FAQ / Using the Library

Explore the frequently asked questions below to get the most out of your Brown County Library card and library amenities available to the general public. If your question isn’t answered here, or to speak to library staff, call 920.448.4400.

Library Cards

How can I get a library card?
All Wisconsin residents age 18 and older are eligible for an adult library card. Children and teens under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign for them.

Complete these two easy steps:

• Fill out our online application.

• Verify your application in person with a photo ID and proof of your current address at any Brown County Library location. Parent/guardian must be present for library cards for children and teens under age 18. Cards must be verified in person within 21 days to complete your registration. 

What’s my PIN?
The PIN for your library account is the last four digits of your phone number, unless you have changed it to something else. If you need to reset your PIN, please call the library at 920.448.5825.

Why does my account say “privilege expired” when I try to log in?
We are required to verify your contact information annually and if over one year has passed since your last contact information verification, your account is temporarily blocked. Once we verify your information your account will be active again. To update your account, complete our online update form or call the library at 920.448.5825.

Where can I see my current checkouts, holds and fine balance?
Check your library account here. To log in, enter your library card number and your PIN. Your PIN should be the last four digits of your phone number.

What should I do if my library card is lost or stolen?
Let us know right away. We will temporarily block your account to make sure no one else can check out items under your name. If your card is lost or stolen and you do not notify the library, you are responsible for any fines or fees accrued on your account by someone else.

Whom do I contact if my contact information changes?
If any of your personal information has changed, please notify the library by using our Account Renewal form to update your address, phone number, or email address, or call the library at 920.448.5825.

If you have changed your legal name, please visit any of our locations in person with your library card and a photo ID with your new name in order to update your account.

How do I get a replacement card?
Visit your preferred Brown County Library location with a photo ID. There is a $2 fee for a replacement card.

Does the library share my account information with anyone else?
Wisconsin State Statutes do not allow library staff to give out information about your library account without your permission. However, anyone with your library card number is assumed to have your permission to use your account and access your records. For more information, see our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.

Library Cards for Children and Teens

How old does my child have to be to get his or her own card?
There is no minimum age for a child to be eligible for a library card. The parent/guardian can decide when they feel the child is ready.

How can my child or teen get a library card?
Children and teens under the age of 18 can get a library card in just two easy steps:

• The child or teen’s parent or guardian may complete our online application.

• Verify the application in-person with the parent of guardian’s photo ID and proof of current address at any Brown County Library location. Parent/guardian must be present for library cards for children and teens under age 18. Cards must be verified in person within 21 days to complete registration

A child may have only one library card, even if he or she lives in multiple households. If more than one parent or guardian needs access to the account, the signing parent must give permission to other caretakers for them to access account information. The parent or guardian who signs for the account is legally responsible for all fines on the child’s account until the child turns 18.

Can more than one parent or guardian sign for a child’s card?
No. There can only be one adult responsible for a child’s library card.

Do I have to have a library card to sign for my child’s account?
No. However, if the signing adult does have a library card, their account must have less than $10 in outstanding fines in order to sign for a child’s account.

Can parents or guardians see what a child has checked out?
Parents or guardians can see information about a child’s account until the child is 16 years old.

Borrowing from the Library

How many items can I check out?
You may check out up to 50 total items at a time. This total includes no more than 20 DVDs and 5 video games at a time. Chromebooks and mobile hotspots are limited to one checkout per month per household.

How long can I keep library materials once I check them out?
Most library materials check out for 21 days, including books, audiobooks, DVDs, video games, Chromebooks, mobile hotspots, magazines and unique collections such as guitar pedals, cake pans and board games.

The following items are due at close and may only be used inside the library:

• Laptops

• Charging Kits

Bike locks may also be checked out at select BCL locations. These are only intended for use during your visit to the library and must be returned before the library closes for the day.

How do I renew items?
Log in to your library account through our online catalog, call your renewal line at 920.448.6263 or visit any Brown County Library location. Most library materials may be renewed up to 4 times as long as others are not waiting to check the item out (select materials, such as Chromebooks and mobile hotspots, may not be renewed).

Where can I return items?
Return items to any Brown County Library location regardless of where you checked it out (a few exceptions apply). For your convenience, 24-hour outside bookdrops are available at all locations for all materials except those otherwise labeled.

How do I request an item that is currently checked out or is not at my preferred Brown County Library location?
You may request an item by placing a “hold” on it. You will be notified via phone call, email or text when the item arrives at your preferred pickup location; you have six days to pick up your hold(s) after they arrive. To place a hold, use our online catalog, call the library at 920.448.4400, or ask in person at any Brown County Library location.

Can I change how I receive hold notifications?
Yes, you can choose whether you prefer to be notified via email, text or an automated phone call. To update your preferences, call the library at 920.448.5825, ask in person at any Brown County Library location or email us via our contact form (be sure to include both your library card number, contact information and preferred notification method). 

Can I temporarily suspend my holds (requested items)?
Yes, suspend your holds through your account in our online catalog or contact any Brown County Library location.

Can I suggest an item for the library’s collection and what are my options if the library doesn’t own an item that I need?
You may suggest that the library purchase an item through our online Suggestion for Purchase form. You may also request items from other libraries outside of Brown County, referred to as Interlibrary Loans. You may request an interlibrary loan online, or you may ask a librarian by calling or visiting any Brown County Library location.

Central Library and East Branch Pickup Windows

Did you know you can check out library materials without leaving your vehicle?

Place a hold on the items you want to check out, and we’ll gather them and have them ready for you to pick up.

The Pickup Windows are open during regular library hours.

Library Fines

Does the library charge overdue fees?
Yes. Each overdue item will be charged a daily fee until returned.

How much are overdue fines?
Library fees vary by item:

• Children’s materials: none – fees are only charged for lost or damaged items
• Young adult materials: none – fees are only charged for lost or damaged items
• Adult magazines: 10 cents per day
• Adult books, DVDs, TV Shows and Video Games: 25 cents per day
• Interlibrary Loan books: 50 cents per day
• Bike locks, Arduino kits, and other equipment: $1 per day
• Items for in-library use only: $1 per hour
• Interlibrary Loan DVDs and TV Shows: $1.50 per day
• Chromebooks and mobile hotspots: $10 per day

If items are lost or damaged, a replacement fee will be charged in addition to overdue fines. If equipment such as Arduino Kits, Chromebooks, or mobile hotspots are not returned in usable condition, a $15 cleaning fee may be assessed. For more information, see our Fines & Fees Policy.

What happens if I lose a library item?
You will be charged a replacement fee based on what the library paid to acquire that item. Replacement copies cannot be accepted in place of the replacement fee.

If you report an item lost before it becomes overdue, you will only be charged the replacement fee. If an item is overdue for 40 days, the library will assume the item is lost, and you will be charged the replacement fee in addition to any overdue fees the item has accrued.

What happens if I damage a library item?
You will be charged a replacement fee based on what the library paid to acquire the item. Replacement copies will not be accepted in place of the replacement fee.

Can I still check out if I have fines?
You can use your library card normally as long as your fine balance is $10 or less. If your fine balance is over $10, you can pay the balance down to no more than $10 in order to use your card again.

Can I pay my fines online?
Yes! You can view and pay your fines through your account on our online catalog. Please note that fines must total $1.00 or more in order to pay online.

Library Services

Meeting Spaces and Study Rooms
There are a variety of study rooms and meeting spaces available to accommodate individuals and groups. Visit our Meeting Spaces page for more information.

Technology Tutoring
Want to learn about using a device, website, email, database, etc., or how to get started with a library resource? Book a free 30-minute, one-on-one, tech tutor session with a skilled librarian to get assistance with completing a task or learning something new! Appointment required. 

Call your preferred library location to schedule an appointment:
Central Library – 920.448.5824
Ashwaubenon Branch – 920.492.4913
Denmark Branch – 920.863.6613
East Branch – 920.391.4600
Kress Family Branch (De Pere) – 920.448.4407
Pulaski Branch – 920.822.3220
Southwest Branch – 920.492.4910
Weyers-Hilliard Branch (Howard) – 920.448.4405
Wrightstown Branch – 920.532.4011

Microfilm/Microfiche Readers
Microfilm readers and our microfilm collection are housed at Central Library. Please contact the Local History and Genealogy Department at 920.448.5815 for more information.

Programs & Events
We offer a wide range of free programs for children, teens, adults, and families. Visit our online events calendar to see the current schedule.

Using Library Computers & WiFi

Public desktop computers and laptops are available for use at all Brown County Library locations; a library card is not required. Library computers include free access to the internet and a variety of software (see list below). Use of library computers is subject to our Internet and Public Computer Acceptable Use Policy. Headphones are required for listening to sound on library computers (earbuds are available for purchase for $1.50). All Brown County Library buildings also have free Wifi (no password required).

Desktop Computers
Desktop computers are available to patrons with a valid library card at all Brown County Library locations for a maximum of 2 hours per day. Guest passes are available for anyone who does not have a library card. Computers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, or you may reserve a computer at the location of your choice. When making a reservation, your PIN is usually set to be the last four digits of your phone number.

Laptop Computers
Laptops are also available for checkout for use within the library for up to 2 hours. Ask at the desk for availability (sorry – no holds permitted, and you must be 12 years or older with a library card in good standing). Please present your library card when checking out a laptop – guest passes cannot be used.

Printing from one of the library’s computers or your personal device is available at all locations. See more information about pricing and installing the necessary software for printing from your own device.

Available Software
All public library computers run Windows 11 and have the following programs installed. Please note: Additional software cannot be installed. 

• Adobe Acrobat Reader
• Google Chrome
• Microsoft Edge
• Microsoft Office 
• Mozilla Firefox
• Paint.NET
• Skype (laptops only)

Printing, Photocopying, Faxing and Scanning

Brown County Library offers self-service printing, photocopying, scanning and faxing at all library locations. A valid library card or guest pass is required and funds must be added to your account before you can print, photocopy or fax (outgoing only). Scanning to your email or to a USB is free. You may print from a library computer or from your personal device.

Printing from a Personal Device
You can print from a Windows or Mac laptop or your Android or Apple tablet or phone when you bring it to the library (standard printing rates apply). Note: When printing from a personal device, you will not be shown the total cost before releasing it to the printer. See below for printing prices.

First, take a moment to review the instructions for printing from your own device:

Windows laptop (en Español)
Mac laptop (en Español)
Apple iPad or iPhone (en Español)
Android tablet or phone (en Español)

Then, click below:


Payment can be made with cash, coins or credit/debit cards at the library print kiosk (available at select library locations) or at a library service desk. Payment must be added to your account prior to printing, photocopying or faxing.

Black and White Printing and Photocopying:
• 15 cents/page for 8.5” x 11” paper and 8.5” x 14” (legal) paper
• 30 cents/page for 11” x 17” paper

Color Printing and Photocopying:
• 50 cents/page for 8.5” x 11” paper and 8.5” x 14” (legal) paper
• $1/page for 11” x 17” paper

• $1 for the first page
• 50 cents for every subsequent page

Scanning: free

Working and Volunteering at the Library

How do I apply to work at the library?
Any open positions at the library will be posted on the Brown County Jobs Site. Interested applicants must create an account and complete the job application online.

How do I apply to volunteer at the library?
You can find more information on volunteer opportunities for adults and teens, including the volunteer application, on our volunteer page.

Supporting the Library

Can I donate money to the library?
Yes. You can make a monetary donation to the library using our online form (temporarily unavailable) or in person. Each of our libraries also have donation boxes.

Can I donate books and other materials to the library?
Yes. Small donations of books and other items (see the Friends of the Brown County Library website for types of items accepted) may be dropped off at any Brown County Library during regular open hours. For donations of six (6) or more boxes or if you need assistance unloading, please drop off at the Central Library during the following hours:

Monday-Friday 9 am-3 pm
Saturday 9 am-Noon

How do I join Friends of the Brown County Library?
Friends of the Brown County Library is a nonprofit group that supports literacy efforts throughout Brown County and promotes library services and events. You can find more information about its work and complete a membership application on the Friends of the Brown County Library website.