Get a Library Card

hand holding crete library card

Am I Eligible for a Crete Public Library Card?

Yes, if you live within our Library district boundaries, which include the Village of Crete, Crete Township, and a few other areas, then you are eligible for a Crete Public Library card because your property taxes support this Library.

Generally, if you live outside our Library district boundaries you are not eligible for a Crete Public Library card. However, there are some exceptions. See our full Circulation Policies for details.

Search your address on this map to confirm which library serves your residence. This information can also be found on your property tax bill or voter registration card and can be verified on the Will County Supervisor of Assessment’s property search page. You can also call our Patron Services Department at 708-672-8017 for assistance. If you find you live in a different library’s service area, see the list of other nearby libraries below.

Please be aware that the Library will not issue cards to patrons who have known overdue obligations (in the form of unpaid fines or overdue or lost or damaged materials) at another library in Illinois.

How do I apply for a card?

Come into the Library and complete an application at the Patron Services desk. You can also apply for a temporary, digital only card with this online application.

What do I need to bring with me?

One valid and unexpired photo ID that includes your name and current street address. If your ID does not reflect your Crete address, you’ll also need proof of residence.

Photo ID options: You will need one of these.

  • Driver’s license or State ID
  • Passport/Passport Card
  • Military ID
  • FOID Card
  • Permanent Resident (“Green”) Card

Proof of Residence options: You will need one of these if your ID does not reflect an address in Crete or within our library district boundaries.

  • Bank Statement (dated within 30 days)
  • Utility Bill (dated within 30 days)
  • Voter Registration Card (dated within the current year)
  • Vehicle Registration (dated within the current year)
  • Mortgage Statement (dated within 30 days)
  • Current lease agreement
  • Payroll Stub (dated within 30 days)
  • Unemployment Statement (dated within 30 days)
  • Property Tax Bill (dated within 6 months)

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my driver’s license is unexpired, but has not yet been changed to my current address?
In this case, your driver’s license counts as a photo ID, but you will need to bring one other item from the proof of residency list.

What items are NOT acceptable for identification and/or proof of residency?
Junk mail, Social Security cards, and car insurance cards will not be accepted. Photocopies of photo ID and proof of residency made prior to coming into the Library building will also not be accepted.

Can I use my cell phone to show current statements or bills?

How do I get a card for a child?
Children must be age 5 or older or in kindergarten to get a library card, and a parent or legal guardian must sign for and be responsible for cards held by children age 17 and under. Legal guardians must show proof of guardianship. The parent or legal guardian does not need to have a card of their own for the child to have one.

Can I get or renew a card for someone else?
Sorry, every adult cardholder must appear in person to sign for a new or renewed library card.

What if I am homebound but want to use the library’s services?
The Library offers a homebound delivery service for anyone who is temporarily or permanently unable to drive to the Library. This includes registering residents for library cards. Contact the Library for additional information about this service.

What are my responsibilities as a cardholder?
Cardholder responsibilities are outlined, in part, on the application form, and in full detail in our Circulation Policies. It is your responsibility to review all policies. Of course, you are responsible for all items borrowed on your card. Report a lost, missing, or stolen library card immediately by calling 708-672-8017 to avoid incurring fraudulent charges. There is no cost to replace or renew a library card. If you have questions, please contact Patron Services at or call us.

Do you offer digital cards?
You can receive 3 months of temporary access to our online resources by completing this application through SWAN Library Services, our library system. You will receive access to ebooks, audiobooks, online databases, homework help, and more.

When your temporary access is due to expire, you will receive an email notification with instructions on how to receive a full privileges card.

Nearby Libraries

Here are the libraries we most frequently redirect people to as their actual home library. Once a card is obtained from one of these libraries, it can then also be used at our library.

Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library
54 E 31st St., Steger, IL 60475

University Park Public Library District
1100 Blackhawk Dr., University Park, IL 60484

Beecher Community Library
660 Penfield St., Beecher, IL 60401

Park Forest Public Library
400 Lakewood Blvd., Park Forest, IL 60466

Peotone Public Library District*
515 N. 1st St., Peotone, IL 60468

*If you live in Monee, your home library is the Peotone Public Library.

Non-Resident Library Cards

In a few instances, people live in an area that is not served by any nearby public library, meaning the property owner is not paying any property taxes toward library service. The State of Illinois has provided a means for residents to purchase a library card to obtain service through the Public Library Non-Resident Service Administrative Rules. The Board of Library  Trustees of the Crete Public Library votes each year on an ordinance to allow non-residents living near the Crete Public Library to purchase library service.

Although you may have a Crete address, you still may not be eligible for a Crete Public Library card because you do not live within the library district boundaries. If you happen to live in one of these unserved areas, we can help you determine where you can purchase library service. The first step is to determine which public library is closest to your address, usually through an online map service such as Google maps. Next, if Crete is indeed your closest library, then you will be asked to bring a copy of your property tax bill. We will determine what your cost for library service will be by using your property valuation and the tax rate that other library district residents pay. If Crete is not your closest public library, we will direct you to the appropriate library, likely from the list above. Each library has its own method for determining the cost of a non-resident card. Many use the tax bill method used at CPL, while others may determine a set fee.

Obtaining a Chicago Public Library Card

Your Crete Public Library card gives you borrowing privileges at most public libraries in Illinois. Additionally, if you have a Crete library card in good standing (unexpired, no fees or other charges pending), you are eligible to apply for a Chicago Public Library card. When you complete the Chicago Public Library card application, they will call the Crete Public Library to verify your status. For more information, please contact Patron Services at or call 708-672-8017.

Have additional questions?
For more information on library cards, please view our Circulation Policies.