Library Card

To check out materials or use the public access computers at the Independence Public Library, you must have a library card.

Getting your Library Card

Those who are residents of Independence, Iowa; or residents of Iowa who qualify for Open Access by living in an incorporated city with a library or a city or rural area that contracts for library service qualify for a free library card.


When you come to the library to get a card, please bring a picture ID with a current address and something to verify your address - some examples would be a utility bill, preprinted check, or rental agreement.

For those younger than 12, a parent must accompany you and sign your card application. Those younger than 5 may use the library with a parent or guardian.

Online Application

You can now apply for a library card online! Please be prepared to send a photo of both a picture ID with a current address and something to verify your address - some examples would be a utility bill, preprinted check, or rental agreement. 

For those younger than 12, a parent must electronically sign your card application. Those younger than 5 may use the library with a parent or guardian. 

You can also use this online application to renew your library card. Address verification is not needed when renewing your card. 

Click here to apply now or renew your card!

Online applications and renewals will be processed within two business days. 
 If you need immediate access to online services, please visit the library in person.

 Once address verification is received, your library card number will be emailed to you. The physical library card will be mailed to the address on your application.

More information


 Here is a packet of information about library services for those with a library card.

Library Services Overview

Confused about who can get a library card?

A librarian helps a mom and toddler check out books at the library.

Check Out 

IPL is now Fine Free!

Items Available for Check Out:

We have materials in the following formats:

  • Audiobooks
  • Books
  • Cake Pans (shape or character)
  • Downloadable audiobooks (BRIDGES)
  • Downloadable ebooks (BRIDGES)
  • DVDs
  • Magazines
  • eReaders
  • Hot Spots
  • 300, 500, 750, and 1000 piece puzzles
  • Games/Sports Equipment (Giant Jenga, Bean Bag Toss, Ladderball, Four Square Ball, Tennis Sets, Pickleball Sets, Disc Golf Set, Birdwatching Kit)

Check Out Period

Our checkout period for most items is 3 weeks. DVDs, Cake Pans, Express Books, and Hot Spots have a 1-week checkout period and eReaders preloaded with titles, BRIDGES titles, and New Arrivals have a 2-week checkout period.

If there are no holds placed on books, audiobooks, cake pans, puzzles, or DVDs, they can be renewed twice.  Express Books, eReaders, Games and Sports Equipment, and Hot Spots cannot be renewed.

Fines and Fees

As of June 1, 2023, most library items are fine free. Fines are only assessed for Interlibrary Loans (includes book club books), Express Books, Games, and Sports Equipment, eReaders and Hot Spots. Also, use our BRIDGES program to download ebooks or audiobooks...they expire and you don't have to worry about a fine (just read or listen before they disappear)!

Fines are as listed below:

ItemFine per day
Express Book$0.25
Interlibrary Loan items (& book club books)$0.25
Hot Spots$10.00
Games/Sports Equipment$1.00

There are no fines for the following items: Books (except those listed above), Magazines, DVDs, Cake Pans, Vox Books, Audio CDs, Jigsaw Puzzles

Limitations: To be able to continue to check out, you may have no more than five items overdue. Also, items are marked as "problems" when hot spots, sports equipment, games, or interlibrary loans are 10 or more days overdue; and all other checkouts are 30 or more days overdue. You have the opportunity to return an item up to two months beyond the "problem" date. At that time, the cost of the item will be assessed to the card holder and you will no longer have the option to return the item.

See the Fines and Fees Policy.

Items Available for In-Library Use

Other items that can be checked out or logged into for in-library use only are: 

  • Art Kits
  • Chess/Checkers game pieces
  • Children's puzzles
  • Desktop computers
  • Duplo Legos
  • Early literacy computers
  • Headphones for TV
  • Laptops
  • Study rooms
  • Community Puzzle (500+ Piece)

Newspapers and Magazines

Everyone is welcome to use the library to browse books, magazines, and newspapers. The library carries over 50 magazines and the following newspapers:

  • The Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • The Independence Bulletin Journal
  • The Shopper's Reminder
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The Waterloo Courier
  • The Winthrop News