Your Library Card
You can get a library card in just minutes! Library cards are required to borrow materials from the library and may be required to utilize certain library services. To ensure accuracy, please bring your card with you when you want to check out materials. You will not be allowed to check out without your library card.
The library guarantees your right to privacy and will not disclose circulation or registration records except by court order. The library reserves the right to disclose circulation and registration records necessary for the purpose of debt collection or materials recovery. Please see the library's Confidentiality of Library Records policy for further information.
Any person who lives in Wisconsin may apply for and receive a free library card after completing and signing a library card application and presenting proper current identification. A driver's license number or state ID number is a required form of verification.
A parent/legal guardian must show identification and sign the library card application for anyone under 18 years of age. Parents are legally responsible for all fines and fees associated with the use of their children's cards. Parents are also responsible for monitoring their children's choice of materials.
No one under 18 years of age may check out videos/DVDs unless he/she has a video agreement signed by a parent/guardian on file at the Library.
Your library card is much like a credit card and should be treated as such since you are financially responsible for everything checked out on it. If you should lose your card or have it stolen, please notify us immediately. If your name or address changes, please report the change to us as soon as possible. Replacement cards will be issued with proper identification and/or verification and a $1.00 charge.
All borrowers are encouraged to select a PIN upon registering for a library card. A PIN may be any combination of numbers or letters (or both) and should be something that you'll find easy to remember. You will be unable to access some library services if you do not have a PIN/password attached to your library account.
Fines, Fees, and Overdues
Anyone keeping library materials overdue is subject to fines on a per item basis. Please remember that fines keep accruing until the item is returned. If you cannot pay the fine that you have accumulated, please don't let that stop you from returning the overdue item. Some people think that they must pay the fine when they return the item. That is not the case. If you return the item, the fine stops accumulating and you can pay the fine at a later date. Our interest is in getting the item back so it is available for other patrons.
Fines are 10 cents per day per item on all library materials except videos/DVDs, CD-ROMs and equipment. Videos, equipment, and CD-ROM fines are $1.00 per day per item. There is a 4 day grace period on all library materials except videos/DVDs, CD-ROMs, book club books, interlibrary loan items and equipment. If an item is returned within 4 days of its due date, there will be no fine. However, if an item is over the 4 day grace period (5 days or more overdue), the fine is calculated from the original due date. In other words, the grace period expires after the fourth day.
All items returned in the outside drop before 8 a.m. (when the library opens) will be checked in as if returned the previous open day.
If you have a fine of more than $10.00 or an item that is overdue that has had 2 or more notices, you will not be allowed to check out or renew until the fine is paid and/or the item is returned. In addition, any adult patron who has fines or overdues on his or her card, will not be allowed to check out on his/her children's card(s).
If you need to pay for a lost or damaged item, you will be charged a standard replacement charge or the replacement price plus a processing fee per item. If the item is overdue, you will be charged an overdue fine as well, although the fine will never exceed 95% of the cost to replace the item. Items paid for and found may be returned for a refund if it is within a one month period from the date of payment. The receipt (showing the amount paid and the title of the item) must be presented in order to obtain a refund. After this one month period, no refunds will be granted.
Fees for damages to library materials are on a case-by-case basis.
The library strives to offer materials that are cleaned and free from defects. However, the library assumes no responsibility for damage to patrons' equipment that may occur as a result of use of library materials.
On items that aren't returned after 4 separate overdue notices are sent, the library utilizes the services of either the police department or a collection agency to retrieve materials or get payment for their replacement. Once a patron account is sent to the collection agency, the items may no longer be returned for credit as they may already have been replaced. At that point, the patron is responsible for paying for the item(s) through the collection agency. This process was developed with fairness to all library patrons in mind. Materials not returned are not available for others to use or borrow. Also, if materials are not returned, in most cases money from the library budget is used to replace them (if they can be replaced at all). This same money is diverted from the purchase of new items for patron use, and is used instead to replace non-returned items. Please see the library's Policy on Unreturned Library Materials for more information.
Checks returned will be assessed a service fee determined by city of Fort Atkinson policy.
A set of cassettes, a book with a pamphlet, a kit, etc. is not considered returned until all pieces are back. Please make sure that everything is returned at the same time. The item will not be checked in until the set is complete. Any missing pieces are subject to replacement charges up to the full value of the item.
Please rewind all videos and audiocassettes prior to return.
Reserves, Interlibrary Loan, Renewals and Returns
If an item you are looking for is owned by us but checked out, you may reserve it (place a hold on it) and we will notify you when it is ready for pick up. We will hold an item for you a maximum of 7 days (5 days on videos) so be sure to pick up your item promptly. There is a maximum of 10 holds per library card. The library reserves the right to suspend a patron's "holds" privilege if items are consistently not picked up.
If we do not own an item, please ask about interlibrary loan. We may be able to get the item from another library. Materials borrowed from other libraries are subject to the rules and regulation of the loaning library. The library reserves the right to refuse interlibrary loan service to patrons who have kept interlibrary loan materials overdue or who have repeatedly requested items and not picked them up.
All items except interlibrary loan items may be renewed one time unless there is a hold on it for someone else. Remember, the renewal period begins on the day of the renewal. Also, if an item is overdue, you may not be able to renew it.
You may renew items by bringing them in or calling the library during regular library hours. You may also renew items yourself on the catalog computers in the library or by accessing the library's online catalog. You may renew items via the online catalog even during hours the library is closed. Keep in mind the library's online catalog is down for scheduled maintenance during certain hours of the week. Also, keep in mind that the library's computer has a clock and calendar and will renew items using that clock and calendar. (For example, if your video is due on Tuesday and you access the online catalog to renew it early Wednesday morning at 1 a.m., it will post a $1.00 fine on your card since the item is being renewed a day late.)
A new automated telephone system allows you to check your due dates and renew your items at any time. To access your library account via the telephone system, call 1-866-495-0348 and follow the automated instructions.
Materials may be returned either to the drop slot in the front desk or the return built into the front of the building which is accessible from the outside. A few items will not fit into the outside return and must be returned to the front desk. You may also return our library materials to other libraries in our library system (Jefferson, Dodge, and Washington Counties) and several other library systems as well. Ask about current libraries with which we have van delivery contracts. Please note that all interlibrary loan items that were ordered for you by our library must be returned directly to our library so you get proper credit for return.
Anything checked out on your library card is your responsibility until it is properly checked in. If you would like a receipt when you return your items, please ask a staff member for a receipt before they begin checking in your items.
Lending Periods and Limits
- Feature Films (Videos/DVDs) (limit: 10 total videos at one time)
- New or In Demand Books
- Nonfiction DVD/Videos (limit: 10)
- Music Compact Discs (limit: 10)
- Special Items (such as seasonal books during holiday season)
- CD-ROMs (limit: 10)
- Toys and Puzzles
- Most Books (except for New books)
- All Books on Tape or CD
- Library laptop for use inside the library only (See separate policy)
Reference books do not circulate. As such, they are always available for use by library users during open hours.
- (per card): 10 compact discs; 10 CD-ROMs; 10 videos/DVDs; 2 holiday books (in season)
Approved by the Dwight Foster Public Library Board of Trustees 10/4/99.
Revised July 1, 2002.
Revised November 6, 2006
Revised January 11, 2007
Revised May 7, 2007
Refised September 10, 2007
Revised March 2, 2009