Getting a Library Card

Library card for use of library materials

Library card registration is required in order to borrow library materials and to use library computers at any library in the St. Clair County Library System. Only one active card registration per individual is permitted (exceptions are LBPH, Michicard and Visitor cards). Patrons may be required to present their library card and/or photo identification in order to check out materials, use library computers or receive information regarding their account.
Upon application for a library card, the patron (or parent/legal guardian, signing for a minor child) accepts responsibility for returning library materials on time and in good condition.   The cardholder (or parent/legal guardian, signing for a minor child) is responsible for payment of all fines, fees, damages or cost of replacement.  Library users must comply with all rules and policies as established by the Library Board.

A library cardholder is cautioned against loaning their card to other persons, as the cardholder is responsible for all items checked out on their card until such time as a library card is reported lost or stolen.  The library reserves the right to require I.D. to confirm proper usage of the library card. While it is not practical for library staff to ask for identification of every patron, staff will use their best judgment in determining whether the card is being used properly. Patrons may write “please check I.D.” on the space designated for their signature to encourage staff to confirm identity before accessing the card.

The library may deny use of a library card to anyone unable to produce identification upon request or to anyone attempting use of another’s card without explicit permission of the cardholder proper.   

System Wide Borrowing:

The library card is good at all eleven locations of the St. Clair County Library System.

Library card as stored value (money):

Cash value can be stored on a library card.  This stored value can be used only in the St. Clair County Library System.  Funds will not be transferred without the express permission of the card holder.  Money can be added to a card at any time. 
There are no cash refunds.  Any reimbursements will be routed through St. Clair County and a check will be mailed to the patron.

Financial Responsibility:

The Library reserves the right to combine and transfer all fines/fees from a minor’s account to that of the signing parent or legal guardian.  If fines/fees on an individual or combined account reach $25 or more, the account will be sent to a Collection Agency. The library reserves the right to send any unpaid amount to a Collection Agency or to take legal action.

Qualifications for library card:

The initial library card is available at no charge to persons who meet at least one of the following qualifications: pay property tax in St. Clair County; reside in St. Clair County; is a K-12 student at any school in St. Clair County; is a resident of the City of Memphis; or is an employee of the St. Clair County Library.  A card may be obtained by filling out an application form (sample attached appendix B).  The applicant will be required to show acceptable ID before a card is issued.  Acceptable identification is defined as:

  • A valid Michigan driver’s license, State ID Card or other identification with a photo and a current residential address OR

An official photo identification card and any one of the following with name and a current address: a current utility bill; property tax statement; canceled First Class mail postmarked within the last two weeks; or other official government identification.

Upon receiving a new card a patron will be able to initially check out three items. 

Application Limits:

For a minor under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian’s signature, along with proof of identification, is required.  Proof of legal guardianship may be required.  A minor who is emancipated is required to show their emancipation papers.  Children must be present when the adult first applies for his or her child’s card.  Parents have the option to select what viewing level they wish their minor child to have to check out DVDS/videos, based on the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system as follows:

  • G (General Audiences)
  • PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Borrower (Adult)

Unless otherwise marked, the Library will restrict minors to only those rated G. 
NOTE:  TV shows and Music CDs are not rated; therefore parental discretion is advised in this area.

Types of Library Cards:

Library cards are issued under the following guidelines:

      • Regular patron card – three (3) years, renewable, no fee.
      • Visitor card (Internet only, no check out) – one (1) week, renewable, weekly fee applies.
      • MichiCard (visitors from participating Michigan libraries outside our service area) – one (1) year, renewable, no fee.  Print items only, no Internet access.
      • Non-resident card (outside our service area) – one (1) year, renewable, fee applies.  See Appendix F.
      • Non-resident student card (K-12 students at SCC school) – one (1) year, renewable, no fee.
      • Foreign-Exchange Student (K-12 students at SCC school) – regular card with one year expiration date. No fee.
      • Corporate card – one (1) year, renewable, Organization must apply. No fee.
      • Visitor card for minor (computer games only) – one (1) week, renewable, weekly fee applies.
      • E card (on-line databases only).

Library cards are replaceable (for a fee) or renewable to patrons in good standing.  A “patron in good standing” is one not owing any fines, fees, or having any material overdue. For normal library use, a patron may have no more than $5 owing on their card to check out items. Efforts must be made to pay off the balance in a reasonable time. The library reserves the right to request full payment of any outstanding balance at any time.

Non-residents may apply for a 7-day visitor card for Internet use only or, by paying the annual fee, they may obtain a one year full service card.  Please see the Schedule of Fees, Appendix F.

Corporate Cards:

Corporate cards will be issued to a business, association, institution, or non-profit group that is within the boundaries of St. Clair County or the City of Memphis.  The application for a Corporate card must be accompanied by a letter of authorization, written on letterhead, from the President/CEO requesting a Corporate card and listing the names of persons within the organization who will be allowed to use the card.  The organization’s letterhead will serve to confirm the address of the organization.  Corporate cards expire one year from issue date and each organization must reapply annually.  The organization will be financially responsible for all materials checked out on the card and any overdue charges that may accrue.

Library Card access to Computers:

A patron in good standing with a valid St. Clair County Library card may use public access computers which are governed by our “Electronic Resources/Internet Use Policy.”  Use of library computers connected to the Internet must be in compliance with M.C.L.A. 397.606, Michigan P.A. 212 of 2000, “An Act to provide for the confidentiality of certain library records, and to provide for the selection and use of library materials,” and the Federal CIPA, “Children’s Internet Protection Act”.  (See Electronic Resources / Internet Use Policy)

A minor’s use of the library’s computers will be restricted as required by M.C.L.A. 397.606, Michigan P.A. 212 of 2000 and CIPA.  The library has pre-selected Levels of Access for individual age groups (See Appendix C for expanded use of the Internet by Minors.)  A minor’s Level of Access is determined by the parent or legal guardian.  Proof of guardianship may be required.  It is the position of the library that the parent/legal guardian is the best judge of their minor’s level of maturity.  The parent/legal guardian must come into the library and sign in the presence of a staff member if the minor is to receive an expanded level of use.  If the parent does not indicate a Level of Access, the library will issue a card to the minor with the highest level of restriction. 


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