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Using the library

Library cards

Residents of Chicago Ridge who are at least 3 years old are eligible to apply for a library card. A library card will be issued to those 3 to 17 years of age with a parent or legal guardian’s valid identification and signature of responsibility. 

Cards are issued for a period of 3 years and are renewable.

What do I need to do to get my library card?

Any person applying for a library card is required to show a valid photo ID with their Chicago Ridge address. If your photo ID does not have your current Chicago Ridge address, please bring your photo ID and current proof-of-residency.

Examples of photo IDs:

  • Driver’s License
  • State Identification Card
  • US Passport

Examples of current proof-of-residency:

  • Mortgage or Lease
  • Phone or Utility Bill
  • Check Book
  • Bank Statement 
  • Vehicle Registration 
  • Credit Card Statement 
  • Paycheck Stub

My card's expired! How do I renew it?

Your can renew your Chicago Ridge Public Library card in person at the Circulation Desk. You will need to show a photo ID with proof of residency. All fees and overdue items must be cleared before the card can be renewed.

I lost my card! How do I replace it?

The replacement fee for a lost library card is $1.00. There is no charge if your library card has expired. Please report a missing library card to the library right away so that a stop can be placed on your card. A borrower is responsible for all items charged on their card.

Borrowing & fees

Library cards issued to residents of Chicago Ridge are honored by Illinois public libraries, including member libraries of the SWAN catalog. The Chicago Ridge Public Library honors library cards from other Illinois public libraries as well.

Loan periods (for materials from CRPL):

3 weeks:

  • Books, including Hot Copies
  • Audiobooks
  • DVDs & Blu-rays
  • Music CDs
  • Kits
  • Puzzles
  • Board games
  • eReaders
  • WiFi hotspots
  • Laptops/Chromebooks
  • Roku Players
  • Video Games

1 week:

  • NEW and Hot Copy DVDs & Blu-rays
  • Magazines

3 days:

  • Oak Lawn Children's Museum Pass

Loan limits:

  • Up to 20 DVDs & Blu-rays
  • Up to 5 video games

Fines & late fees:

The library does not charge overdue fines for materials checked out at the Chicago Ridge Public Library with the exception of the items/fees listed below.

$10.00 per day

  • Children's Museum in Oak Lawn passes

$1.00 per day

  • WiFi hotspots
  • Laptops
  • Roku players

Materials held by a cardholder beyond the due date will be considered overdue. Library cards will be blocked when an item checked out at the Chicago Ridge Public Library becomes 14 days overdue. When items are checked in, that block is immediately removed. If, after 42 days, the overdue material still has not been returned to the library, this material will be deemed lost and billed to the patron’s record.

When Library material has been overdue for more than 7 days, a reminder notice is emailed, texted or an automated call is made to the cardholder, based on their preference. The Library makes a reasonable effort to ensure that this notice is received, but it is sent as a courtesy and failure to receive notice will not be cause for removal of fines.

Lost or damaged items:

The Library may charge for replacement of missing, lost or damaged materials. The cost for repair or replacement of damaged or lost materials will include the cost of the item plus any processing and/or handling fees that may apply.

Chicago Ridge Library patron accounts with outstanding overdue fees/fines of over $25 are remitted to a collection agency by the RAILS Library System. A collection agency fee of $10 will be added to the patron's account.

Renew materials

Most materials can be renewed if they have not been requested by another person. Renewable items checked out from the library will be renewed automatically until another patron places a hold on the item, or the maximum number of renewals has been reached.

How to renew materials online:

  1. From the SWAN catalog select My Account
  2. Enter your Library Card Number and PIN (Your default PIN is the last four digits of your primary phone number.)
  3. Click the CHECKED OUT tab to view the materials you have checked out.
  4. Select the materials you want to renew by checking the boxes to the left of Title/Author and then click the RENEW button. Click YES to confirm you want to renew the selected items.
  5. Look for the message "Checkout(s) successfully renewed" in green under title(s) selected. If an item cannot be renewed, a red message will appear under the title with the reason for the denial.

Pay fees online

Fees may be paid in person at any SWAN library by cash or check. Fines can be paid online using a credit card via the SWAN Catalog. A $0.50 Convenience Fee will be charged when paying online.

To pay fines online:

  1. From the SWAN Catalog select My Account
  2. Enter your library card number and PIN (Your default PIN is the last four digits of your primary phone number.)
  3. Go to My Account > Pay Fines
  4. Review your fines. By default, all fines are selected – you can check the individual fines you would like to pay, or you can pay all fines. You will need a minimum of $1 in fines to pay online.
  5. Click PayPal to pay with a PayPal account, or click Debit or Credit Card to pay without a PayPal account.
  6. Fill out your payment information and submit.

Holds & interlibrary loan services

You can request (hold) an item online via the SWAN catalog whether it is owned by the Chicago Ridge Public Library or by another library in the system.

If the item you are looking for is not available via the SWAN catalog, please ask a librarian. We may still be able to find the item for you and place an out-of-system interlibrary loan at your request.

Items loaned from libraries in Illinois are free of charge. Chicago Ridge cardholders will be charged $5.00 and non-residents $10.00 for items loaned from out-of-state libraries.

A maximum of 50 holds are allowed on a Chicago Ridge Library card at any one time. You can not place holds on our “Hot Copy” books and movies and only Chicago Ridge cardholders can place holds on new books and DVDs.