Using Your Library FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Library Cards
How do I get a Library Card? Cards for children, unincorporated Carol Stream, expiration, use at other libraries, losing your card, presenting your card.

Library Materials
Loan periods, renewals, overdue, damaged or lost, interlibrary loan, best sellers, book drops, local history collection, other special collections, How much do I save by using the Carol Stream Public Library?, Tax Forms, Ereader circulation policy

Gifts and Donations
Can I donate items or provide a gift to the Library?, How can I honor a teacher with a donation?, How else can I commemorate loved ones and special events?

Library Use by Children
Do children have to be supervised by an adult?, Preschool children?, School-age Children?, Special needs children? What happens if the children are disruptive? What happens if a child is left at the Library after closing?

Meeting Rooms, Study Rooms, Proctoring, and Display Spaces
Meeting rooms, Study Rooms, Proctoring, Display spaces, Place a Room Request online.

Lost and Found
Does the Library have a Lost and Found?

Computers and Internet Access
Public use computers, Internet access, wireless access

Office Equipment Use
Copiers, fax machines, scanner, microfilm/fiche reader and printer

Library Board of Trustees
When do they meet? What's on the agenda? Who are the Trustees?

Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library
Who are the Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library?
How do I become a Friend of the Carol Stream Public Library?

About the Library
How do I contact the Library? What happens if patrons exhibit disruptive behavior while at the Library? Can I smoke on Library property? How do I get a job at the Library? What job opportunities are available?, Volunteering at the Library, and History of the Library

Freedom of Information Act
What is the Library's Mission Statement?, What is the operating budget for FY2014?, How many people are employed at the Library?, What organization exercises control over the Library's policies and procedures?, and How do I request records from the Library?

Library Cards
How do I get a Library Card?
Borrower's cards are issued to Carol Stream residents and taxpayers at no charge upon presentation of a signed application and two forms of identification. One must be a photo I.D. and one must supply both the name and current address of the applicant. 

Forms of identification include current:

  • Driver's License
  • State ID
  • Student ID
  • Military ID
  • Passport

Proof of current address document must be issued within the current year and have applicant’s name on one of the following:

  • Current rent receipt or property tax bill
  • Vehicle registration
  • Current (30 days) imprinted statement or bill such as credit card, bank statement, utility bill, pay stub.

[Borrowing Privileges, effective July 22, 2010]

A parent or legal guardian must sign a child's application and supply the required proof of residency in person.

How old does my child have to be to get a library card?
Any child, age 3 through 17 years, may be issued a library card.
A parent or legal guardian must sign a child's application and supply the required proof of residency in person.

How do I get a library card if I live in unincorporated Carol Stream?
As residents who live in unincorporated Carol Stream do not pay property taxes for the Carol Stream Public Library, a library card may be obtained upon payment of an annual fee, which is based on their property valuation. In addition to supplying the appropriate forms of identification, a copy of the most recent property tax bill should be presented.

Does my library card expire?
Most library cards are issued for a three-year time period.

Can I use my library card at other libraries?
Through an agreement with the DuPage Library System, Carol Stream library card-holders may borrow materials from participating public libraries throughout the State of Illinois. These reciprocal borrowing privileges are available to patrons in good standing, those without outstanding fines or other blocks on their cards. Local public libraries include Glenside and Wheaton Public Libraries.

What happens if I lose my library card?
Replacement library cards may be purchased for $1.00.

Why do I always need to bring my library card?
Starting February 1, 2013 you will need to present your Library card or a photo ID in order to check out materials. If you believe that you have lost your card, please talk to us and let us know as soon as possible.

In these days of identity theft and confidentiality issues, your library card serves as a means of identification when calling or visiting the Library. Having your card with you is also the best way to ensure a prompt Library transaction. Whenever you are phoning the Library, stopping by to browse for materials, picking up items previously requested, or using the Internet or Public Use Computers, please remember to have your library card available. The practice of sharing library cards among family members is discouraged.

Library Materials
How long can I keep the material I check out?
[Circulation Policies, effective July 22,2010]

Books, Audio Books, Playaways
28 days
Multimedia kits and Other Digital Media
28 days
28 days
Adult New Books, New Audio Books, New Playaways, Playaways Views
14 days
14 days
Magazines and Puzzles
14 days
Compact Discs, CD-ROMs
14 days
Padded AV bags, Equipment 
14 days
Older Videos, DVDs
7 days
New DVD sets
7 days
New DVDs
3 days
Flashdrives (blank)
3 days

Can I renew my Library materials?
Yes! You can renew materials in person, by phone (630-653-0755) or through My Account. In most cases library materials may be renewed three times. Items that are on hold for another patron or are part of a special collection may not be renewed.

What happens if my materials are overdue?
The overdue fine for most library materials is $.25/per item/per day.
The overdue fine for new DVDs and VHS tapes that have a 3-day loan period is $1.00/per item/per day.

Overdue fines will accumulate to a maximum overdue fine. See Circulation Policies, effective July 22, 2010 for details. Patrons are encouraged to return library materials on time to avoid overdue fines.

Where can I return Library materials?
A book drop is available 24 hours a day to the right of the outside doors for convenient return of ALL Library materials. 

What happens if I lose or damage Library materials?
The Library cardholder is responsible for any expenses that result from loss, theft or damage to any materials borrowed.

The replacement cost of the item will be charged plus a processing fee of $2.00-$5.00, to help defray the cost of preparing a replacement item for circulation. [Circulation Policies, effective July 22, 2010]

What should I do if I get home and find my Library material is damaged?
Occasionally, Library Staff will not notice that an item is damaged before checking it out. Upon returning home, if you discover a problem with any Library materials, please contact the Circulation Department as soon as possible at 630-653-0755. The pre-existing damage will be noted in the item record and you will not be charged.

Patrons will be held responsible for replacement or repair costs on any Library materials that are returned with damage that has not been previously reported.

What do I do if the item I want isn't in your computer?
If the title you are looking for is not in our online catalog, we will attempt to get the item for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan. Carol Stream Public Library card holders can place requests for Interlibrary Loan by calling the Library at 630-653-0755 or sending an e-mail request to We will need your name and library card number and the title and author information for the item you wish to borrow. Videos and other audiovisual materials can only be requested from other Illinois libraries.

Is there a charge for Interlibrary Loan requests?
While we can usually obtain material from in-state libraries free of charge, beginning October 1, 2010, there is a $5 fee to obtain Interlibrary Loan items from out of state libraries. Patrons are also responsible for any fees charged by the owning library.

Why do I have to wait so long to get a best seller?
The Library tries to minimize the wait time for a best seller by buying multiple copies of popular books. Our policy is to purchase one copy for every five Carol Stream reserves on a title. Therefore, if 40 Carol Stream patrons reserve the latest John Grisham book, we will buy 9 copies. In addition, best sellers can only be checked out for two weeks and cannot be renewed.

Normally, you wouldn't have to wait more than eight or 10 weeks to get a copy of a best seller. This is not an ideal world, however. Patrons keep books out past due or do not pick up their reserves in a timely fashion. This results in other patrons having to wait longer to get their books. We try to anticipate and meet the demands of our patrons while practicing wise fiscal management. This is often a challenge, but we recognize the appeal of best sellers and make an effort to provide them as soon as possible. [Between the Lines, Oct/Nov 2003]

Gifts and Donations
Can I donate items or provide a gift to the Library?
The Library will accept gifts without commitment as to final disposition.  In determining whether or not a gift item is to be added to the Library's collection, the same standards are applied with respect to a gift as are used in the selection of an item for purchase.  If the material presented to the Library is useful but not needed, it may be offered to another library or sold by the Friends of the Library group.

How can I honor a teacher with a donation?
Instead of an apple, honor your teacher with a gift that keeps on giving by donating a Library book in their name. Library staff will help select an appropriate book based on the amount you would like to spend. Does your teacher have a favorite author or teach a particular subject? We can find just the right book. The Library will send a letter to your teacher notifying him or her of your gift. The book will be affixed with the teacher’s name on a special book plate and will be mentioned in an upcoming Library newsletter. For further information, contact the Youth Services Department at 630-653-0755 or

How else can I commemorate loved ones and special events?
The Library’s Buy-a-Brick program is a great way to commemorate a special person or event in your life.  The engraved bricks will be placed on the walkway leading up to the renovated main entrance.  They will be inscribed with your choice of text and are available in three sizes.  For more information on sizes available and how to donate, please see the Buy-a-Brick Program pamphlet.

Does the Library have any photos from the early years of the village's development?
Yes, the Library has collected photographs, documents, other items of local interest throughout the years. The items in the Local History Collection have to be used at the Adult Services Desk. Some photos from the Local History Collection are now available through

What special collections does the Library own?
The Carol Stream Public Library maintains collections of yearbooks, local government documents, local history collection, Carol Stream local history box & folder list, newspaper microfilm, pamphlet file, large print, foreign language, and English-as-a-Second Language materials.

How much do I save by using the Carol Stream Public Library?
The Carol Stream Public Library does not charge patrons to borrow materials, use the computers, or ask questions. You can use the Library Use Value Calculator to find out how much using the Library saves you each month.  You might be surprised.

Does the Library have tax forms available for patrons?
During tax season (January through April) multiple copies of high-demand federal and Illinois state income tax forms will be available on a self-service basis. After the beginning of the new year, the Library will make the forms and publications available as soon as they are received from the government.  Please keep in mind that not all forms and publications are distributed by the government at the beginning of the year.  If you need a special form or want to check the availability of a specific form, please call the Library and ask to speak to a Reference Librarian at the Adult Services Desk.

For more information on tax publications, please see our Tax Information Research A Topic page.

Library Use by Children
Do children have to be supervised by an adult while at the Library?
The Carol Stream Public Library welcomes the use of its facilities and services by children of all ages. The Library, however, is a busy public building and public places are not always safe for unattended children. The Library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children. Parents are responsible for the safety and behavior of their children in the Library and on Library property, whether or not the parents are in attendance. [Standards for Public Behavior]

  • Children under the age of five (5) years:
    Children under the age of five shall, at all times, be in the immediate presence of an adult or adolescent age fourteen (14) or older who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian to care for the child. Children ages three (3) to five (5) years of age who are attending Library programs may be left under the supervision of Library staff for the duration of the program only.

  • Children ages five (5) to eight (8), or completing second grade:
    Children between the ages of five (5) and eight (8) need not be in the immediate presence of a supervising adult or adolescent but the supervising adult or adolescent must be in the same area of the Library unless the child is attending a Library program. During Library programs the supervising adult or adolescent must remain in the Library and must promptly pick up their child as soon as the program is over.

  • Children ages eight (8) and up:
    Children ages eight (8) and up are welcome to use the Library unattended providing they are mature enough to follow Library rules and observe proper conduct. Any child who is left alone at the Library must be able to contact a responsible person in case of emergency or for transportation needs.

  • Special needs children:
    Children of any age with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities which affect decision-making skills or render supervision necessary, must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at all times.  Library patrons needing any additional accommodations should communicate these needs to Library staff.

What happens if a child is disruptive ?
If a child is being disruptive to other patrons or violating Library rules, staff members will first verbally warn the child that his/her behavior is not acceptable and must be stopped or the child will be asked to leave the Library.  If the disruptive behavior continues, staff members will locate the parent or supervising adult or adolescent and ask them to take control of the child. If the parent or supervising adult or adolescent refuses or is unable to control the child, they will be asked to leave the Library.

If the disruptive child is at the Library unattended, and if the child is under 12 years of age, the library staff will attempt to locate the parent and/or guardian, explain the child’s behavior, and ask that the child be picked up immediately. If unable to reach the parent or guardian, the Library may contact the Carol Stream Police Department to report the presence of an unattended child in the Library and request that the child be picked up and transported to the police department where law enforcement will continue to attempt to locate the parent or guardian.  If an unattended, disruptive child is 12 years or older and has continued to violate Library rules or act in a disruptive manner following a verbal warning by Library staff, the child will be asked to leave the building immediately. [Standards for Public Behavior]

What happens when a child is left at the Library after closing?
Parents are responsible for being aware of the Library’s hours and for picking up their children on time. Children are encouraged to contact their parents before closing to verify that transportation is available. Children under the age of 16 left unattended at closing time may be deemed at risk. If a child under the age of 16 is not picked up within 15 minutes of the Library’s closing time, the Carol Stream Police Department will be called.  Under no circumstances will Library staff transport any child in their personal car or library vehicle to the child’s home or to any other location. [Standards for Public Behavior]

Meetings Rooms, Study Rooms, Proctoring, and Display Spaces
Does the Library have a meeting room my organization can use?
The Carol Stream Public Library allows local groups the use of the Community Room, in accordance with its Meeting Room Policy. Groups wishing to use the Community Room must complete a Room Request online and submit a Responsibility Statement. Online reservations for the Community Room can be made no less than three days and no more than eight weeks in advance. If a reservation is needed sooner than three days or if the current calendars do not display a date up to eight weeks in advanced, contact the Head of Circulation Services, who will assist you with you reservation. To see options on how we are able to setup the room, please see the available room setups.

Library programs will be given priority when scheduling the Community Room. Permission to use the Community Room does not constitute an endorsement of a group's policies or beliefs. Inquiries about reserving the Community Room should be directed to the Head of Circulation Services.

Does the Library have any Group Study Rooms?
The Library has three small Group Study Rooms that can be reserved up to 48 hours ahead of time in 1 hour increments. To use the rooms, patrons need to be at least 12 years of age and present a valid CSPL library card at the Computer Room Help Desk. For more information, please consult the Group Study Room Rules [Group Study Room Rules] or contact the Computer Room Help Desk at 630-344-6141

The proctoring of examinations is a service offered by the Carol Stream Public Library. The Library will offer proctoring services based on the availability of personnel, facilities, and technology to do so. A non-refundable fee of $10.00 will be charged per test per student, payable at the time of the initial request. A Test Proctoring Request form must be submitted in-person to the Reference Desk at the Carol Stream Public Library along with a non-refundable fee of $10.00. The Request Form should be submitted and the fee paid before the exam is scheduled.[Proctoring Guidelines]

Does the Library have any public display space available?
One bulletin board located in the main room of the Library may be reserved by individuals or non-profit organizations wishing to display artwork or information. The bulletin board display area measures 220" x 40". Inquiries about reserving a display area should be directed to the Assistant Director.

The Library no longer has display cases for public use or a bulletin board to post notices.

Lost and Found
Does the Library have a Lost and Found?
The Circulation Department maintains a Lost and Found for personal belongings left behind or mistakenly returned to the Library. If a misplaced item contains identification, every effort will be made to contact the owner. In instances when this is not possible, the Library will hold the article for sixty days. After that time, unclaimed items will be donated to a charitable organization or the Friends of the Library, as appropriate. Patrons are asked to contact the Circulation Department to inquire about missing items.

Computers and Internet Access
Does the Library have computers I can use?

Yes, the Library has 23 public Internet computers for Internet use. The public computers provide access to a suite of Microsoft Office™ products, the Library's catalog, and non-Internet games for ages 3 through 10. Public Computer Policy

Can I Use the Internet at the Library?
Yes, the library has 23 workstations with Internet access and a suite of Microsoft Office™ products, 16 workstations in the Adult Services Department and 7 in the Youth Services Department. According to the Internet Use Policy, you must have a valid public library card (library cards from other libraries are accepted after input into our database). The Library uses an automated reservation system to manage use of the Internet workstations. Reservations are made in 1 hour increments. Workstations are networked to a color laser printer. All printouts are $.10/page.

Does the Library provide wireless access to the Internet?
The Library provides free wireless access to the Internet for those users who have a wireless-enabled computer. There is no log-in or password required. The user must agree to a click-through wireless internet usage agreement.

Office Equipment Use
Does the Library have copiers?

The Library has two photo copiers for public use. One photo copier is located in the computer room and a second photo copier is located by the Circulation desk in the main room. Both copier produce black and white, as well as color photo copies. Black and white copies are $.10/copy and color copies cost $.25/copy.

Does the Library have a public fax machine?
Patrons have access to the public use fax machine, FAX24, located in the Computer Room by charging faxes to their credit or debit cards. Domestic faxes are $1.75 for first page and $1.00 for each additional page. International faxes are $3.95 for the first page and $3.45 for each additional page.

Does the Library have a public scanner?
The Library has a free public scanner that scans to a USB drive, e-mail, or Google Docs. The Library also has two copiers that allow scanning of documents to an external USB drive.

Does the Library have a microfilm/fiche reader and printer?
The Library does have a microfilm/fiche reader-printer. The Library can request specific reels of microfilm for you or you may bring in your own film or fiche. Black and white printouts are $.10/each. Please inquire at the Adult Services Desk for more information.

Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library
Who are the Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library?

The Friends is a non-profit organization that provides support for the Library through membership fees, fund-raising events and special projects. Their efforts create community support for existing Library programs, provide direct financial help and volunteer assistance, sponsor programs designed to add to the cultural life of the community, and encourage gifts, memorials and endowments.

The Friends run an ongoing used book sale in the Library lobby, as well as additional larger book sales during the year. They sponsor quarterly membership meetings which in the past have included craft programs, author presentations and poetry readings.

How do I become a Friend of the Carol Stream Public Library?
Joining the Friends is easy. Complete a Membership Registration Form, indicating the level of membership and involvement desired. Being a Friend gives one the chance to contribute to the growth and well-being of our community and to share experiences with others who value the Library's contribution to our lives.

About the Library
What happens if patrons exhibit disruptive behavior while at the Library?
We want to ensure that all users of the Library experience a pleasant and productive environment for study and research. Misuse of the Library, whether by theft, mutilation, or vandalism of library materials or property, or by interference with other library users, shows disrespect for the institution and disregard for the rights of other library users.

Any patron exhibiting disruptive behavior will be given a verbal warning that his/her behavior is not acceptable and must be stopped. If the disruptive behavior continues, or is of a serious nature, as outlined below, the patron will be asked to immediately leave the Library. If the patron fails to follow staff directions, the police may be called.  Repeated offenses may result in suspension of Library privileges.

Disruptive behavior may include, but not be limited to: inappropriate or abusive language, fighting, running, failure to heed staff requests, loud talking, littering, jumping on furnishings, playing loud audio devices, loitering, harassing others, and public displays of affection.

Acts of vandalism, theft, substance abuse, or other more serious disruptive behavior will be reported to the Police. For more information, Please see the Standards for Public Behavior

Can I smoke on Library property?
The Library is a smoke free building. Smoking by persons under the age of eighteen (18) is not permitted at any time on Library property.

In compliance with the Smoke Free Illinois Act, smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of the entrance to the Library. For your convenience, the Library moved the ashtray by the front door to the side of the front walk. [410 ILCS 82/15 eff. 1-1-08]

How do I get a job at the Library?
Employment applications are available at the Reception Desk. When received these are forwarded to the Human Resources Administrator. For additional information contact Fran Venegas,

What job opportunities are available at the Library?
Materials Handler (part-time)
Circulation Clerk (part-time)

Volunteering at the Library
If you are a student in middle school, high school or college interested in volunteering during the Library’s Summer Reading Program (June 9 – August 9), please fill out a Summer Volunteer Application. These forms will be available online or at the Main Circulation Desk, Youth Services Desk, and Adult Services Desk beginning May 1.

Volunteers, ages 14 and up, interested in volunteering at the Library on an ongoing basis are asked to complete our standard volunteer application. These forms are available at the main Circulation Desk or you may print out an application (here). Completed applications should be returned to the Human Resources Administrator.

What is the history of the Carol Stream Public Library?
In September 1962, the Carol Stream Public Library began in a room in the Village Hall located at 397 Blackhawk Drive.  Books, magazines, furniture and shelves were all donated by residents.  The present library building opened to the public in January 1978.  The Library's online circulation system and card catalog were initiated in 1983.  Space expansion and reconfiguration projects were carried out in 1989/90, in 1995, and again in summer 2002, bringing the Library to its present full-capacity layout.   The Library installed a local area network (LAN) in 1993 which has made it possible to offer a range of computer services to the public that continues to grow as technology changes. 
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Freedom of Information Act
What is the Library's Mission Statement?
It is the mission of the Carol Stream Public Library to satisfy the library service needs of a changing community and to provide its members with informational, educational, cultural, and recreational resources.

What is the operating budget for FY2014?
The total amount of our operating budget for FY2013/2014 is $3,618,259. Funding sources are property and personal property replacement taxes, state and federal grants, fines, charges, and donations. Tax levy information is available in the Freedom of Information Act publication.

How many people are employed by the Library?
The Library employs 28 full-time employees and 31 part-time employees.

What organization exercises control over the Library's policies and procedures?
The following organization exercises control over our policies and procedures: The Board of Library Trustees of the Village of Carol Stream, which meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Library.

How do I request records from the Library?
The Freedom of the Information Act publication has detailed information on the types or categories of records maintained under our control that available for requests. Certain types of information maintained by us are exempt from inspection and copying. The publication also includes the request process and a Freedom of Information Request form.

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