Library Card Policy

Arrowhead Library System Permanent / Long-Term Residents:

A library card is free to any resident of the Arrowhead Library System (ALS) geographic boundaries who presents acceptable identification.  

Definition of an ALS Resident – Somebody who meets at least ONE of the below conditions:

  • Official ID shows an ALS address (Driver’s License, State ID, Military ID, etc.)
  • Property owner in ALS, without a primary residence elsewhere in Minnesota (This person’s name must be attached to the official property records; a trust doesn’t count.)
  • Educational exceptions can be allowed for the length of an academic term:
    • University students in the ALS region (student provides a school ID)
    • ELC Masters Program students (student has proof he/she is completing an academic internship at one of the local educational learning centers or state parks)
  • Local Exceptions (Every library will compile its own list of local exceptions for in-house use):
    • Group Homes – Long Term Care
      • Duluth Regional Care Centers
      • My House in Two Harbors
    • Other select long-term care facilities
      • Barross Cottages
      • Barross House
      • Waterview Shores
    • Local Public Housing Assistance Centers
      • Budd House Board and Lodging
      • North Shore Horizons & New Beginnings Supportive Housing

Acceptable Forms of ID – Any one of the following:

  • A valid, government issued ID showing current address
  • A valid, government issued ID and something to prove current address:
    • Official bill tied to current address (ex. utility bill)
    • A valid, signed lease agreement to current address
    • Other government issued document clearly stating the applicant’s name and current address

Unacceptable Forms of ID include, but are not limited to:

  • Expired forms of ID
  • Personal mail
  • Documents not directly tied to an individual (ex. Employer’s name or address is used instead)

Minnesota Residents with a primary residence outside the ALS Region:

The library also honors cards from most Minnesota public libraries, but the patron must have the card from their home library physically present for our library to honor it.  If a Non-ALS Minnesota resident doesn’t have their home library card with them, they may apply for a temporary card until they can return with their home library card in the future.

ALS and Minnesota Library Cards – The Limits

  • A newly registered borrower, receiving or registering their card for the first time at the Two Harbors Public Library, is allowed to check out four items on the first day.
  • All library cards must be renewed every 3 years.
  • If you do not have your library card with you and your account is in good standing, you may be allowed to check out 4 items.

Non-Residents / Visitors in the ALS region:

This category is comprised of everybody who doesn’t fall into one of the above two categories. 

Non-Resident / Visitor Cards – The Limits

Non-Resident / Visitor Cards are free, but a donation of $10.00 for every 3 months is recommended.  This figure is based on the state recommendation of $40.00/year, which is the estimated average amount of what an individual pays to support Minnesota libraries from their property taxes.

Due to vendor restrictions, non-resident / temporary residents may not have access to all the same online resources.  Patrons may check with the library regarding specific databases at any given time.

  • There is a maximum item limit of 4 items. This means that non-resident / temporary resident cards can only have 4 items checked-out at any one time.  As soon as previous items are returned, new items can be checked-out.
  • If you do not have your library card with you and your account is in good standing, you may be allowed to check out 4 items.


Any exceptions to this policy must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Library Director.  The Library Director will track all exceptions and report recurring instances to the Library Board.  Complicated exceptions may require Library Board approval.

Notice for all patrons:

Reminder: You are responsible for all materials borrowed on your card.  Please:

  • Bring your card to the library each time you visit.
  • Report any loss or damage to materials borrowed on your card.
  • Notify the library immediately if your card is lost or stolen
  • The library encourages borrowers to use their own library cards exclusively and not to lend them for use by other people.  Under no circumstances should a patron use another patron’s library card to avoid paying any fines or fees assessed against his/her own card. The library reserves the right to enforce non-transference of a library card and reserves the right to ask patrons to present identification at checkout when necessary.
  • For children and teens under 18: Children under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian show ID and be able to verify their current address. A parent or legal guardian who is a library card holder in good standing will be asked to sign the registration form for his/her child under the age of 18.  By co-signing, the parent or legal guardian accepts responsibility for settling fines, damages, losses, or other assessments against the library card of the minor. Please note: if a parent wishes to obtain information about their child’s account, the parent must have the child’s library card or for the child to be present at the time of the request.

Adopted (between 1896-1909); Revised May 2011; Revised January 2016; Revised May 2019; Revised September 2019; Revised November 2019; Revised May 2023

The Two Harbors Public Library Board reviews all policies within a one-year cycle or as deemed necessary.

Library Card Policy PDF


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