Get a Card

Temporary Library Cards Online

Jump to: Traditional CardsCard FAQs

Lake Forest residents, City employees, and LF College students who do not currently have a library card can now request a temporary card online. Your temporary card ensures you are able to access eBooks and eAudiobooks, streaming movies, databases, online learning tools, and more, from anywhere, 24/7. If you run into any issues, please contact us at

Getting started

  1. Request your temporary 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 temporary card number and instructions for accessing your Library account online.
  4. You can immediately begin using your library card to access resources on the Library website:

    eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming movies and TV shows, music, and more at Download & Stream

    Online learning, tutorials, Great Courses, databases, and more at Research & Learn

Request a Card

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

Please subscribe me to the monthly Library eNews
Home address
Nonresident cards
School address
CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Don't let it expire

You will be notified when your temporary library card is set to expire. After you are notified, to prevent your card from expiring:

  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. We will verify and update the information in your library account as needed, then give you your physical card.
  3. We're glad you now have full access to the Library and all borrowing privileges!

Traditional Library Cards

Jump to: Temporary Cards Card FAQs

Step 1: Apply

If you are a Lake Forest resident, City of Lake Forest employee, or Lake Forest College student, please complete the Temporary Card webform. All others, please call us at 847.234.0636 for more information about applying.

  • 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 (The college borrowing period runs from the beginning of fall semester to May 1)
  • Non-residents may purchase a card for $625.49

Jump-start Your Card

If you plan to visit the Library soon, you can complete the Jump-start Your Card form instead of applying for a Temporary Card.

The form is an interactive PDF that you can complete on your computer using certain browsers or Adobe Reader, or you can print the form and complete it by hand.

When your form is complete and printed, bring it to the Library with your Photo ID and Proof of Residency.

Step 2: Bring in Your Documents

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 application:

  • Utility or phone bill
  • Official mail addressed to the applicant from a state, county, city, village, or federal government agency
  • Bank statement dated
  • Homeowner's or renter's insurance policy
  • Lease or real estate ownership or tax bill
  • Pay stub

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

Library Card FAQs

Jump to: Temporary CardsTraditional Cards

Does my library card expire?

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 an app:

What if I lost my library card?

The replacement fee for lost library cards is $2.00.