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Library Accounts and Circulation Policy

The Kenosha Public Library is an ever-evolving interactive learning resource that enriches our community. In support of this mission, the library seeks to have as few restrictions on the flow of information as possible, while also protecting the community’s library resources. The library does this by maintaining a database of registered borrowers and by offering patrons in good standing access to the library’s collections. A library card is required for checking out library materials, placing reserves, and requesting interlibrary loan services. Failure to abide by Library rules and regulations may result in fees and/or suspension of library card privileges.



Any resident or property owner of the City who has not abused library privileges may obtain a library card.


The Kenosha Public Library has contracted with the Kenosha County Library System to issue library cards free of charge to county property owners and those county residents living outside the city limits who have not abused library privileges. These cards are valid as long as there is a contract between the Kenosha County Library System and the Kenosha Public Library providing for open access for county residents.


The Kenosha Public Library has contracted with the Kenosha County Library System to issue Community Library cards free of charge to county property owners and those county residents living outside the city limits who reside within the Community Library service area and who have not abused library privileges. These cards are valid as long as there is a contract between the Kenosha County Library System and the Kenosha Public Library providing for open access for county residents.


Through reciprocal borrowing agreements with all library systems in Wisconsin, Kenosha Public Library will honor valid library cards issued to residents of all Wisconsin library systems except the Milwaukee County Federated Library System. Residents of Lakeshores Library System and Arrowhead Library System who have not yet registered with their home library may be issued a Kenosha Public Library card with proper identification and proof of address.


Individuals who reside in temporary or transitional housing within Kenosha County are eligible for a library card after presenting a letter on official letterhead from the housing manager verifying the individual’s residence at that facility, or from their regular place of worship or other social service or educational agency, verifying their identity and temporary address. These accounts allow a limited checkout of 1 item.


Individuals who reside outside contracting counties or participating library systems may purchase non-resident cards. The annual fee for a non-resident card is stated below.


Institutions located in Kenosha County may apply for an institutional library card. These cards carry the same responsibilities and borrowing privileges as individual cards.


Teachers employed by public or private preschools or K-12 educational institutions within Kenosha County may apply for a Teacher Card with longer checkout privileges and exemption from extended use fees.


The library participates in the SHARE automation network and works cooperatively with other SHARE libraries in Kenosha, Racine, Walworth, and Rock counties to maintain borrowers’ records and lend materials. Library patrons of any SHARE library enjoy lending privileges at the Kenosha Public Library by presenting their home library card.

Library staff will require those applying for new library cards or replacing lost cards to present documentation sufficient to establish their identity and place of residence. There shall be no charge for issuing a first card on new accounts. Replacement cards are $1.00. All library cards are valid for 2 years from the date of issue and can be renewed at no charge. Patrons will be asked to verify address prior to account renewal. Documentation is not required to renew a current library account.

Patrons applying for library cards agree to accept responsibility for library materials borrowed with the library card until they report the card lost or stolen. Patrons agree to pay extended use fees for materials returned to the library after their due date unless those materials are exempt from extended use fees, and to reimburse the library for materials that are lost, damaged or stolen.

The library will require that a parent or legal guardian present documentation sufficient to establish their identity and place of residence and sign the application form for their minor child in order for the child’s account to enjoy full privileges. Children 9 years or older may receive a library card without parental consent that allows a limited checkout of 1 item. Parents will be notified by mail that their children have received a library card, which may be upgraded to full privileges with a parent’s signature.

  • Parents or guardians are responsible for their minor children’s use of library material, including payment of any fees or charges incurred by their children.
  • Each family shall have the right and responsibility of setting standards for their own children; standards applied to their child shall not be imposed on anyone else’s child.
  • Under Wisconsin Statute 43.30, the library will disclose to custodial parents or guardians any records of use by children under the age of 16. A parent or guardian requesting such records may be asked to provide proof that they are a custodial parent and have not been denied periods of physical placement under s. 767.24(4). Examples of such proof include possession of the child’s library card number, a valid library card or government issued photo ID showing the same address as the child, or any other set of documents that demonstrate to library staff satisfaction that the requester is the custodial parent or guardian of the child whose records have been requested. Requestors who are denied access may appeal the decision to the Library Director or the Library Board.

A library card or photo ID will be required to check out materials at the Kenosha Public Library. Library staff will be able to check out reserve materials to a borrower for a friend or family member only if the borrower is in possession of the friend or family member’s library card or if the accounts have been electronically linked per both borrowers’ request.

Library staff may deny borrowing privileges to cardholders:

  • not presenting their card or other identification
  • with an account that is not in good standing due to fees which surpasses the designated fees and/or unreturned material threshold of $10.00.


A person who loses his/her library card or has it stolen must notify the library of the loss as soon as possible. He/she is responsible for any materials checked out prior to notifying the library. To replace a lost or stolen card, library staff will require documentation sufficient to establish the patron’s identity and place of residence. A replacement card will be provided for a $1.00 fee.


In order to provide a seamless library experience, KPL loan periods and limits are set to mirror those of most libraries in the SHARE catalog consortium. Items borrowed from libraries outside Kenosha County are subject to the rules established by the owning library, which may occasionally vary from the rules outlined in this policy. Library patrons should always monitor their checkout receipt or online account information to verify due dates. Most items checked out with no outstanding reserves may be renewed. Current loan periods for items owned by KPL are as follows:

  • Hot Collection - 1 week, no holds or renewals
  • Interlibrary loan materials – 3 weeks (or time period set by lender), no renewals
  • Magazines – 1 week, 3 renewals
  • DVDs and Blu-Rays- 2 weeks, 1 renewal
  • Book Club Kits - 6 weeks, 1 renewal
  • Computer/Hotspot Kits and Hotspot Kits - 4 weeks, 2 renewals
  • Library equipment used in-house – 4 hours
  • Books, Audiobooks, Developmental Collection, EReaders, Music, Games, and other materials not listed – 3 weeks, 3 renewals

Borrowers in good standing may check out an unlimited number of items.

Kenosha Public Library adheres to the Library Bill of Rights, including the statement that “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” Checkout of library materials is not restricted by age. KPL recognizes parents as the final judge on what their child should read or view. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate in a child’s selection and use of library materials.


Overdue reminders are sent to borrowers via mail, email, text message, or phone call. Borrowers should rely upon receipts provided at checkout for material due dates and can use tools such as their online account to view checkout dates and manage renewals. Courtesy notices alerting borrowers to pending due dates will be emailed or texted to those people providing contact information at registration.


The Library Director has the authority to establish rules to ensure that certain materials and equipment may not be checked out, so that they are regularly available for in-library use.


Registered borrowers may place up to 200 reserves on circulating items in the catalog. Some collections, such as browsing collections of new, high interest materials, are not eligible for reserves. Reserves are held four business days from the date a notification is sent for patron pickup.


The library may charge a fee or recover costs for the following:

  • Lost library card replacement: $1.00
  • Damaged or non-returned items: Retail cost of replacement; $50 minimum for ILL item
  • Photocopies/document delivery: $.15 B&W per page, $.25 Color per page
  • Faxes: $1.00 per page
  • Nonresident Library Card: $50 annually

Items returned after the due date will incur the following extended use fees:

  • Adult books and magazines $.25/day, maximum accrual of $5.00 per item
  • All audiovisual materials $.25/day, maximum accrual of $5.00 per item
  • Interlibrary loan materials and Developmental Kits - $1.00 per day, maximum accrual of $5.00 per item
  • Equipment - $1.00 per day, maximum accrual of $5.00 per item

Children’s books and magazines do not accrue extended use fees. Cardholders with billed materials or fees over $10.00 will experience a temporary suspension of borrowing privileges until the charges are resolved.

Teens aged 12-19 may enroll in the library's Read it Off program to reduce accrued overdue fines.


If an item is lost or damaged, the borrower will be billed for the current retail replacement cost of the item. Patrons may purchase a replacement copy but the replacement copy must have a matching ISBN or product code and be in new condition. KPL adheres to a 50 day return policy. Items not returned within 50 days of the last due date will be assumed lost.

The library is not responsible for damage done to personal equipment while using library materials.


All library circulation records are confidential under Wisconsin Statute 43.30, except those of children under age 16 as noted above under Registration and Borrowing Privileges.

Approved, KPL Board of Trustees: 
Tuesday, May 11, 2021