South Milwaukee Public Library Policies


Circulation Information:

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 CDs (limit 30)
  • CD audio books
  • “Lucky Day” books (limit 2)

7 Day Materials:

  • DVDs (limit 30)
  • Magazines
  • Board games (limit 2)

3 Day Materials:

  • “Lucky Day” DVDs (limit 2)

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!

A few things to remember:

  • You must be a resident of Milwaukee County. If not, you may apply for a fee card. See below for more information.
  • Bring in a photo ID with your legal name and current address.
    • If your photo ID does not include your current address, you must provide an additional form of identification that includes both your legal name and current address. This may include a piece of mail, rental agreement, bank statement, or a check. Electronic or physical copies of proof of address are accepted.
  • Children 15 and younger must have a parent or legal guardian present to provide their signature. the parent or legal guardian will be the one responsible for the materials checked out on the minor’s card. Individuals aged 16 & 17 are able to get their own library card without a parent present so long as 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. Your library card will be able to access materials and databases for a time period of 2 years. After 2 years you will be asked to verify identity and contact information again to renew your library card. Replacement library cards will be available for a small price. Checkout of library materials will be denied for:

  • Any patron owing fines of more than $10.00 on their library card.
  • 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. Renewing a card also requires the same identification as a new card.
  • 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. You may pick up another individual’s reserves items if you are listed as having permissions on their library account.

Non-Resident Access Card:

Individuals living outside of Milwaukee County are able to apply for a nonresident fee card. The annual fee for this card is $25.00. The annual fee may be waived under certain circumstances by the library director. Business and daycare/school cards are available for free upon request with proper documentation and are good for 1 year.

Walk-in use of the fee card is restricted to the municipal library which sells the fee card, and to materials owned by the library. With 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 & Fees:

Overdue Charges:

All South Milwaukee-owned items have a three-day grace period. 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. Fines on all materials are 10¢ per day. Fines are charged for Sundays and holidays. Items returned before the library opening time will be considered returned the previous business day. Fines must be paid to $10.00 or below to check out materials.

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. It can be done online through CountyCat or in person at the South Milwaukee Public Library.

Lost/Damaged/Unreturned Items:

If an item is lost, damaged, or unreturned, the card owner becomes responsible for the full cost of the item. The card owner is responsible for all fines on their card.

If a lost and paid item is found and returned in good condition, the replacement cost will be waived and the patron will be responsible for overdue fines only. 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.


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.