How do I get a library card?
Property taxes support local education, police/fire protection, local governments and infrastructure. They may also support a library depending upon where you live. The El Paso Public Library is a city library funded by property tax revenue.
Most libraries in this area belong to RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System). What this means is that no matter where your home library is, once you have a library card you can use it at almost any library in the area, including Normal, Eureka, and Peoria.
If you live within the city limits of El Paso, you have already paid for your El Paso Public Library card on your property taxes (or in your rent). We will need to see a picture identification and proof of your current address. A driver's license will cover both unless your address on the license is not correct, then you will need to bring in something with your current address also, such as a piece of mail that was delivered to your current address.
If you live out of the city limits we will need to determine if you should come to our library for your home card or if you should go to another library. There is an agreement among libraries that citizens living outside any library district should use the library closest to their home. If you live in Woodford County, the libraries to choose from in this area are El Paso, Eureka, and Minonk.
If El Paso is the library you need for your home library, you will have to pay for your library card at the time it is issued. You will also need to bring a picture identification and proof of address.
The State of Illinois has a formula that public libraries must use in setting the cost of a non-resident card. All public libraries use the same formula, to prevent libraries from competing with each other for potential patrons.
It is worthwhile to check your property taxes to verify whether or not you are paying for our library or possibly another library. The Woodford County Government website has a section called Public Access to Real Estate Taxes. You can use this to easily see what you are paying. You will want to choose the view on the side of the screen that says Taxing Bodies to see how your tax dollars are being used. If it says El Paso City Library, then you have already paid for your library card.
Many people confuse the CUSD #11 school district (El Paso-Gridley) with the library district. We are not associated with the CUSD #11 school district when it comes to property taxes.
Resident cards are issued for three years. Nonresident cards are issued for 1 year. If you pay property taxes on a business you own in El Paso, you are eligible for a Taxpayer type card. It is virtually the same as a resident card except that it is good for one year instead of three. Children can get a library card at age 7. However, parents are responsible for all fees and fines on their children's account.
Do I need to bring my library card each time I visit the library?
Yes! We can look patrons up by their name but it is more secure to bring in your library card. In a small town, there are many people with the same last name, the same first name, and we even have a few cases of patrons with both the same first and last name.
If you use your card, you can be sure that your library books are going on your account.