Frequently Asked Questions about the Appleton Public Library: (the printer-friendly version lists all the FAQs on one page)
To contact the Library with questions about Library cards, fines, renewals, or lost materials please call Circulation at 832 - 6179.
Library cards are free to Wisconsin residents. Identification and proof of residence are required for adults when the card application is completed. Minors (17 years old and younger) need a parent's or guardian's signature on their application. There is no minimum age requirement to obtain a Library card. A newly registered patron may check out only 4 items until complete information is entered in our database. This could be up to a week. 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? The first time you lose it the replacement is free; subsequent replacements are $3.00. Please notify the Circulation staff if we need to change your name, address, or telephone on your account. Most library cards are valid for three years.
If you have any other questions about obtaining a library card or your account, please call the Circulation Desk at 920-832-6179.
Application... You can fill out and print an application ahead of time by opening the appropriate attachment above (you will not be able to save a filled-in version of the form). Bring the application(s) to the Checkout Desk to get your library card; be sure to bring your ID and proof of address as well.
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.
(4) Rental agreement with the complete address plainly entered.
Note: mail that is handwritten is not acceptable. 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.
The total number of Library items that you may have on your account at one time is 75. You may have 25 CDs, 25 video games, and 25 movies checked out to your account at any one time.
It is best (and fastest!) to use your card. We will make an exception if you show identification with your current address.
Yes, your materials may be returned to 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.
Yes! You may use your card at the public libraries in these counties: Outagamie, Waupaca, Shawano, Door, Florence, Oneida, Marinette, Kewaunee, Menominee, Oconto, and the Oneida Reservation.
You cannot use our library card at Neenah, Menasha, or Oshkosh libraries because they are in the Winnefox library system while APL is part of the OWLS library system. (We just happen to be right near the border of the two systems.) You can have a library card from both systems if you are a WI resident.
Your card expires after three years if Appleton Public Library is your home library (versus another library in OWLS). At that time, we’ll check your address and phone number and notify you of any charges on your account. If your card is in good shape, you will keep the same card and the same number.
Yes -- but remember: everything checked out on your card is your responsibility. Others may *not* use your library card number to access the internet computers.
Yes! Please let us know whenever you change any information on your Library card application.
Let us know right away so that we can "stop" your card to prevent others from using it. You may have one free replacement. After that, the cost is $3.
No, you will not be notified directly. However, if you access your InfoSoup account online, you will notice that it displays the expiration date in the area where your contact information is displayed.
Expiration dates are not uniform throughout the many libraries in the OWLSnet consortium, and libraries may use different lengths of time depending on circumstances. For example, when non-resident students sign up for a card, the expiration date is set for the end of the current school term.
If you find that your card is restricting you from using some online services, you may call the Library Circulation desk at 832-6179 and request a temporary extension. The new date will be set for a short time in the future, and you’ll be asked to present your card and confirm the information we have on file the next time you come in.
If your card is lost, you will need identification, be asked to fill out a new registration form, and may have to pay $3 for a replacement.
Sign up here to receive email notices from Appleton Public Library. We will send you notices when an item you placed on hold is available for checkout, a courtesy notice one day before your items are due, and an overdue notice when an item is past due.
HOLDS: subject=Library hold availability notice; email@example.com
SAVED SEARCHES: sender=III Exporter; subject=New library material matching your Preferred Searches; firstname.lastname@example.org
DUE IN ONE DAY: subject=Library courtesy notice; from email@example.com or another library @mail.owls.lib.wi.us
OVERDUE: subject=Library Overdue Notice; from firstname.lastname@example.org or another library @mail.owls.lib.wi.us
|All Videos and Video Games||7 days|
|Magazines, Music CDs, & Short Loans||14 days|
|Everything else||28 days|
(Loan periods vary for audiovisual equipment and InterLibrary-Loaned items.)
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. Interlibrary loan due dates are determined by the owning library; they do not renew. Items become overdue on their due date as soon as the library closes.
InterLibrary Loans & Equipment
When you check out materials, you will be given a slip listing what you have checked out and when those items are due back at the library. Materials are due before the library closes on the date indicated. If your library account includes your email address, you will receive a courtesy notice one day before your items are due. You may also use the My Account feature of our catalog to check your due date and fines.
We are no longer able to offer a grace period. All materials are due on their due date before the Library closes.
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).
Holds may be checked out on the self-check machines.
Holds are filed in alphabetical order by a code comprised as follows
John Doe, 29876 12345 6789 (library card #) = JODO6789
You can, if you have their library card with you. If you don’t have the card that the hold was placed under, we can’t be certain that you have the permission of the person who placed the hold. We take your privacy seriously, and now that holds are out in public view we have to be even more careful. That is why we file holds using a code that doesn’t result in family members having all of their materials together, and also why we require that you have the card that the hold was placed with in your possession when you pick up a hold.
Library staff have worked hard to keep up with the demands for materials, but the online catalog has made placing holds so easy and popular that the workload is getting beyond us. Although total staff is decreasing, the number of items reserved has gone up 160% in the last six years.
Many people reserve things even though at that very moment they are on the shelf at Appleton. Those requests join thousands of others. The following day we receive a notice and need to retrieve the materials (see the next paragraph on set-asides for a better way). Pulling thousands of items off the shelf is a great service but very labor intensive. In order to keep going, we had to create stricter limits.
Set-Asides - 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.
By using the WiFi service at the Library you agree that you are subject to the Library’s Internet Policy. Copies of the policy can be found at www.apl.org/about/policies.
How to Connect:
Any device with WiFi capability should automatically detect the aplpublic signal; no password. Wireless access points are located throughout the building, although signal strength may vary. Wireless printing is available; speak to someone at a service desk. Printing costs are listed here.
Please note: The Library expects patrons to be able to configure their own equipment to access the wireless network and cannot guarantee that you will be able to connect. The Library is not responsible for any loss or damage to personal equipment. WiFi is less secure than a wired network. The Library does not offer any laptops or peripheral equipment (power strips, wireless network cards, cables, printers, etc) to the public. Staff may require patrons who fail to comply with the Library’s Internet Policy to terminate their wireless session and leave the Library building.
The scanner computer is located in front of and slightly to the east of the Reference Desk on the second floor. This is a 30 minute stand-up station with a feeder scanner; 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.
Printing is 15¢/page (for black & white; 35¢/page for color).
A flatbed scanner is available in the Digital Creation Lab at iMac #6. You will need to show photo ID to access the lab.
Two computers are available on the second floor, along the north wall behind the Reference Desk. These computers have limited internet access to the Insurance Marketplace website (Affordable Care Act's healthcare.gov site), as well as links to the Department of Workforce Development. These computers do not require a library card number to login. You can apply for insurance on the Marketplace or get information on the Affordable Care Act, or apply for jobs through DWD's JobCenter site and access any other information on the DWD site, including Unemployment Insurance.
Library staff are not licensed or allowed to assist you with applying on the ACA site, filling out your DWD profile for job searching, or applying for Unemployment Insurance.
The Library is a center of community life: services are free, everybody is welcome and you see everybody. It’s our most democratic institution, and provides a general gathering place for people as well as meeting rooms for community groups. About 80,000 people have Appleton Library cards – a cross-section of our entire local population.
The Library is THE place for education, supplementing school media centers with in-depth materials, and is the only Library for many alternative school and home-school children -- and more adults learn things independently than learn via formal education.
Some people think the Internet is making libraries less busy, but just the opposite is true.
Librarians are way-finders on the information highway; libraries provide access to great value-added databases, as well as Internet access for those who don’t have their own.
The Appleton Public Library creates databases and online resources with local history and community information. With the Internet, people use the Library differently, but they use it more!
While not a critical service like police or fire, libraries are still an essential service. Communities that demonstrably value families, education, social inclusion and culture are stronger, healthier, better places to live, work and create opportunities.
The Library needs donations, and gets grants every year from the Appleton Library Foundation’s endowment and help from the Friends of Appleton Library – two organizations which need support! But over 95% of the money spent at the Library comes from local tax dollars – mostly from City of Appleton property taxes. But counties pay their share, too.
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. (Check out the most recent studies of the economic impact of Public Libraries, including specifically in Wisconsin.)
Libraries are places families can use together; we work with parents and families to help children love reading and learning. We encourage families to use the Library together. Kids who read succeed!
The 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.
Administration oversees the Library's daily operation.
Parking is free in City streets and lots on Sundays, but at other times, ramps and parking meters reflect the supply and demand of being part of a busy downtown. The meters in front of the Library are City meters; the parking lot is maintained and operated by the Appleton Public Works Department. The City receives all parking revenue and parking tickets, and the City Council controls the rules for parking meter enforcement.
The Library needs volunteers and uses hundreds of hours every month for special projects, data entry, help with programs and children’s activities, delivery of books to the homebound, shelving materials and more.
Apart from our volunteers, the Library is operated by staff. There are nearly 100 employees under the direction of professional librarians (who hold at least one masters degree). Work is done in the building seven days a week, sometimes from six AM until midnight. Five service points are staffed (Administration, Children's, Circulation, Information, and Reference). We answer questions, run programs, check-out and re-shelve material, and maintain a facility used daily by over a thousand people.
The Library collects and gives access to a wide range of media for all ages: books are still the biggest part of libraries (and we get many new ones every week), but there’s a great collection of DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, and downloadable books.
In many ways: sharing ideas, time and money. Use the library and let us know what you think: we value and need thoughtful feedback.
The Friends of the Appleton Library need active members and are involved in many library services and operations, including advocacy by contacting elected officials and writing letters to the editor.
There are many jobs for volunteers at the library. You can donate materials or money for the collection. The Friends of Appleton Public Library rely on many contributions to help the Library have the “edge of excellence” beyond tax support.