St. Francis Public Library


Frequently Asked Questions


 How do I get a library card?

Getting a library card is easy - and it's free! Here's what you need to know:

  • Library cards are available free of charge for residents of St. Francis and the other communities of Milwaukee County.
  • If you already have a current library card from another Milwaukee County library, it works here too! One card works at all Milwaukee County libraries.
  • You can use the online registration form to apply for a temporary library card. With this card, you have immediate access to online resources offered to all member libraries. Use it to download or stream ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, and magazines. You can then stop in the library to upgrade to a full service library card.
    • Children 15 and under must have a parent or legal guardian provide their signature and assume responsibility for library use by the juvenile patron, including any fines and fees incurred. The parent and/or child will need to present valid identification showing their name and current address in Milwaukee County (one item from each list below).
    • Individuals ages 16 and older must provide two forms of valid identification (one should be a photo ID) showing their name and current address in Milwaukee county. Digital forms of identification presented on a mobile device are acceptable. Young adults ages 16-18 may obtain a library card by providing the required identification or may register with their parent or legal guardian’s signature and identification. Both adults and young adults assume responsibility for the use of the card, including any associated fines and fees

Proof of Legal Name Proof of Milwaukee County Address
Valid Driver's License or State ID Current Vehicle Registration
Current Employer Photo ID Current Rental Agreement
Signed Social Security Card Recent Paycheck Stub
Passport Recent Bank Statement
Valid WI Fishing or Hunting License Recent Utility Bill
Current Military ID Checkbook with Pre-Printed Checks
Current Student Photo ID Current Insurance Card
Birth Certificate Current School Class Schedule / Report Card

  • The library uses patron photos for their protection and to safeguard the library collection. If a patron chooses not to have a photo taken and placed in their record, they may be required to show a photo ID when they use their card.
  • Patron registrations expire every two years. Registrations will be updated following the requirements listed above. In order to update a registration, all fines must be paid in full.
  • Special use cards (cardholders will be allowed to borrow materials owned by the St. Francis Library only):
  • Teacher cards are available to teachers employed at any school located in the City of St. Francis.
  • Fee cards are available to people living outside of Milwaukee County. Fee cards cost $25 and are issued and used in accordance with the MCFLS fee card policy.
  • Business cards are available for St. Francis businesses and are issued and used in accordance with the MCFLS business card policy.
  • School / Nursing Home / Day Care Center cards are available and will be issued and used in accordance with the MCFLS School / Nursing Home / Day Care Center card policy.


 How do I renew my library card?

Patron registrations expire every two years. In order to update a registration, all fines must be paid in full and patron must show 1 form of valid ID with legal name and current address. Patron photo may be retaken at the time of renewal, if needed. A parent or legal guardian must be present to update a child’s card.

Follow this link for more details on renewing your library card.

 How many things can I check out? And how long can I keep them?

You can check out as many books as you want! (Well, almost. There is a limit of 100 items that can be checked out on a card at any one time.) We do need to limit the number of media items you can check out, though. Here's a chart that shows how long you can keep them and what the limits are:


New Adult Fiction books

     450 pages or less
     more than 450 pages


14 days
3 weeks

Adult non-fiction & older fiction books
3 weeks
Child / YA non-fiction & fiction books 3 weeks
Mass-Market Paperbacks 3 weeks
Magazines 7 days
Audiobooks 3 weeks
Compact Discs 7 days (limit of 20)
DVDs 7 days (limit of 10)
DVD - Popular Picks 7 days (limit of 1) no renewals, no grace period, not holdable
Explorer Passes 3 days (limit of 1) - no renewals, no grace period, not holdable
Knitting Needles & Crochet Hooks 6 weeks
Memory Kits 3 weeks (limit of 1)
Newspapers May not be checked out
Video Games
7 days (limit of 3) - no renewals, no grace period, not holdable



 How much do you charge for overdue fees?

Adult Collection:

DVDs: $ .10 per day with NO grace period
Other items: $ .10 per day with a 3-day grace period
Explorer Passes: $5.00 per day with NO grace period


Youth Collection:

The Library does not assess overdue fine on children’s or YA materials owned by St. Francis Public Library


Fees for lost or damaged items apply to all St. Francis Library materials. Read our policy on Fines & Charges for more information.



 I returned my books in the book drop after the library was closed. Will I get an overdue fine?

Well, that depends on when the books were due. If they were due the day you dropped them off, or that was the last day of the grace period, then you will not get an overdue fine. When we empty the bookdrop in the morning, we "backdate" the items to the last day we were open.


 I paid the replacement cost for a book and now I have found it. Can I return it and get a refund?

  • A patron may receive a refund if an item that has been lost and paid for is found and returned within 60 days.
  • The item being returned must be in good condition, as determined by the Librarian in Charge.
  • The amount of the refund will be the price paid minus a $5.00 fee.
  • NO REFUND will be issued for magazines or mass-market paperbacks.


This information applies to materials owned by St. Francis Library only. You will need to contact the owning library with questions, as refund policies vary for each library.


 I have items on hold and I don't want to miss them while I'm on vacation. What should I do?

If you are leaving for an extended period, or if you simply wish to better manage when your holds come in, you can freeze your holds. The library will continue to send available items to the next waiting patron until you choose to reactivate your hold. Your hold will be passed over until you reactivate it, but you will not lose your place in line.

Note: You will not be able to freeze any request if an item already has a status of "in transit", "available", or "ready for pickup."

To freeze a hold:

  • Find the column labeled Freeze at the far right of your list of holds.
  • For each request you wish to freeze, click in the checkbox in this column.
  • Click on the Update List button to save your changes.
  • Holds that have been successfully frozen will show a checkmark in the Freeze column.


 How do I renew my library materials?

There are two ways you can renew your library materials:

Renewing online through your library account: In order to renew materials online, you must have a valid library card and PIN. Log in to your library account online and follow these steps:
  1. Go to your list of checked out items.
  2. Click in the boxes to the left of the titles that you want to renew. Check marks will appear in all of the boxes that you click in.
  3. Click on the "Renew Selected Items" button.
  4. If successful, the STATUS for all of the renewed items will say "RENEWED Now due ___DATE___." The new due date will be calculated from the day that you renew the item, not the original due date.

Renewing through the library: You can bring the items you wish to renew in to the library and the staff will be happy to renew them for you. If you can't come in to the library, you can call the library (414-481-7323) and we will renew the items over the phone. Please have your library card barcode number handy when you call.

Please note: Not all library materials can be renewed. There are several reasons why you may not be able to renew your items:
  1. Too many renewals. If you have renewed this item already, you may have reached the renewal limit.
  2. You are trying to renew the material too soon.
  3. Another patron has a hold on the item.
  4. The item is non-renewable and not eligible to be renewed.
  5. The item is overdue and cannot be renewed.
If you have any questions about renewing your items, please contact the library.


 There's a new book coming out that I really want to read. Can I ask the library to buy it?

Our librarians are pretty good at ordering all the latest popular books, but if a new book (or music CD or movie) has come out that you're interested in and it doesn't look like we've got it here at our library, you can make a purchase suggestion. You can email the library at, or fill out the purchase suggestion form.

Please note that we can't always purchase everything that our patrons suggest. We have a limited book budget and guidelines for developing and maintaining our collection. However, we are committed to meeting the needs of the community, so we do consider all recommendations.


 Can I print from my phone, laptop, or other mobile device?

Yes! You can print from home, on the go, or from a wireless device in the library with ePRINTit at St. Francis Public Library. You do not need to have a library card in order to use this service. Normal printing charges apply.

Find out how to use mobile printing.


 Do you have a scanner? A fax machine? A photocopier?

We do have a public fax machine. If you ask at the front desk, someone will be happy to assist you. There is a fee of $1.00/page, including the cover sheet. The fee is the same for both sending and receiving a fax. (If you have a fax sent to you through the library, you must let the library know in advance or the pages received will be discarded.)

We also have a public copier that can make 8 1/2 X 11 (letter) or 8 1/2 X 14 (legal) copies. Photocopies are 15¢/page for black and white copies and 30¢/page for color copies.

Our copier also has scanning capabilities. Patrons can scan documents or photos and either save them to a flash drive or email them directly to themselves or another recipient. Scanning is free.


 Do you have computers I can use?

Yes, we do! We have 17 public computer stations with internet access - 9 in the adult area, 6 in the children's room and 2 in the teen area. For more information about computer access in the library, click here.


 Do you offer any computer/technology classes?

We offer classes covering a range of topics and skill levels. The classes are free and open to anyone 18 years of age and older. You do not need to be a St. Francis resident to attend.  Please see our most recent schedule of technology classes for more information.


 Does the library have free WiFi?

YES! The library has free wireless internet access available anywhere in the building. Just choose "Library" from the list of providers. No password is required.


 I'm doing some spring cleaning. Will the library take all my old books?

The library is happy to accept donations of books and other materials. Librarians look at donated items to see if any are suitable to added to the library collection. Any items that do not go in to the collection are given to the Friends of the Library for their book sales. We ask that you follow a few simple guidelines to determine what you can and cannot donate to the library:

  • Hardcover and paperback books should be in good readable condition. Books with broken spines, missing pages/covers or water damage should be discarded as we are unable to sell them.
  • Please discard any books that have a musty or mildewy odor. Mildew spreads easily between books and is difficult to eliminate.
  • We accept DVDs, videos, books on CD, and music CDs. Homemade video and audio recordings are not accepted.
  • We do not accept old sets of encyclopedias, dated magazines or clearly outdated textbooks and nonfiction books.

Donations can be brought to the front desk. A receipt for tax purposes is available upon request.


 Can I pay with a credit card?

A credit card may be used to pay for photocopies, computer printing, and mobile printing at the print kiosk next to the photocopier.

At our service desk, we accept credit card payments through The Square payment system as well as cash and checks for payments of fines, fees, faxing charges and purchases from our used book sale shelves.

You may also use a credit card to pay fees and fines online. Log in to your library account, click on "fines" and follow the instructions.


 Do you have tax forms?

Yes, the library carries basic tax forms and instructions for both Federal and State tax returns during the tax season. The forms generally arrive mid-January. If we don't carry the forms you need, the staff can help you print them from the public internet computers. The cost of printing is 15¢ per printed side. Library staff cannot offer tax assistance, including choosing the appropriate form, filling them out or offering tax advice.

Patrons may use public internet computers to complete and file their tax returns electronically. However, there is a 2 hour time limit so plan accordingly. Remember to bring all necessary paperwork and forms with you. Once again, staff cannot offer assistance in completing your tax returns.

St. Francis Library does not offer tax assistance programs.


 I need to have something notarized. Can someone at the library do that for me?

We do not have any staff who serve as a notary public. We suggest that you contact City Hall (481-2300) or ask at your local bank.
St. Francis Public Library | 4230 S. Nicholson Avenue | St. Francis, WI 53235 | Phone: (414) 481-7323 | Email: