Library Card Registration Policy

Free library cards are available to all residents of and/or property owners in the City of Champaign. Individuals must present photo identification and verification of their current address.


A parent or legal guardian's signature is required for anyone under the age of 18 to acquire a library card. By signing the registration form, parents/guardians acknowledge responsibility for the items borrowed, fees incurred, and their children’s selection of materials. Thanks to a partnership with Champaign Unit 4 Schools, children and teens enrolled in Unit 4 schools can get a library card regardless of where they live. Parents/guardians need to complete and sign a school card application.

Unit 4 Teachers

Thanks to a partnership with Champaign Unit 4 Schools, teachers can get a library card regardless of where they live. Teachers will need to show a valid Unit 4 school ID.

Limited Cards for Minors/Three Books Only

A library card limited to three books may be obtained by minors who have a school ID, or a parent or someone 18 years or older with a photo ID willing to sign for a minor without an ID.  These cards will also allow access to online databases, as well as access to downloadable materials.

Restricting Minors’ Access to R-Rated Videos

Parents/guardians have the option of not allowing their minor children to use their own cards to check out videos rated R and above (ratings given by the Motion Picture Association of America). Parents/guardians may mark their preference on the library card registration form.

Businesses and Organizations

Businesses and organizations located within the corporate limits of the City of Champaign may obtain a free library card for their employees who are not able to otherwise qualify for a Champaign library card. To complete the form to request cards for your employees, visit our Cards for Business page. Our staff will contact you for additional information to complete the applications.

Temporary residents (short term/limited use)

The library extends limited borrowing privileges to persons who are living in temporary residences, group homes, or extended stay facilities within the corporate limits of Champaign. The cards are available to persons age 18 and over. Photo identification is required as well as one of the following forms of verification of residence: a letter from an official of the temporary residence or group home, or proof of payment of current rental charges at an extended stay facility.

These cards are issued for a six-month period and are limited to a checkout maximum of 10 items. The cards may be renewed for additional six-month periods following verification of identification and residence as above.


Non-residents may purchase a non-resident library card. Non-residents must present photo identification, verification of address, and their most recent property tax bill or a copy of their rental lease. Non-resident cards may only be purchased by residents in Champaign Unit 4 school district.  The non-resident fee shall be based upon the library tax rate for the year in which the card is being purchased in.

Illinois Heartland Library System

Champaign Public Library is a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System. Champaign Public Library’s cardholders may borrow items at any other public library within the Illinois Heartland Library System, including those in Urbana, Mahomet, Monticello, St. Joseph, Tolono, Rantoul, and Danville, unless otherwise restricted from time to time by other libraries in the system according to their policies and procedures. Champaign Public Library cardholders may be required to present proof of identification and their valid Champaign Public Library card to register for borrowing privileges at other libraries.

Library cardholders from other public libraries in the Illinois Heartland Library System and other public libraries in Illinois may register for borrowing privileges at the Champaign Public Library by presenting proof of identification and a valid library card from their local library.

Limitations for Reciprocal Borrowers

To preserve the ability of the Champaign Public Library to meet the needs of local customers, the Library may limit or restrict reciprocal borrowing levels, interlibrary loan privileges, hold request privileges, and access privileges to subscription databases of cardholders from other Illinois public libraries. Reciprocal borrowers may have up to 20 items checked out at any given time.  Restrictions imposed on reciprocal borrowers will be reviewed at least annually by the Board of Trustees.

Special Borrowing and Lending Agreements

The Champaign Public Library may enter into special borrowing and lending agreements with other libraries that participate in the Library’s automated catalog.

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees on February 17, 2021

Questions? Ask us.


Questions? Ask Us.