the stay is of a short term nature. These patrons are limited to two items checked out at a time and are not able to borrow video games. Cards are issued for three (3) months.
Staff and Trustees are patrons who are current members of the Library staff, or Board of Trustees. These patrons are entitled to full privileges to library services and resources. Cards are valid while serving the Waukegan Public Library. Leaving employment or service of the library will result in reclassifying the library card as an Adult Resident, if applicable, with standard privileges.
Fee patrons do not live in any library service area and pay a fee which is set annually in accordance with Illinois state law. These patrons are entitled to full library privileges. Cards are issued for one (1) year and limited to two cards per household. These cards may be renewed with the payment of the set fee.
Homebound patrons are those who receive home delivery from the library and are limited to borrowing items with a three week loan period (21 days). Homebound patrons have the option to continue as Adult Resident borrowers with the help of an authorized user to check out and return materials for them according to regular loan periods. Homebound status may be verified by the Home Delivery Coordinator annually. Cards are issued for two (2) years.
Reciprocal borrowers are patrons with current library cards in good standing from participating reciprocal libraries. These patrons are entitled to all library privileges and resources except for certain online resources/databases, as stipulated by the vendor. Reciprocal library cards have the same expiration date as their home library card. Library staff will confirm the borrower’s card status at their home library at the time of registration or renewal.
Teachers are patrons who are employed by a public/private school in the Waukegan Public School District 60 service area, but do not live in the Waukegan Public Library service area. These patrons are entitled to full library privileges. Cards are issued for one (1) year. Learn more about services for teachers & schools here.

Getting a Card

A library card is available to all Waukegan residents – and best of all, it’s free! To get a card you need to bring:

  • Valid (non-expired) driver’s license or state ID with your current address
  • If you do not have a driver’s license or state ID with your current address, you must bring two pieces of identification with your name, one of which must include your current address, and only one may be a piece of mail. These include a valid (non-expired) passport (US or foreign), valid consulate ID card (Matricula Consular, etc.), employee or student ID card, pay stub, most recent federal or state income tax return, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter, lease agreement, utility bill (gas, cable, phone, etc.) or mail delivered within the last 90 days, vehicle registration, voter registration card, or personal check.

Library cards are valid for 2-year periods, and they’re free!

Applying for a non-resident card? Please check the descriptions under “types of cards” above to see what, if any, additional documentation you may need to provide.

Click here to download our Library Card Application. When you’ve completed it, just bring it to the Customer Service desk (or the Hinkston Branch) and we’ll set up your new account!

Lost Cards

Please let us know if your library card is lost so that we may replace it (and so you can avoid any unauthorized activity on your acccount.) There is no replacement fee for lost WPL cards. Waukegan Public Library is unable to replace library cards originally issued by other libraries.

Fines & Fees

Borrowing anything from the library is free with a few exceptions. Although the library does not charge overdue fines, you are still responsible for returning or renewing your items by the due date. If you sign up for email or text notifications with My Card, you will receive an email or text reminder two days before your items are due. You’ll also receive email, text, and printed reminders if your items remain overdue past seven days.

Fees are still applied to damaged items and items that are not returned at all.  To see a list of overdue and damage fees for all items, click here.

You can check on due dates, ask about fines, and renew items by using My Card or by calling us. We send due date reminders by email and overdue notices by mail or email. Keep your contact information up-to-date with My Card to keep receiving these notices. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to return items to the library on time and in good condition.