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Your Library Card and Account Management

Who can get a library card, how to apply, and how to use your library card.

How To Get A Library Card

It's Free!

Residents of Iowa are eligible to apply for a library card from the Mason City Public Library. We ask that you present some form of photo identification that has your full name and your current street address (not a post office box). If your photo ID does not have your current address, we will accept other verifying ID that does show your current address, as long as you also have some form of photo ID. For example, we will accept a checkbook, a voter registration card, a hunting license, a rent receipt, or a utility bill or other piece of mail sent to your current address.

There is no minimum age to receive a library card. However, children under the age of 12 must have a parent or legal guardian sign their registration card. Since most children don’t have a form of identification like those listed above, the parent or legal guardian can use his/her ID to request a card for the child.

To get a library card, please ask any of our staff at the main circulation desk.

Checking Out Books and Other Materials

How long can I keep books and other items I check out from the library?

Item Type
- Loan Length
Books - 21 Days
Books on CD
- 21 Days
Books on Tape
- 21 Days
Music CDs
- 21 Days
Video Tapes
- 21 Days
Computer Software
- 21 Days
DVDs - 7 Days
Magazines - 7 Days
Puppets - 7 Days

You can renew library books and items once.  You do not have to bring the books and items into the library in order to renew them.  Renewal can also be done over the phone.

How many books and items can I check out from the library?

Item Type
- Maximum Per Card
Books - 25
Books on CD
- 4
Books on Tape
- 16
Music CDs
- 4
Video Tapes
- 4
Computer Software
- 2
DVDs - 4
Magazines - 12
Puppets - 1

You can have a total of 25 items per card.

Where do I go to check out library books and items?

You can check out all items at the main circulation desk or the Children's Room desk.  Juvenile and young adult DVDs must be check out at the Children's Room desk.

Where do I return my library books and items?

You can return books, DVDs, and other items either in the outside book drop (located in the circle drive in front of the library) or inside at the main circulation desk.

What happens if I don't return my library books and items on time?

Fines are $0.20 a day for adult items and $0.10 a day for children's items.  DVDs are $1.00 a day. There is a maximum fine of $3.00 on all items if returned. If items are not returned, patrons will be charged replacement costs. There are no fines on puppets or magazines if returned.

You will be unable to check out books or items if charges exceed $5.00 on your library account.

You can pay your fine at the main circulation desk by cash or check.

Other Services Provided to Library Card Holders

How do I reserve a book or item?

If a book or item that you'd like to check out is already checked out by another patron, you can reserve that item (also called placing a hold).  When the item is returned, it will be held for you at the main circulation desk.  We'll send you a letter or email you, which ever your preference, to let you know the item is waiting for you to check it out.  We'll hold the item for one week.

How do I request an item by Interlibrary Loan?

Sometimes the library does not have a book that you'd like to read.  To get the item, you can request the item through interlibrary loan.  Fill out a form at the main circulation desk, or talk to Joyce or Katrina at the Reference Desk.  We'll call you when the book is here, and when you are done reading it you return it to the Mason City Public Library.  The fee for each interlibrary loan is $3.00.

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Interlibrary Loan
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