Your Library Card

Welcome to the Dwight Foster Public Library!  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 or use the computers.

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 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 will have to select a  PIN/password upon registering for a library card.  A PIN may be any combination of numbers or letters.  Please be aware that once a pin is entered into a patron’s account, library staff is unable to see the PIN.  If you should forget your pin, it will have to be reset.  For this reason we recommend that the PIN be something that is easy to remember, like your birth date or phone number.

The library is a member of the Bridges Library SystemBridges consists of the public libraries in Jefferson and Waukesha counties and provides access to over 2.3 million items.  Your library card is honored in any of the libraries in the Bridges Library SystemHowever, please be aware that policies, fines, and fees vary from library to library.

Managing Your Library Account

The library now offers many tools to help you manage your library account. You can go to the library’s catalog online at any time to see what it checked out on your account and to check the status of your holds. If you provide your email address, the library will send you email notices of items coming due prior to their due date. If you have texting service on your cell phone, you can sign up for text message notifications. The library staff will be glad to sign you up for these services. Just ask!

Anyone who does keep library materials overdue is subject to fines on a per item basis (see below). 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’s not the case; you can pay your fine at a later date. Our interest is in getting the item back so it is available for other patrons.

Fines are as follows:

  • $0.15 per day, per item – books, audiobooks, magazines (with 4 day grace period), DVDs, CDs
  • $0.25 per day, per item – interlibrary loan items – from outside the Bridges Library System (no grace period)

There are no overdue fines on children and young adult  materials checked out at Dwight Foster Public Library as of May 1, 2019.

Bridges Library System (no grace period)

The grace period (on items with a grace period) is only good for four days from due date.  If an item is returned after 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.

A set of DVDs, 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.

All items returned in the outside drop before the library opens will be checked in as if returned the previous open day.

A fine of $10.00 or  more blocks any use of  your  account. Once the fine is below $10.00 you may again check out library material, renew items, and place holds.  At the Dwight Foster Public Library, computer and internet usage is considered a public service and  therefore its use is not restricted by fines.

If you need to pay for a lost or damaged Dwight Foster owned item, you will be charged a standard replacement fee. If  the lost item should be found please be aware that the Dwight Foster Public Library does not grant refunds, however exceptions may be made at the Director’s discretion. Other libraries may charge additional processing fees for lost materials. These charges are determined by the owning library.

The library strives to offer materials that are cleaned and free from defects.  We appreciate your letting us know if you should encounter DVD/CD issues. 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 are long overdue, the library utilizes the services of either the police department or a collection agency to retrieve materials or collect payment for their replacement.  Once a patron’s 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.  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.


If an item you are looking for is owned by us but checked out, you may 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 so be sure to pick up your item promptly. The library reserves the right to suspend a patron’s “holds” privilege if items are consistently not picked up.

Interlibrary Loan

If the Bridges system does not own an item, please do not hesitate to ask about interlibrary loan!  We may be able to get the item from another library outside of our system. Materials borrowed from other libraries are subject to the rules and regulation of the loaning library.  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. 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.


Most items (exceptions include interlibrary loan items, Lucky Day collection items, Craft bags and Hotspots) may be renewed three times unless there is a hold on it for someone else.  Remember, the renewal period begins on the day of the renewal.  Renewals will be blocked with an overdue fine of $10.00 or more.

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 be aware that the library’s computer has a clock and calendar and will renew items using that clock and calendar. Remember, all items returned in the outside drop before the library opens will be checked in as if returned the previous day.


Materials may be returned either to the drop slot in the lobby or the outside drop slot in the front of the building.  Some large items will not fit into the drop slots and must be returned to the front desk.  Additionally, the return bins have limited capacity so we ask that you not overload them at any one time.  You may also return library materials (except Hotspots and Interlibrary loan items) to other libraries in our Bridges library system (Jefferson and Waukesha counties) and your items will be checked in at that time.

Lending Periods and Limits

1 week

  • Feature Films (DVDs)

2 weeks

  • New regular print adult fiction and nonfiction books
  • Magazines (current issue does not circulate)
  • TV Series and Nonfiction DVDs
  • Music CDs
  • Toys & puzzles
  • Interlibrary loan items

3 weeks

  • Most books (except for new adult fiction and nonfiction books)
  • All audio books
  • All large print books

4 hours

  • 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.

The library reserves the right to set additional checkout limits based on the library director’s discretion.

Approved by the Dwight Foster Public Library Board of Trustees 10/4/99.
Revised April 15, 2019.