Get a Card

How to Get Your Library Card

Jump to: Card FAQs

Lake Forest residents, City employees, and LF College students who do not currently have a library card can kick-start their card online. You will be able to temporarily access eBooks and eAudiobooks, streaming movies, databases, online learning tools, and more, from anywhere, 24/7. You will need to complete your card process by coming into the Library. If you run into any issues, please call 847-234-0636 or send us a message.

Getting started

  1. Request your card by completing the form on this page.
  2. Library staff will receive and process your request within 3 business days.
  3. You will receive an email with your card number and instructions for accessing your Library account online.
  4. You can immediately begin using your library card to access digital resources from the Library including:
    • eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming movies and TV shows, music, and more at Download & Stream
    • Online learning, tutorials, The Great Courses, databases, and more at Research & Learn

Request a Card

Lake Forest residents, City employees, and LF College students ONLY

All others need to follow the steps in the "Activate Full Privileges" section and visit the Library to apply for a card.

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Activate Full Privileges

If you used the webform on this page to kick-start your card, you will be notified of the deadline to activate your full library card privileges. You will need to:

  1. Stop by the Library and bring a Photo ID and Proof of Residency. Accepted documents are listed in the FAQs on this page.
  2. You can speed up the process by completing the New Patron Registration Form and bringing it as well.
  3. We will verify and update the information in your library account as needed, then give you your physical card.

We're glad you now have full access to the Library and all borrowing privileges!

Library Card FAQs

Jump to: How to Get Your Card

Who can get a Lake Forest Library card?

Library cards are available to:

  • Lake Forest residents
  • Children up to age 16, using their parent or guardian's information
  • Caregivers and nannies of Lake Forest families
  • Owners of Lake Forest businesses
  • City of Lake Forest employees
  • Lake Forest College students
    College borrowing periods run from the beginning of fall semester to May 1 and/or the beginning of summer semester to September 1. Students must show proof of residency and update their info to reactivate their card the following semester.
  • Non-residents may purchase a card for $800.11.

If you have questions about getting a library card, please call 847-234-0636 or send us a message.

Who can use the webform to kick-start their card?

Only Lake Forest residents, City employees, and Lake Forest College students can kick-start their card and get access to digital resources.

All other applicants must come into the Library to apply for a card.

What documents do I need to bring in?

Electronic copies of documents may be submitted, provided the account is accessed at the Library.

Accepted Photo IDs

  • Current Illinois Driver's License or State ID
  • Current School ID
  • Passport

Accepted Proof of Residency

  • Current Illinois Driver’s License or State ID showing a Lake Forest address
  • Illinois Motor Vehicle Registration
  • Or any of the following, dated or postmarked within 90 days of your library card application:
    • Utility or phone bill
    • Official mail addressed to you from a state, county, city, village, or federal government agency
    • Bank statement that is dated
    • Homeowner's or renter's insurance policy
    • Lease or real estate ownership or tax bill
    • Pay stub

Does my library card expire?

If you kick-start your card using the webform on this page, you will be notified when you need to come into the Library to activate full privileges.

Library accounts expire after 3 years. To renew your account, you will be asked to show a photo ID and confirm you are still a Lake Forest resident using the options above.

Do I have to bring my card with me?

We need your library card to check out items to you. You can add your card to your phone using the Lake Forest Library app.

Install the iOS Apple app

Install the Android app

What if I lost my library card?

The replacement fee for lost library cards is $2.00.