Policies

CIRCULATION POLICY:

Our loanable materials are available to any county resident with a Milwaukee County Federated Library System (MCFLS) library card in good standing. Most of our materials are available to request for pick up at other MCFLS library locations.

Loan Periods:

Loan periods and fines vary between MCFLS locations. Be sure to check the policy of the library whose items you have checked out.

3 Week Materials:

  • Books and paperbacks
  • Large print books
  • Music compact discs (limit 20)
  • CD audio books
  • “Lucky Day” books

7 Day Materials:

  • DVDs (limit 20)
  • Magazines

3 Day Materials:

  • “Lucky Day” DVDs

All South Milwaukee-owned materials – except for lucky day materials – may be renewed twice if there are no holds placed on the item. You may renew materials in person, over the phone at (414) 277-0183, or online on CountyCat. You may also sign up for text notices and renew through text.

Three week material can be renewed 7 days before the due date; seven day material can be renewed 3 days before the due date. A renewed item is given an additional three weeks on three week items, and seven days on seven day items. Items renewed when overdue will still accrue fines for the period when the item was overdue. All lucky day materials are nonrenewable.

LIBRARY CARD POLICY:

Library Cards:

It takes just a few minutes to get a library card!

To get a free library card, you must be a resident of Milwaukee County. Fee cards are available for those who live outside of the county; see below for more information.

To get a free library card, you must complete a brief application and present identification sufficient to show your likeness, your legal name, and your current address. (If your current photo ID does not include current address, you must provide an additional form of ID that includes both legal name and current address.) Children 15 years and younger must have a parent or legal guardian present to provide signature; the parent or legal guardian will be the one responsible for materials checked out on the minor’s card. Individuals aged 16 and 17 are able to get their own library card without a parent present if they are able to provide the required identification.

When a library card is issued, an electronic signature is captured which provides acceptance for responsibility. A signer agrees to the following statement: “I agree to be responsible for the loss or damage to materials and overdue charges on materials borrowed with this library card. I agree to pay all overdue charges, damage, and replacement costs promptly. I agree to obey all the rules and regulations of the South Milwaukee Public Library and any other Milwaukee County Federated Library System library that I use. I agree to provide immediate notice of change of street address, e-mail, or telephone number. I agree to report loss of the library card immediately, and know that I am held responsible for all materials borrowed on the card up to the time it is reported lost to the library. All the information provided for this application is certified to be true, correct, and current.”

Your library card will be issued immediately and is valid at any public library in Milwaukee County. We ask that you report all changes of address, name, phone number, and e-mail address promptly.

If you need a replacement library card, there is a $1.00 replacement fee. There is also a 25¢ charge for checking out materials without your library card.

Checkout of library materials will be denied for:

  • Any patron owing fines and fees of more than $5.00 on their library card. In order to restore library services, charges must be paid in full.
  • An expired library card. There is no charge to renew a card, but patrons must verify that address, e-mail, and telephone number are correct.
  • Any library card with blocks or internal notes restricting full use. Issues must be resolved with staff in order to restore library privileges.

A library card may only be used by the person to whom it is issued. Adults may not use a child’s card to check out material. You may pick up another individual’s reserves ONLY with the reserve patron’s library card in hand. Persons picking up a reserve patron’s holds may only check out the holds on that card, and no other materials.

Non-Resident Fee Card:

Individuals living outside of Milwaukee County are able to apply for a nonresident fee card. The annual fee for this card is $55.00. The annual fee may be waived under certain circumstances by the library director. Business and daycare/school cards are available for free upon request and with proper documentation.

Walk-in use of the fee card is restricted to the municipal library which sells the fee card, and to materials owned by that library. Within this ownership restriction, card holders may borrow any type of material.

Fee card patrons are blocked from placing unassisted holds. Library staff must place holds for this patron type. Staff-assisted holds may be placed ONLY on material owned by the municipal library which sells the fee card.

Member libraries may at their discretion offer a non-resident fee card to out-of-county library personnel with the understanding that these fee cards may only be used to check out materials from the member library where these staff members are employed.

FINES AND FEES:

Overdue Charges:

All South Milwaukee-owned items have a three-day grace period, except for “lucky day” materials. Items with a grace period that are returned up to three days after the due date will not accrue fines; if the items are returned four or more days after the due date, fines are assessed from the due date. Lucky day materials do not have a grace period and fines are higher. Fines on regular materials are 10¢ per day; fines on lucky day materials are 50¢ per day. Fines are charged for Sundays and holidays. Items returned BEFORE 9:00am will be considered returned the previous business day. Fines must be paid in order to use the public computers or to check out materials.

South Milwaukee items returned with parts missing will incur charges of $1 per day until all parts are returned. Missing parts can be returned at any Milwaukee County public library location.
Fines and grace periods vary between MCFLS libraries; be sure to check the policy of the libraries whose items you have checked out, even if you have picked them up at South Milwaukee.
Paying with a credit or debit card is now available ONLINE ONLY through the CountyCat website.

Lost/Damaged/Unreturned Items:

If an item is lost, damaged, or unreturned, the card owner becomes responsible for the full cost of the item. A $5 non-refundable service charge is included in the cost of all materials. The card owner is responsible for all fines on their card.

If a lost and paid item is found and returned within 90 days of the payment, the patron may be eligible for a refund minus the $5 non-refundable service charge. See the staff at the circulation desk to begin the refund process.

Materials owned by other Milwaukee County libraries may be paid for at South Milwaukee, but refunds MUST be claimed at the owning library. Please be aware that refund policies vary for each library. Charges for damaged items are assessed by the owning library.

COMPUTER USE POLICY:

Click here to view our computer use policy. By using an internet access computer at the library, you are agreeing to abide by this policy.

CONFIDENTIALITY:

The South Milwaukee Public Library complies with Wisconsin State Statute 43.30 “Public Library Records” to preserve the confidentiality of library patron records.

Responsibility for the administration and interpretation of these and other library policies rest with the library director.