Ellsworth Public Library

Old picture of Ellsworth Public Library

How do I apply for a library card?
To apply for a library card, stop by the circulation desk with your photo ID (license, passport, state ID, school ID, etc). If your photo ID includes your current mailing and physical addresses, you’re all set. If not, please bring a piece of mail or other official document that includes your current mailing address and documentation of your physical address.

Does it cost anything to get a library card?
Library cards are free for Ellsworth residents and for those who live in a surrounding town that provides funding to the library. All others may pay a yearly fee (due upon card renewal) for a library card. This fee is $30 as of July 2021. For more information about why we need to charge for non-resident library cards, see our library funding page.  There is a scholarship fund available for those who are unable to pay this fee.

How many items can I take out at a time?
If you have a regular card, there is no limit to the number of items you can take out. Please see below for information about temporary cards, which do have a limit.

How long can I keep the materials I borrow?
Books, magazines, audiobooks and DVDs have a three week lending period. Most materials can be renewed once for an additional two weeks, except for items that are on reserve for someone else.

I don’t live in Ellsworth. Can I still get a card?
Yes.  Cards are free to residents of towns that fully fund our library. If you live in a town that does not provide funding to the library, you’ll need to pay a $30 fee per year for a library card.

I’m here on vacation/a student/a seasonal worker/residents of a temporary housing facility. I’m only planning to be in Ellsworth for a little while and don’t have a permanent address while I’m here. Can I still get a card?
Yes, you can apply for a temporary card for access to items in our library and our digital resources, but not items from other libraries. Temporary cards are good for three months and there is a limit of one card per family. To receive a temporary card you must pay a $30 fee. We make exceptions to waive the fee for special circumstances. You can take out ten items out at a time.

What happens if I forget my library card? Can I still check out materials?
If you forget your card but you have a photo ID with you, we can use that to access your account.

What if I’m late returning my materials? Will I have fines?
We no longer charge fines for returning materials late! We do still charge replacement fees for lost or damaged library materials.

What happens if I lose my card?
You are financially responsible for materials checked out on your card. If your card is lost or stolen, please report it to us right away so we can make sure no one else uses it! We can give you a new library card when you present your photo ID at the desk.

How often do I need to renew my card?
For regular cards, you’ll be asked to renew your card once a year. This is to make sure that we have your current contact information. Temporary cards are not eligible to be renewed.

Children’s Cards

How do I apply for a library card for my child?
It’s very similar to getting a card for yourself. If you would like to get a library card for your child, stop by the circulation desk with your photo ID and proof of mailing and physical addresses.  You’ll fill out the front of the card with your child’s name and information and will sign the back.  If your child attends an Ellsworth Public School, they may sign up for a card for free! Just bring proof of their school enrollment.

The same $30 fee applies for residents of towns that do not fully fund the Ellsworth Public Library.  However, one free child card is available if an adult in the household has already paid a non-resident fee.

Please note: You must be the child’s legal guardian to sign him/her up for a library card.

How old does my child need to be to get a library card?
That is up to you and your child. If you feel that your child is not ready for his/her own card, you can always check items out for your child on your own card. At age 16, teens are eligible for an adult card.

Who is responsible for the books on my child’s card?
By signing the registration card, you will be responsible for the materials your child borrows with their card. It’s important to let your child know that the books will need to be returned on time and in good condition.

How can I find out what is on my child’s card?
By law, librarians cannot share the specific information about what is on a child’s account. However, if you choose to set the notifications to text message or email, an automated check-out receipt, due date reminder, and overdue notifications will be sent directly to you.

For more information on your library card and borrowing from the library, see our Material Lending Policy.

I am not currently physically present in Maine, but I live or own property in a nearby town. Can I apply remotely for a card?
If you are not able to physically come in to apply for a card, but anticipate being able to do so soon, you may fill out the below form and follow these additional steps:

  1. E mail us proof of identity;
  2. E mail us proof of residency in one of our local towns, in the form of mail or other a local town tax documentation;
  3. If you live in a town that does not fund our library, please call us during our business hours to pay the $30 annual fee.