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 District Library is a library funded primarily 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 any library in the area, including Normal, Eureka, and Peoria.
If you live within the El Paso-Gridley school district, you will be paying for your El Paso District 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 El Paso-Gridley school district, 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 a state law libraries must follow which states 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, Minonk, and Illinois Prairie with several branches including Roanoke and Metamora.
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 the taxing body of El Paso City Library or El Paso District Library is listed, then you have already paid for your library card. There is a small window of time in 2017-2018, where we will rely on the Taxing Body of El Paso - Gridley U11 to verify if you live in the El Paso-Gridley school district.
Many people confuse the CUSD #11 school district (El Paso-Gridley) with the library district. We use the boundaries of the El Paso-Gridley school district, but we are not tied in any way to the El Paso-Gridley school district.
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 and we can give out one card per family not one card for each family member. Children can get a library card at age 7. However, parents/guardians 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.