Get a Library Card

How to Apply or Renew Your Card

Getting a library card is easy and free! Rock Island Public Library Cards are funded by taxes paid in Rock Island and the Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District. If you are a resident, you may apply at any Rock Island Public Library location or online.

Not sure about your residency status? Contact our Circulation Department. We’ll be happy to check if you live within our service area and qualify for a card.

You can apply or renew an existing card at any Rock Island Public Library location or online. A photo ID is required for registration at our library locations.  A secondary ID will only be required if your photo ID does not list your current address. For minors under age 17, identification must be provided by parent or guardian.

Apply for a Library Card Online

Man wearing baseball cap holding up RIPL library card

Types of Cards We Offer

Rock Island Public Library kids card design (front)

My First Library Card

  • For children six and under. (Card expires on 6th birthday.) 
  • A parent or guardian must provide ID for children at registration.
  • Built-in limits to help parents control use. 
  • Check out up to 10 children's items (Rock Island Library locations only)
  • Internet use and holds are not available.
  • Lost or damaged items charged to parent or guardian.

Rock Island Public Library library card design (front)

Full-Access Library Card

  • Full borrowing privileges, online holds, and library computer time.
  • Available to residents ages six and up.
  • A parent or guardian must provide ID for children ages 6-17 at registration.
  • Access to ALL library services, including digital services and online research tools.
  • Use your card to check out materials at other PrairieCat libraries.
  • Rock Island Library is fine free on most items. See "How Do-I? or our Fine Free Policy for details.
  • Renew your card every three years.  We’ll notify you by email when it’s time!

Rock Island Public Library eCard image

Digital Cards

Don’t have time to visit our library but still want to use our digital resources, such as Libby (OverDrive,) eRead Illinois, Hoopla, and Kanopy?  Apply for our RIPL eCard, a virtual public library card that allows access to all our electronic resources. After address verification, the library card barcode will be sent via email within a few business days. 

  • Must be age 14 or older.
  • Rock Island/Milan-Blackhawk Area Public Library District residency required.
  • All digital resources return automatically and never accumulate overdue fines.
  • eCards expire after one year. You can renew 10 days before it expires or later.
  • Be sure to choose RIPL eCard when you register online. 

To check out physical materials, request interlibrary loans (ILL,) or reserve time on a library computer, you'll need a full-access library card. You can upgrade at any Rock Island Library location. Present photo ID with verification of current address to upgrade to a full-service library card.

Other Situations & Additional Card Types

On-campus Augustana students can receive temporary public library borrowing privileges. To apply, bring your Augie student ID, and an ID with your permanent home address, and either a class schedule or tuition bill. 

Off-campus Augustana students living in our Rock Island service area full time qualify for a standard RIPL card. Standard application ID applies. 

Rock Island Public Library cardholders may also use the Augustana College library.

Individuals who reside outside our service area, but own property or a business within it, are eligible for a library card. Proof of property ownership required. Please contact the library for details.

Individuals living in Rock Island/Milan shelters or temporary housing may qualify for a temporary library card. The card includes computer access. Up to three Rock Island items (certain limits apply) may be checked out at a time. This card expires every three months, and may be renewed. To apply, bring in a letter from your shelter or agency.

By agreement with the Davenport Public Library, we allow Davenport cardholders to check out items in person at Rock Island Public Libraries. 

  • Bring your Davenport library card and ID with your name and current street address. 
  • Your Davenport card must be current and in good standing to qualify for interstate access. 
  • Online holds are not available. Checkout on some items may be limited to Illinois cardholders only. Please ask for details.

If you reside outside our service area, and are not served by another public library, you may qualify to purchase a non-resident card. The cost of this card is set by Illinois State law {75 ILCS 16/30-55(60)}. Please contact us for the current non-resident rate.

What Qualifies as a Primary Photo ID?

If your photo identification has a current address in our service area, that's all we need. 

Photo IDs must be current (i.e., not expired) and unaltered. 

Acceptable Photo IDs: 

  • Driver's license or state ID with or without current address. 
  • School ID  
  • Employee ID  
  • Valid passport 
  • Military ID 
  • FOID card 
  • Fitness center ID (RIFAC, YMCA, etc.)

If your photo ID does not include your current home address, you may supply a secondary ID to prove residency in our Rock Island/Milan-Blackhawk Area Library District service area.

This secondary ID must contain your name and current address.

 Acceptable Secondary IDs may include:  

  • Illinois driver's license or state ID with current address 
  • Voter's Registration card 
  • Utility bill 
  • Lease agreement with dates, address and names 
  • Property tax receipt 
  • IL Dept. of Public Aid medical card 
  • Vehicle registration 
  • Insurance policy - homeowner's or renter's policy 
  • Car insurance card (if includes address information) 
  • Current piece of mail addressed to you (postmarked within previous 30 days)


Maintaining Your Account

Lost or Stolen Cards: If your library card is lost or stolen, immediately contact our Circulation Department to prevent unauthorized use of your card. We will block the card for your protection. 

Card Replacements: If you need to replace a card before the expiration date, the replacement charge is $5. 

Change in Address, Phone Number, Email:  Please contact the library if your name, address, phone, or email changes. 

Moving Out of Town? Please contact Circulation at 309-732-7323 or email us to cancel your card.

Your Responsibility: You are responsible for all materials checked out on your library card and for charges accrued for lost or damaged items, processing, and/or collection fees, if applicable.  

Cards may not be issued or renewed due to certain situations, including: 

  • Unpaid charges on previous account(s). 
  • Unreturned materials from previous account(s). 
  • Incomplete identification or proof of residency. 

Library Cards Policy