How to Borrow Materials

Getting a Library Card

  • Only residents and property owners within Washington Library District may receive free library cards.  Those who live outside the Washington Library District and do not reside in the district of another tax-supported library may purchase a library card from Washington Library if they live in immediate proximity to the Washington Library District.
  • Patrons may only hold one library card in the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) at a time and old cards from other libraries should be surrendered at the time of application for a new card.
  • When applying for a new card, patrons need to come into the library with identification that has their current address on it.
  • Cards need to be renewed every three years by coming into the library to verify current information in the patron’s record is correct.

Using Your Library Card

  • Library cards issued at Washington District Library may be used at either Washington Library location or any public library in Central Illinois.
  • Patrons in good standing with an adult card (ages 18 and older) may check out any circulating materials in the library.
  • Patrons with a young adult card (ages 14-17) have access to all library materials except for videos with R ratings or unrated videos with content equivalent to an R-rated film as determined by the library staff.
  • Patrons with a juvenile card (ages 4-13) may check out any circulating materials in the library except movies located in the adult collection.

Loan Periods

  • Books: 2 weeks
  • Audiobooks: 2 weeks
  • Music CDs: 2 weeks
  • Magazines: 1 week
  • Recently added movies (less than 6 months): 3 days
  • Other DVDs & Blu-rays: 1 week
  • TV shows: 1 week
  • Rokus & WiFi Hotspots: 1 week


  • All items not returned by the due date are subject to fines.
  • All overdue materials, except movies, Rokus and hotspots are fined at a rate of 10 cents a day with a maximum of  $5 per item.
  • Overdue movies are subject to fines of $.50 per day, with a $5 maximum per item.
  • Overdue Rokus and hotspots are subject to fines of $2.00 per day, with a $20 maximum per item.
  • Items that are placed on hold and transferred from another library and not picked up are subject to a fine of $1 per item.
  • Patrons with fines that exceed $5 will not be permitted to use the library or any of its services. Other libraries in our library system will not honor a patron card with $5 or more in fines / overdue materials.
  • Once a patron receives a billing statement for an overdue item, the patron will have 14 days for DVDs & 30 days for book-type items before their account is sent to a collection agency. At that time, a fee of $10 will be added to the patron’s record for those services.

Holds and Inter-Library Loan

  • All materials, except newly added movies, museum passes and Rokus, may have holds placed on them if the item is not currently available for checkout. This may be done by using the online library catalog or by speaking to library staff in person or on the phone.
  • Books and other materials may be requested from other libraries by going to the library catalog and searching other libraries in the catalog. If an item is located that you wish to receive, place a hold on the item by clicking "Place Hold" and entering your library card number and pin number in the appropriate location on the screen. If you are unsure what your PIN is, please contact a library staff member at 444-2241. Individual libraries determine which materials they lend, and not all materials may be available for a hold.  When requesting a book from another location, be sure to identify where you wish to pick up your item(s). You will be contacted by email or phone when your item(s) arrive and you will have 7 days to pick up the item.
  • If an item you would like is not in the library catalog for Washington or any other library in our system, you may request that item by contacting the library and asking the library to obtain it from another location somewhere outside of the area.

Other Borrowing Policies

  • All materials, except movies, museum passes, Rokus and hotspots may be renewed for two additional checkout periods unless someone has placed a hold on the item. Movies with a 1-week checkout and hotspots may be renewed for one additional checkout period, unless someone has placed a hold on the item. 3-day movies, museum passes and Rokus cannot be renewed. Items may be renewed by using the online library catalog or speaking to library staff in person or on the phone.
  • Drop boxes are located at both libraries for returns. Books and audio visual materials may be returned in the drop boxes.
  • Occasionally items may get damaged while you have them checked out. Please make sure you let the library know about this when you return the items. There may be a fine if the item is still usable. If it has been destroyed, the fees will be for the cost of the item plus processing charges.