Loan Policies and Services
of Skokie Public Library

Library cards Returning library materials
Loan periods Extended loan fees
Loan limits Lost materials
Renewals LINKin and interlibrary loan

Library Cards

  • Skokie residents
    Applications for Library cards are available at the West Circulation Desk or online. One form of identification with name, photo, and address (such as a current driver's license or state I.D.) that demonstrates Skokie residency is required. The signature of a parent or guardian is required for applicants aged 15 and younger. Skokie Public Library cardholders are also entitled to basic borrowing privileges at any of the RAILS member public libraries.
  • Skokie businesses
    Companies based in Skokie or those with a current membership in the Skokie Chamber of Commerce may apply for a business Library card. Businesses with Library cards may:
    • Check out materials
    • Attend Library programs
    • Attend computer classes
    • Use Library computers to access the Web and email
    • Use the Business Center and meeting rooms
    Application forms are available for download.PDF

    Current documentation (dated within the last year) such as a business license, property tax bill, or utility bill by the owner or manager of the business must be presented with the application. Documentation must show the name and address of the business. The business owner/manager takes responsibility for materials checked out and any charges assessed to the card(s).

    Please return completed form and documentation to:
    Skokie Public Library
    Attention: Circulation Department
    5215 Oakton Street
    Skokie, Illinois 60077

  • Skokie school teachers
    Teachers working in schools that serve the children of Skokie are eligible for Skokie Public Library cards. The school principal must sign an authorization form supplied by the Library and send a staff list approving use of the card by the administrators, teachers, and aides included on the list. Each person authorized for checkout privileges has their own Library card with a separate barcode. The card is issued first in the name of the school, followed by the person's name (e.g., EDISON SCHOOL Linda Jones). Library cards are given to each school for distribution to school personnel.
  • Students at Skokie schools
    Residents of neighboring communities who attend school fulltime in Skokie and who hold a valid library card from one of the RAILS member public libraries may bring their library card and a photo I.D. (such as a current driver's license or state I.D.) with their current address to Skokie Public Library to register for reciprocal borrowing privileges. For students in Skokie schools who live in Chicago or an unincorporated area not served by a RAILS library, proof of their enrollment at the Skokie school for the current school year is required (class schedule, proof of tuition payment, or letter from the school principal). If the student is under 16 years of age, a parent or guardian must provide proof of home address. The card is valid for the school year, September through August. The fee for one year is $150, but will be prorated depending on when during the year the card is purchased.
  • Residents of neighboring communities
    Patrons who hold a valid library card from one of the RAILS member public libraries may bring their library card and a photo I.D. (such as a current driver's license or state I.D.) with their current address to Skokie Public Library to register for reciprocal borrowing privileges. Reciprocal borrowing entitles each cardholder to check out up to ten (10) items from Skokie Public Library. Chicago Public Library cardholders are not eligible for reciprocal borrowing privileges. Patrons not eligible for reciprocal borrowing privileges may purchase a Skokie Public Library card for the cost of taxpayer support of north suburban libraries. The fee is $300 per year or $150 for a six-month card.
  • Lost Library cards
    Lost or stolen Skokie Public Library cards must be reported to the Library immediately. There is a $1 charge for a replacement card. Please notify other libraries where you have registered your card. Remember, your library card is as valuable as a credit card.
  • Expired Library cards
    When your Skokie Library card expires bring it to the West Circulation desk along with one piece of identifiction that shows your name and address. If you no longer have the card there will be a $1 replacement fee.

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Loan Periods

  • Three (3) weeks: Books, audiobooks, eReaders, CDs, and magazines
  • Two (2) weeks: Most Wanted books, new adult books, and display books
  • One (1) week: DVDs, Playaway videos, video games, comic books, Digital Media Lab equipment, and STEAM sets

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Loan Limits

  • Loan limits for Skokie cardholders
    • Limit of two (2): Most Wanted books and Hot Picks DVDs
    • Limit of one (1) eReader
    • Limit of one (1) Little Learner set
  • Loan limits for residents from neighboring communities
    • Limit of ten (10) items checked out per card
    • Most Wanted books, Hot Picks DVDs, eReaders, Little Learner sets, Digital Media Lab equipment, and STEAM sets are available for checkout by Skokie cardholders only
    • Items may be reserved for Skokie cardholders only
  • Loan limits all cardholders
    • Limit of ten (10) DVDs
    • Limit of ten (10) video games
    • Limit of three (3) per title for magazines and comics
    • Limit of two (2) Playaway videos

Digital formats including eBooks, eAudio, eVideo, and eMusic are available for Skokie cardholders only. Check with the Customer Services Department for loan periods and limits.

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Most items may be renewed up to three (3) times. Display books and eReaders may only be renewed one (1) time. Items may be renewed only if they have not been requested by another person. Items that may not be renewed include: Most Wanted books, Hot Picks DVDs, comics, and Little Learner sets. Check with the Customer Services Department for renewal limits on new and developing collections.

  • You may renew items online when you access your Library account. A list of your checked-out items will be at the bottom of the screen; you may renew all items or select those to be renewed individually.
  • With a touchtone phone, you may renew titles from home. Have your Library card and materials (with their barcodes) ready when you dial 847.673.2675. An automated voice will give you instructions. The system will advise you if an item is non-renewable. Please listen for new due dates otherwise items may not renew.

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All circulating library materials may be reserved by Skokie Public Library cardholders except Most Wanted books, display books, Hot Picks DVDs, magazines, comics, and Little Learner sets. Up to three titles may be reserved over the telephone. A maximum of fifteen reserve titles are allowed on a patron card at any one time.

Cardholders may reserve items online via our catalog, available at Search for the title you would like and, if all copies are currently checked out, click on the REQUEST IT link. You will then be prompted to enter your last name and Skokie Public Library card barcode number.

Patrons will be notified that their reserve items are ready by email if there is a valid email address in their patron record. If there is no email address, an automated telephone calling system will notify patrons that their items are ready. Due to the large volume of reserved items, please be advised that reserves will not be ready for pickup until you have been notified by telephone or email.

Email notification will provide the title of the reserved item. The automated telephone calling system is unable to give this information. Please inform the Customer Services staff of any changes in email addresses or telephone numbers.

Library Express is a service that allows Skokie Public Library cardholders to have reserved items delivered to their door via the U.S. Postal Service. Delivery is $2 per item.

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Returning Library Materials

Library materials may be returned to our automated checkin system located near the West Circulation Desk, to the drop slots near the East Entrance, to our drop boxes located in the south side drive, or to the Bookmobile. Items checked out from Skokie Public Library may also be returned to nearby libraries.

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Extended Loan Fees

  • 10¢ per day: All youth materials except DVDs, Blu-rays, and Digital Players
  • 15¢ per day: All adult materials except Most Wanted books, DVDs, Blu-rays, and Digital Players
  • 25¢ per day: Most Wanted books
  • $1 per day: DVDs, Blu-rays, and Digital Players

The maximum fine on most overdue items is $5 or the price of the item, whichever is less. The fine limit for DVDs, Blu-rays, and Digital Players is the cost of the item.

There is a fine of $3 for any barcode or interlibrary loan wrapper which is defaced or removed from Skokie Public Library material.

Patrons may view their Library account to see if any Library Express or extended loan fees are due on items currently checked out. Fees may be paid online or at the East or West Circulation Desk.

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Lost Materials

Patrons who lose library materials will be charged the replacement cost of the item. Patrons will receive receipts when paying for lost materials, and must present this receipt to receive a refund, minus overdue charges, should they locate and return the materials within three months.

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LINKin and Interlibrary Loan

LINKin is a partnership between Skokie Public Library, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Cook Memorial Public Library District, Deerfield Public Library, Gail Borden Public Library, and Naperville Public Library that provides quick access to the collections of the partner libraries when materials are checked out, or not available, at Skokie Public Library. Items can be borrowed from the partner libraries and sent to Skokie Public Library within three or four days. Patrons will be notified by phone or email when the item is ready for pickup.

Materials not owned by Skokie Public Library and not available through LINKin may be requested by Skokie cardholders at the Information Services Desk, the Readers' Services Desk, the Movies, Music & More desk, or in Youth Services. Patrons can also search other libraries to find materials available for checkout at libraries in neighboring communities.

Interlibrary loan requests may be made online via our catalog, available at  Search for the title you would like and, if Skokie Public Library does not own the item, click on the Can't find it? link at the bottom of the page.  Follow the directions for Interlibrary loan to place your request.

If the item is less than six months old, click on the Library purchase suggestion link at the top of the Can't find it? page.  Follow the directions to have the item considered for acquisition by the Library.

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