Library Card


Who can get a library card, how to apply, and how to use your library card.


Library Card Eligibility

All residents of Emmetsburg are eligible for a library card at the Emmetsburg Public Library.  By virtue of a contract, all rural residents of Palo Alto County are also eligible for a card.  All residents of Iowa with a library card in good standing at any of over 600 participating libraries statewide may also obtain a card.

Library Card Applications

Patrons may obtain a card by filling out an application at the library.  Patrons will need a valid driver's license or non-driver ID card to complete the form.  For legal minors, a parent's signature is required.

Library Cards

Patrons will receive a credit card style card with a barcode.  They will present this when they want to check items out from the library.  Patrons are encouraged to have their card in-hand when checking out materials and are discouraged from letting others use their library card.  Family cards are discouraged.

Checking Items Out and Renewals

The librarian will stamp the items you check out with their due date.  Please return the items by this date.  If you need more time to finish the item, then you may call the library at 712-852-4009 or email to have your items renewed.  If there are no people waiting for the items, then they will be renewed for the length of their original checkout period.

Overdue Fines

Items kept out past their due date will be assesed a $0.10/day fine.  These fines will accrue each day the library is open.   Items are considered overdue if they are returned after the library is closed on the date due.  The library staff checks both book drops upon opening.   Patrons may keep a balance of back fines, but are required to pay the balance off if it exceeds $5.00 before they may check out more items.

Overdue Notices

The library staff attempts to contact people with overdue item(s) after the item(s) is(are) two weeks overdue.  Overdue notices are sent out monthly in the mail.  Items that are a month overdue can not be renewed.  If an item is kept out two months past its due date, then the library will send a certified letter threatening legal action.  It is considered theft under the Iowa Code to keep library materials two months past their due date.


If the library owns an item that you would like to borrow, but it is checked out, then you may reserve that item.  By reserving an item, you are put in line to receive that item when it is returned, or when all those having requested the item previously have had it.  You may reserve your own items on the library catalog You can do this by searching for an item, bringing up its copy information, and clicking on reserve.  Click on My Account, you will then be prompted for your barcode number.  This is found on the reverse side of your library card.  The Pin number is the last four numbers of your barcode.