Circulation Policy


In order to check out materials from the Duluth Public Library (DPL), you must have a valid library card that is registered in DPL’s computer system. A library card is free to any resident of the Arrowhead Library System region, which includes Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods and St. Louis counties. If you are 18 years of age or older, in order to be issued a library card you must present a government-issued photo identification and proof of current address. Virtual library cards (Port Cards) are issued to enrolled students in participating school districts. Businesses, schools and other agencies may obtain an institutional library card for use by their employees. An Easy Access library card is issued to anyone living in the Arrowhead Library System who has a government-issued photo ID but no proof of current address.

If you are a Minnesota resident and live outside of the Arrowhead Library System region, you may check out materials by presenting your current library card from your home library as well as acceptable identification. If you live out of state you may check out materials from DPL for an annual fee. A current library card from your home library is required, along with acceptable identification.

To obtain a library card, apply in person at any Duluth Public Library location. If you are 14 to 17 years old, you must show a photo ID or come with a parent who can show a photo ID. If you are under 14, a parent or guardian must show ID and sign your application.

You may register online for a library card. Online registration will give you a temporary number to use for placing holds. To receive your permanent card, come into the library with acceptable identification to complete the application process.

Most library cards never expire. As long as you continue to use your card it remains active. Extended periods of inactivity will result in your card being purged. Address checks are performed at regular intervals to ensure you are still a resident of the DPL service area. Library cards that expire are Easy Access cards, cards that require a fee for use, cards issued to an institution or local college students, and Port Cards. There is a charge to replace a library card before your routine address check.

Lost or Forgotten Cards
If you lose your library card, you should notify the library as soon as possible. You are responsible for anything checked out on your card. If you have forgotten your library card but have a photo ID with you, you may still check out items.

Loan Periods
Most library materials check out for four weeks and may be renewed for two additional four-week periods if no one has placed a hold on the item. Some materials check out for a shorter period of time and may or may not be renewable. For current information about the types of materials available for checkout and their loan periods, ask a library staff member or visit the library’s website. The library reserves the right to place additional limits on smaller or seasonal collections of materials.

You may place a hold on an item in person, over the phone or through the library’s online catalog. You are limited to no more than 50 holds at one time. The limit may be lower for certain materials.

In accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, people who reside at the same address may pick up one another’s holds. In order to pick up someone else’s holds, you must show identification with your current address, or you must have your own or the other person’s library card in your possession. If parents share custody of a minor child, either parent may pick up the child’s holds. If you do not want your holds released to anyone else in your household, you must notify the library and your request will be honored.

If the item you want is not owned by DPL, you may request it through interlibrary loan. This service is not available to temporary or out-of-state cardholders.

Fees and Charges
Although DPL is Free From Fines, you may receive reminders for overdue items. It is your responsibility to keep track of what you have checked out and to return it by the due date. When an item has been overdue for four weeks you will be billed for the item's replacement cost.
If an item is returned damaged and no longer suitable for the collection, you will be charged for its replacement.

If you have five or more overdue materials or fees from lost or damaged items, you will be unable to check out any more materials until the charges are resolved.

Under Minnesota law, information you provide in applying for a library card, except your name, as well as information which links your name with library materials, is private. It is available only to you and to appropriate library personnel. This information is required to support library service.

If you are under age 18, information about materials requested, borrowed or kept overdue is available to your parent or guardian. You may ask to have this information withheld by filling out a data privacy request form. However, library staff can only withhold this data from your parents if it is in your best interest to do so.

The Duluth Public Library's policies are subject to change without notice.

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Adopted November 22, 2022
Duluth Public Library Board