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Get a Card

Sign up for a free library card to borrow materials (including e-resources).

The Decatur Public Library has so much to offer our patrons! From classes and events to print and e-books to movies and music, the library has all your educational, entertainment, and even business resources covered!

Decatur Public Library Card Eligibility

Decatur Residents

A Decatur Public Library card is free for anyone that lives, pays property taxes, or attends school in Decatur, Illinois.

Out-of-City Residents (non-Decatur residents)

Individuals that do not reside in the Decatur Public Library service area but reside within Macon County are eligible for a Non-resident card by paying a non-refundable annual fee of $89.82. The Decatur Public Library must be the closest public library to their residence in order to receive a card from the Decatur Public Library.

Getting a Library Card

Residents have two library card options: a physical card or an eCard. Residents who would like to check out materials at the library will need to come in to register and receive a physical card. See below for eCard information.

Physical Card

To receive a physical card, a patron must come in to the Decatur Public Library with a government-issued ID that includes the name and current address.

Acceptable government issued IDs are:

  • Passport
  • FOID card
  • Current Illinois State Driver’s License
  • Current Illinois State Driver’s Permit
  • Current Illinois State Identification Card
  • Current Out of State Government Issued Card

If your ID does not have your current address, please bring another item that has been issued in the last 30 days as proof of address (postmarked mail, utility bill), or an imprinted bank check, a current lease or contract (within 30 days) with the applicant’s name and address, a vehicle registration card, or a deed or title for property in the city. An electronic bill, rental/lease agreement, or bank statement may be used to fulfill the residence requirement.


A card holder may also choose an e-card that allows access to our online resources only. Find out more information on eCards.

Register for eCard

Cards for Those Under 18

Individuals under the age of 18 may not apply online but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get a library card. Individuals under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian present in order to receive a physical library card. Young adults between the ages of 14 and 17 have the same borrowing privileges as an adult, at the discretion of the parent or legal guardian. The library is not responsible for monitoring content of materials checked out using a young adult card. Card holders (in the case of individuals under 18, their parent or guardian) are responsible for all materials checked out on their cards along with any fines and fees that may become associated with the card. Patrons who sign application forms agree to abide by the regulations and guidelines of the Library. All materials checked out are confidential and can only be revealed to the cardholder.

Card PIN

You get a PIN when you sign up for your library card. It’s a four-digit number that allows you access to the online catalog remotely, to log in to certain remote databases, and to get on the Internet computers. Every patron has a PIN if they have a library card, but they just might not know it and they can call us, give us their library card number, and we can provide the PIN.


The Decatur Public Library will keep confidential all records relating to your card registration and the materials you borrow.

Using Your Library Card

Renewing Your Library Card

Decatur Residents: Library cards do not expire, however address confirmation is required every three (3) years. Cards inactive for more than three years will be purged from our system. Please bring in an acceptable ID with your current address to confirm your address.

  • Non-Residents: Library cards expire every year.
  • Temporary Cards: Cards expire six months from registration
  • College Cards: Cards expire at the end of the semester

Loan Periods

All materials loaned by the Library are due a fixed number of days after they are borrowed. Items may be renewed over the counter, by phone, or through the Library’s website, providing that the item is not reserved by another patron and the patron’s account is in good standing.

The Decatur Public Library will only renew materials borrowed from other libraries according to their policies. The Decatur Public Library will not extend due dates on materials owned by other libraries.

Reserves on Material

Requests may be placed on materials online or via library staff. Patrons are then notified by mail, email or text notification when their requested materials arrive at the Library. Requested materials that are not picked up before the notification due date will be returned to the library’s collection or back to the other lending libraries.

Fines and Fees

Decatur Public Library does not charge patrons overdue fines. Patrons who have overdue materials on their card will have their cards made inactive until either the materials are renewed, returned, or paid for.

Overdue notices after 10 days and again at 20 days (after the first notice) when materials are overdue. Failure to return library materials within 10 days after the second notice will result in a bill for library materials from the library.

Items borrowed from other libraries are subject to the loan period and renewal policies of that library.

Patrons who have been assessed fees in excess of $25.00 and have not paid within 60 days may be referred to Decatur Public Library’s collection’s group Unique. Materials referred to collections may only be returned within 15 days of the collection agency notification.

Patrons who have lost library materials are charged the list price of the materials. The Decatur Public Library will not reimburse replacement costs or the cost of fees for items returned after payment has been received.

Destruction of Library Materials

Individuals who commit willful destruction of library materials and library property may be subject to legal prosecution.

Circulation Policy

To learn more about our borrowing policy, please check out policies page.