To contact us with questions about library cards, fines, renewals, or lost materials please call 832-6179.

Photo ID + current proof of WI address

If your driver's license has your current address, that's all you need.

Library cards are free to Wisconsin residents. Identification and proof of residence are required for adults when the card application is completed. An electronic signature is also needed when signing up for a library card. Minors (17 years old and younger) need a parent or guardian signature. There is no minimum age requirement to obtain a library card. Lawrence University students may also receive a card by showing current school ID.

Personal identification is required to check out library materials if a card is forgotten. Lost your card? You can receive one replacement card every 12 months for free. Additional replacements within a 12 month period will cost $3.00. Please notify the staff if we need to change your name, address, or telephone on your account. Library cards are valid for one year, at which point we confirm your contact info and renew it for another year.

If you have any other questions about obtaining a library card or your account, please call (920) 832-6179.


Accepted ID... Identification may be provided with any U.S. state driver’s license or identification card, a passport, a school ID, or any official picture ID.


Proof of address... Proof of WI address may be provided on the same driver’s license or identification card if it's current. Also accepted:
(1) An “official” piece of mail (electric bill, cable bill, etc.)
(2) Address on a bank statement, payroll statement, etc.
(3) Checkbook
(4) Rental agreement with the complete address plainly entered.

Note: mail that is handwritten is not accepted. If you received a library card but were told you have to present proof of address, your card is stopped until that is presented.


For anyone under the age of 18... Identification and proof of address of the parent or guardian signing the responsibility statement on the application are required.

If you lose your card let us know right away so we can ensure no one else can use your card. Replacement cards (you will get a new number) are free the first time each calendar year, with each successive replacement costing $3 in the same year.

PLEASE REMEMBER: Everything checked out on your card is your responsibility, so be careful about loaning your card to others. Please note that while others may use your card to check out, they may *not* use your library card number to access the internet computers at the library.


75 items may be checked out on your account at one time with the following limits: 25 CDs, 5 video games, and 25 movies.


Yes, you may use your card and your materials may be returned at the public libraries in these counties: Outagamie, Waupaca, Shawano, Door, Florence, Oneida, Marinette, Kewaunee, Menominee, Oconto, and the Oneida Reservation. Also, you can wait until the day they are due, since they will be checked in that same day at those libraries.

You cannot use our library card at Neenah, Menasha, or Oshkosh libraries; even though they are close, they are in the Winnefox library system, and we are part of the OWLS system. You can have a library card from both systems if you are a WI resident.

Due Dates

All materials are due on their due date before the Library closes.

Videos / Video Games 7 days
Magazines, Music CDs, & Short Loans 14 days
Books / Audiobooks on CD 28 days
AV equipment / ILL items varies

When you check out at any of the self-checks or with a staff member, you will be given a slip of paper that lists when each item is due. If you lose that slip, you can check your account online and also opt to renew any items as needed. If you have your Library Card # with you, you can call 920-832-6179 (Checkout) or 920-832-6173 (Reference) and be told when an item is due as well as have that item renewed.


Unless there is a waiting list, all materials may be renewed twice. Renewal will extend an item's checkout from the date it is renewed, not from the original due date. Renew online at InfoSoup.org using My Account.

Items borrowed through interlibrary loan from a library outside the OWLSnet system can only be renewed with permission of the owning library. To request a renewal, contact the Appleton Public Library at 832-6173 at least three days before the item is due. It may take a several days to receive an answer from the owning library. Items that are overdue cannot be renewed and must be returned.

You can continue to check out items until you have $5 or more of fines/billed items on your card. Fines do not affect computer access.

Fines are are paid at the Library's checkout desk; we accept cash or check (made out to the City of Appleton). If your fines are $4 or more, you may pay them online with a credit card by logging into your account; however, if your fines are less than $4 you will not see an option to pay online.

InterLibrary Loans & Equipment
$25 Maximum
Reference Books given special release to check out (rare exceptions)
$1/hour each hour past the date & time due
no Maximum limit
Everything else
$5 Maximum

Where do I pick up my items?

Patrons may pick-up their own holds from an area immediately west (right) of the Circulation Desk. Items will remain on the hold shelf for 7 days, after which they are returned to the owning library. Unfortunately, the seven days cannot be extended.

You will need the Library card that was used to place the hold in order to check out the item(s). You can also enter all the library cards in your household into the APL app on your mobile device and never worry about whether you have the right card to pick up the right hold.

For privacy, holds are filed in alphabetical order by a code comprised as follows

  • the first two letters of your first name
  • the first two letters of your last name
  • the last four digits of your Library card number

John Doe, 29876 12345 6789 (library card #) = JODO6789

Why is there a limit of 15 holds?

There are thousands of holds placed in the catalog each day and limited staff to find and process the holds. Pulling thousands of items off the shelf is a great service but very labor intensive, and we had to create limits.


If you notice that an item is available at Appleton Public Library, rather than placing a hold please call us for a set-aside: we will go to the shelf immediately to check for the item which will then be set-aside for you on the hold shelf for a total of 7 days.

  • For non-fiction books: 920-832-6173 (Reference Desk, 2nd floor)
  • For fiction, large print, videos, cds, magazines, or Young Adult titles: 920-832-6177 (Info Desk, main floor)
  • For Children's items: 920-832-6187


  • Computers are available on the first and second floors; login with your library card number and last name. Guests without a library card can show photo ID to staff to obtain a guest pass.
    • The Children's section has 8 computers for children and for adults who are attending to their children in that area.
    • The first floor has 3 computers east of the Information Desk. You may use your cell phone at these computers.
    • The second floor has 23 computers, one at a stand-up station with a feeder scanner. Cell phones must be set to silent or vibrate on the second floor, and cell phone conversations are prohibited. If you need to use your cell phone while on the computer, please go to one of the three first floor computers.
  • Everyone has 3 hours per day to use the internet computers. You can log on as many times as you'd like; as soon as you reach 3 hours, however, you will no longer have access. If use is high and waiting patrons have made reservations, the time management system will not offer to extend your current session, but you still have all your remaining time to use over the course of the day. Individuals taking tests should speak to staff at the beginning of their session if they feel they will need special accommodation to finish without interruption.
  • Fines on your library account do not affect your ability to use the computers.
  • Staff will attempt to assist with software or hardware problems but are not experts on all types of software or hardware. Patrons are ultimately responsible for their own use of the computers and can use print and online tutorials, plus books from the collection, to learn how to use the computers.
  • Staff will monitor use of the computers to see that patrons are following the Library's Internet Policy and Security & Safety Policy.


Software is listed at www.apl.org/software.


$0.15 per side for black and white (two-sided = $0.30/page), and $0.35 for color (two-sided = $0.70/page). Wireless printing is also available.


A feeder scanner is located in front and slightly to the east of the Reference Desk on the second floor. This is a 30 minute stand-up station. Login with your own library card number. ID cards, etc., can be fed through the feeder scanner with a carrier sheet that is available at the Reference Desk. The scanner computer also has Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard edition.


WIFi is free at the Library. By using WiFi at the library you agree that you are subject to our Internet Policy. Any device with WiFi capability should automatically detect the aplpublic signal. No password is required. Wireless access points are located throughout the building, although signal strength may vary. Our internet speed for WiFi and the internet computers is 100MB up and down.

Where do you get funds?

The Library gets grants every year from the Friends of Appleton Library. But over 95% of the money spent at the Library comes from local tax dollars -- mostly City of Appleton property taxes -- and counties, too.

Can libraries help the economy?

Libraries promote community development and growth. People starting a business, people running a business and people looking for work all use and benefit from Library resources. Many people look at the public Library when deciding where they want to live -- and access to libraries helps people prepare for higher paying jobs.

Studies have shown that for every dollar invested in libraries, there is at least a $4 return on investment to the community.

Who’s in charge?

The Appleton Public Library is governed by a citizen board of trustees, including one alderperson, one Appleton Area School District representative and seven other citizens appointed by the mayor. Most board appointments are for three-year terms. Appleton residents interested in serving on the board should contact the mayor, the library board president, or the library director.

The board makes budget and policy decisions and oversees the staff. 

What’s the deal with parking?

Parking is free after 6pm and all day on Sundays. At other times the ramps and parking meters reflect the supply and demand of being part of a busy downtown. The library parking lot is maintained and operated by the City of Appleton Public Works Department. The City of Appleton (not the Library) receives all parking revenue and parking tickets, and the City of Appleton Common Council controls the rules for parking meter enforcement.