How to Get a Library Card

A library card allows users to check out materials from the library.  Patrons are not required to have a library card to use a public computer, access the library’s wifi, participate in library programs, or use library services.

Residency Requirements:

To receive a library card, patrons must live within the corporate city limits of Indianola, be a rural resident of Warren County or live in a city/town whose library belongs to the State Library’s Open Access program.  Fees apply for anyone not meeting these criteria. 

Receiving a Card:

To receive a library card, patrons must complete a registration form in person and provide proof of identity and current residence.  EXCEPTIONS: Simpson students and DM Metro Opera performers (see Special Circumstances section below).

Acceptable proof of identity are (must contain a photo of individual):

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Government issued ID
  • Military ID
  • School ID
  • Work ID

Acceptable proof of current residence are (hardcopy or electronic form):

  • Driver’s license
  • Voter registration card
  • Government-issued ID
  • Printed checks
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Postmarked mail with individual’s name and address
  • Paystub or paycheck
  • Statements dated during the previous 30 days:
    1. Bank or credit card statement
    2. Telephone bill
    3. Lease agreement
    4. Utility bill (water, gas, electric, sewer, internet, cable, etc.) 

If proof of current residence cannot be provided at the time of registration, the patron will be allowed to open an account but will be restricted to a one-time checkout of up to 2 items checked out that day and nothing further until proof of current residence is presented to library staff.  

If a patron is under age 16, a parent/guardian must present their photo ID and proof of current residence as they are responsible for fees associated with their child’s card.   The parent/guardian must read through and sign the privacy flyer to be sure they are informed and understand the limitations they and the library staff have regarding their child’s account.   The child must be present and must sign the registration slip (if able) as well as the parent.

A parent/guardian is not required to have their own account to apply for an account for their child.

Library cards are issued at no cost.

Library cards must be updated every two years. Records not used for four years will expire and be deleted from the system.

Special Circumstances:

Simpson Students: Simpson students need to show their college ID and proof of their home (permanent) address.  Their campus address will be added to their library account, but they aren’t required to show proof of it.  Simpson student accounts will be set to expire at the end of the current academic year, but their accounts can be reactivated each year they attend Simpson.

Des Moines Metro Opera Performers: DM Opera performers need to show proof of identity and their permanent address but not their temporary Indianola address.   They will be issued temporary cards which will limit them to a total of 5 items checked out at a time.  These accounts will expire August 1st of the current year (opera season).

Cardholder Responsibilities:

Registered borrowers must present their library card or a digital representation to check out materials.  Identification with current address pre-printed on it may be used.

Cardholders are responsible for all items checked out on their cards and the payment of fines or fees incurred for those items.    Materials may be returned when the library building is closed in the outside drop box.