Circulation Policy

Library Cards

Wheaton Residents

Residents of corporate Wheaton, with their permanent residence within the legal boundaries of the City of Wheaton, are eligible to receive library cards from the Wheaton Public Library (WPL). A library card will be issued after the resident has completed the application and presented the proper identification to prove residency. WPL requires one form of identification with name and current Wheaton address. A parent or guardian must be present and sign for the library card of a minor who is under 18 years of age. Resident cards are valid for three years and will be automatically renewed if there are no charges and the resident has not moved.

Acceptable forms of ID:

  • Driver’s license or State ID
  • Rental Agreement or Bill of Sale/Contract for home
  • Current vehicle registration
  • Checking account
  • Current Utility Bill (within 60 days)
  •  Mail with recent postmark (within 60 days)


Wheaton Property Owners

A non-resident who is an individual or is a partner, principal stockholder, or other joint owner who owns taxable property in corporate Wheaton is eligible to receive a WPL card. A Wheaton property owner must present a copy of their most recent real estate tax bill when applying for the card. Wheaton Property Owner cards are valid for one year.

Wheaton College Students

Wheaton College students must present a current student I.D. to receive a WPL card. The cards will be valid for one year.

Temporary Residents

A temporary resident living in the City of Wheaton for a minimum of thirty consecutive days will be issued a temporary WPL card with an appropriate expiration date. Proof of residency must be provided. Proof of permanent address will be required. A non-refundable fee of $25.00 will be charged for every 30 day period.


A non-resident is defined as a property owner or renter who resides in an area that is not taxed for public library service. A non-resident who lives within Wheaton Unit School District 200 boundaries can purchase a WPL card by presenting their most recent tax bill. The fee is determined by state formula. Non-resident cards are valid for one year.

Non-resident cards are available free to:

  • Veterans and surviving spouses who provide documentation that they are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence
  • Students age 18 and under who attend a Wheaton school and provide documentation that they receive free or reduced-priced lunches.


Wheaton Businesses

Business library cards are issued to owners with a business address in corporate Wheaton. The owner or chief executive officer of the business must present a business card or a letter on organizational letterhead and sign the application for a Business Library Card. The owner or chief executive officer is responsible for any fees, damages or loss of materials checked out on the card. Only one business library card per business will be issued. Business cards are valid for one year.


WPL provides library materials to teachers and authorized school personnel in public, private or parochial schools located within the City of Wheaton or District 200 school boundaries for use in their Pre-K through 12th grade classrooms. This service will not be provided to college/university students enrolled in a teaching degree program. School Principals will submit a list of authorized teachers to WPL annually. Library cards will be issued to teachers who wish to use this service which expires on August 31 each year. Schools are responsible for any fees, damages or loss of materials checked out on a teacher’s card.

Reciprocal Borrowers

WPL will extend reciprocal borrowing privileges to patrons of any library that extends privileges to cardholders of WPL. Individuals presenting a valid card from another public library in Illinois may borrow items from WPL, provided that their privileges in their home library are not suspended for any reason. Reciprocal borrowers may check out library material but cannot place holds on WPL material, request interlibrary loans, download eContent or access databases remotely.

Library Staff

Employees of the WPL who do not live in the City of Wheaton will be issued a courtesy WPL card upon employment. It cannot be used for reciprocal borrowing purposes.


Borrowing Materials

Loan of Materials

Materials may be checked out by the holder of any library card that is not expired and has less than $10.00 in charges. In general, there are no limits on the number of items that may be checked out by a patron at one time, but the library may place restrictions when necessary. The cardholder is responsible for all materials checked out on their card. There are no age restrictions on borrowing any library materials. Parents/guardians are responsible for all materials checked out on a juvenile card linked to their account.

Loan Periods

WPL sets loan periods in order to provide patrons with fair and reasonable access to the library’s resources.

  • New Adult Fiction Books – 2 weeks
  • All other Books and Audiobooks – 3 weeks
  • DVDs and Blu-rays – 1 week
  • Music CDs, Magazines, Discover Packs, CD Kits, Learning Kits – 2 weeks
  • Video Games, Tech2Go, STEAM Kits – 1 week
  • Framed Art – 8 weeks
  • Reference Material, Newspapers, Current periodicals – do not circulate
  • eContent – set by the consortiums eMediaLibrary and eReadIllinois



WPL materials, except for items on hold, will be automatically renewed up to four times. When eligible, items are renewed for the same amount of time as the original checkout period.

Extended Loan

Extended six week loan periods are allowed for all WPL items except items on hold and new items.


WPL cardholders may place a hold on circulating items and will be notified when the item is ready for pickup. Items not picked up within 4 days are removed from hold and put back in circulation.

Overdue Material

WPL does not charge overdue fines for materials returned late. However, patrons are responsible for returning items on time and paying for lost and damaged materials. Notices are sent as a courtesy and the library is not responsible for the borrower’s failure to receive them.

Notice Schedule:

  • Reminder Notice – 3 days before the due date
  • 1st Overdue Notice – 3 days after the due date
  • 2nd Overdue Notice – 7 days after the due date
  • 3rd Overdue Notice – 14 days after the due date
  • Bill – 21 days after the due date; the borrower is charged for the item plus a $5.00 processing fee.
  • Recovery Agency – 35 days after the due date when the total amount owed is $25.00 or greater. The borrower will be charged an additional $10 recovery fee.


Lost Material

An item not returned within 21 days of the due date is considered lost and a bill to replace the item, including a $5.00 processing fee, will be sent. Patrons who cannot find an item may report it lost at any time and will receive a bill that includes the replacement cost and processing fee.

Damaged Material

Borrowers are liable for the cost of a damaged item, except where such damage is determined to be the result of normal wear and tear. A borrower will be assessed the price of the damaged item plus a $5.00 processing fee. If payment is made for a damaged item the borrower may keep the item. All damaged items will be discarded after 60 days.

Claims Returned

For those items that a patron claims to have returned, library staff will search for the item for 4 weeks. If the item is found, it will be cleared from the patron’s account. If the item is not found it will be considered lost and the patron will be sent a bill that includes the replacement cost plus a $5.00 processing fee.

Restriction of Borrowing Privileges

Library cards with $10.00 or more in charges will have a block placed on the account. The patron will be unable to check out materials or download eContent until the charges on the account are less than $10.00. A parent’s or guardian’s card may be blocked if the charges on a juvenile card for which they have signed exceed $10.00.

Wheaton Public Library Official Policy 4/20/15

Revision Approved 8/15/16

Revision Approved 3/19/18

Revision Approved 7/31/18

Amended 9/13/18; 2/17/20; 7/19/21

Revision Approved 4/18/22

Revision Approved 10/16/23

Policy Document
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