FAQs

Non-Resident Cards

How are library districts determined?
In Illinois, library districts are based on local property tax districts. You can determine what district your property is in by looking at your property tax bill. If you are being taxed for library services, you’ll see an individual line item with the amount that you pay, along with the name of the library that your taxes support.

How much does a non-resident card cost? How do you calculate the fee?
The non-resident fees vary from household to household because they are based on the value of your property. We use a state approved formula to calculate non-resident fees. We take the taxable valuation of your property (this includes exemptions) and multiply it by the library’s levy for the year.

How do I find out the fee for my household?
You can always call, visit, or email the library and we’ll be happy to provide you with this information. You can also calculate your fee by taking the total taxable valuation of your property from your most recent property tax bill and multiplying it by the library’s levy for the year.

Do I need to pay the non-resident fee more than once to get cards for every person in my household?
No. Non-resident fees are charged per household. Once you have paid the non-resident fee, anyone residing in your household can obtain a card at no additional cost.

How often do I need to pay my non-resident fee?
Non-resident fees are charged annually.

Does the library offer discounts on non-resident fees?
The library cannot offer discounts on non-resident fees.

Do I have to renew my card every year?
You do need to pay your non-resident fee in order to continue with your card privileges. However, non-resident fees are not billed automatically—you can let your membership lapse without any penalty.

What is the difference between a non-resident card and a resident card?
The only difference between non-resident cards and resident cards is the form of payment. Non-resident cardholders pay the library directly; resident cardholders pay through their property taxes. Non-resident cardholders have the same privileges and access to the same services as resident cardholders.

Can I get a non-resident card from a different library?
No. Per Illinois state law, your non-resident card must be purchased from the library that is either geographically closest to your home or the library that is located in the school district that your property belongs to. For all unincorporated Lake Bluff properties, the Lake Bluff Library meets both requirements.

What if I decide not to purchase a library card? Can I still use the library?
Absolutely! You only need a card to check out materials and access some of our digital resources. As a non-cardholder, you are more than welcome to visit the library, use our public computers, attend library programs, ask us questions, and even read books in the library building.

Intergovernmental Agreement Cards (IGA Cards)

What is the difference between an IGA Card and a Non-Resident Card?
An IGA card is issued to at no additional cost, but it includes more usage restrictions. IGA Cards can only be used by the student cardholder and cannot be registered at other libraries. Non-Resident Cards have an annual fee for the entire household, but they do not have the same usage restrictions as IGA Cards. Non-Resident Cards have the same privileges as Resident Cards and may be registered at other libraries for reciprocal privileges. Check out our IGA and Non-Resident Card Comparison handout for more information.

My family has already purchased Non-Resident Cards. Do we need to pick up IGA Cards as well?
Your household can only participate in one card program at a time. Unless you are planning on switching from the Non-Resident Card program to the IGA Card program, you do not need to register for an IGA Card.

If I sign up for one card program now, can I change my mind later?
Yes! While your household can only participate in one card program at a time, you can switch programs as your family's needs change. We'll ask you to fill out a short opt in/opt out form for our records.

My family purchased a non-resident cards, but we plan to switch to IGA Cards. Are you able to offer any refunds or fee adjustments?
Unfortunately, no. The intergovernmental agreement between the District and the Library has no impact on non-resident fees, so we are not able to adjust your fee or issue a refund based on the terms of that agreement. Please read our Existing Non-Resident Cards handout for more information.

My child attends a school that is not listed as a partner school on the IGA section of your library cards page. Can he or she still receive an IGA Card?
The Library cannot issue IGA Cards without an agreement in place with the school. If your child's school is not listed as a partner school on this page, it means that we do not currently have an agreement with the institution.