Frequently Asked Questions
In order to borrow materials from the Elizabeth Public Library, a person must have a valid Elizabeth Public Library card obtainable at any branch of the Elizabeth Public Library. Anyone who lives, works, attends school or owns property in the City of Elizabeth is entitled to a Library card. A resident Library card is valid for three years. Your address and contact information will be verified annually by Library staff. The Library card may be used at the Main and Branch libraries of the Elizabeth Public Library as well as most of the public libraries in Union and Middlesex Counties with the exception of Summit, Woodbridge and East Brunswick. In addition to this, The Elizabeth Public Library is a member of LMxAC (Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium), a consortium of 31 public libraries in Middlesex, Monmouth and Union counties, and the Middlesex County College Library. All library cardholders in good standing from any of these libraries can borrow materials from any of the member libraries, either by having the materials sent from another location, or by visiting the libraries in-person. (You can find more information on LMxAC by visiting their website at https://www.lmxac.org/info/ , by calling the Main Library Reference Desk at (908)354-6060, ext. 7203, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org .)
Persons eligible for a Library card must show two pieces of identification that may include a New Jersey driver’s license, a New Jersey non-driver identification card, or a passport, and one of the following:
· a New Jersey motor vehicle registration
· a utility bill (gas, electric or phone)
· a property tax bill
· a properly executed rental lease agreement with full name and address
· a pre-printed check with the name and address on it
· a credit card bill
· a bank statement
· a deed
· a voter registration card
· a class or school document such as a tuition bill
· class schedule, report card or other official document that shows the full name and address
· or a piece of mail that shows the applicant’s name and current address.
A piece of mail may be used for only one of the required pieces of identification. The mail must be first class mail of a personal nature such as a letter or a bill. The piece of mail may not be a piece of bulk mail, a flyer, an advertisement, or something addressed to the individual “or current resident.” The Library will not accept a piece of mail that it deems does not sufficiently show that an individual lives at a particular address. In addition, the address must include the actual street number, street name, city, and zip code. A piece of identification with a post office box number is not acceptable as a form of address. Children from birth to age 12 are eligible for Library cards if registered by parent or guardian who is a resident of Elizabeth. The child must be present for the card to be issued. The reason for this is as follows: since only a cardholder may borrow books on his or her Library card, there is no reason for a card to be issued when the child is not present. The parent or guardian is required to show two pieces of identification in the same manner as if he or she were getting an adult Library card as discussed above. Ordinarily, no identification is required for the child; however, in certain cases the Library staff member might require additional information or identification. For example, grandparents, babysitters, nannies, tutors, counselors, uncles and aunts or older brothers and sisters, and/or older family friends are not permitted to get Library cards for children in their care. In cases where it appears that a person other than the parent or legal guardian is seeking a Library card for a child, the card will not be issued. In cases where there is some question, the Library staff member may not issue the Library card pending a review by the Library director in concert with the assistant director or the head of the circulation department.
The head of the circulation department or the Library director may request such additional identification or information that may be necessary in making a decision. The parent or guardian must sign the Library card application indicating that he or she has received a copy of the Library’s policies, will adhere to them and will be responsible for their child’s use of the Library including payment for materials lost, returned late, or damaged. In addition, if the parent or guardian wishes to allow his or her child to have access to the Internet in the Children’s Library, he or she must sign the application card indicating receipt of the Library’s Internet policies, and authorizing the Library to provide access to the Internet to his or her child. The Library filters Internet access for children, but cautions parents that Internet filters are not always effective.
On turning thirteen, children are eligible to receive an adult Library card. The parent or guardian remains responsible for the use of the Library by the young adult including payment to the Library for lost, returned late, or damaged Library materials until the age of eighteen. Before a child is issued an adult Library card, the child’s card must be free of fines and in good standing. For young adults receiving a Library card for the first time, additional forms of identification include class or school identification cards, report cards, and class schedules that show the student’s full name and address. For young adults coming to the Library unaccompanied by a parent or guardian to sign up for a Library card, two pieces of identification for the young adult himself or herself as is specified in paragraph two are required. However, recognizing that young adults often do not have the types of identifications specified, additional forms of identification acceptable will include a class or school identification card, report card, class schedule or other official school document showing his or her full name and address. For a young adult coming to the Library accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign up for a Library card, identification from the parent or guardian, the young adult, or a combination of both will be acceptable if both pieces of identification show the same name and address.
Persons who do not reside in Elizabeth, but are employed in the city are eligible for a one-year Library card. He or she must have a current paystub with a local address clearly visible, or a letter on the employer’s letterhead, signed by a company official, verifying employment. Because of the amount of employee turnover at local employers, the Library requires another current paystub (or letter) to be presented upon renewal of the local employee card. Two additional pieces of identification will be required, as outlined above in paragraph two, page one, when obtaining the work-in-town card. If the Library did not require such documentation on renewal, persons no longer working in the City of Elizabeth would be able to borrow materials without limitation, and that is not an appropriate use of Library resources. Only the employee is eligible for a Library card. The local employee’s family members are NOT eligible for Library cards issued in the local employee category.
Persons who do not reside in Elizabeth, but attend school in the city are eligible for a Library card that will expire each September; out-of-town students can continue to utilize the Library after school has ended in June. To be issued a Library card, the student must establish that he or she attends an Elizabeth school by presenting a student identification card, a badge, a current tuition bill or receipt, or a current report card. Also, the student must establish his or her home address in the same manner as someone applying as a resident. At the beginning of the next school term, the student may return to the Library with the same documentation to renew his or her Library card through the following September 1.
Persons who own real property in the City of Elizabeth, but do not reside in Elizabeth are eligible for a Library card upon presenting a current property tax bill and another piece of identification as outlined above. For persons living in Elizabeth who are physically incapacitated from coming to the Library by oneself or with the assistance of another person are eligible for home delivery of Library materials if they are Library card holders in good standing. The shut-in delivery service is provided by the Adult Services Department. The shut-in borrower phones their request into the Library, and delivery arrangements are made. Shut-in patrons are fine exempt, but they are responsible for lost and damaged Library materials charged out on their behalf. Shut-ins who at some later time become mobile, are no longer eligible for shut-in service. To qualify for this service a medical certification may be required. Persons wishing more information should call the Adult Services Department at 908-354-6060, ext. 7201. Companies, including for profit and nonprofit corporations located in Elizabeth are eligible for a company Library card that is issued in the name of the company. The company must identify itself with letterhead stationery, naming a contact person, and stating the company will be financially responsible for any debt it may incur in the use of Library materials. The company employee applying for this card must sign his/her name on the application as the authorized signature. All companies, either for profit or nonprofit, issued a company Library card are required to pay all fines and fees on their account if and when due, just as required for all Elizabeth residents. Nonprofit status does not exempt an organization from using its Library card in accordance with Library policies.
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You can renew your books at the circulation desk at any library location or you can call 908-354-6060, x7212
Elizabeth Public Library will no longer charge fines on items returned past their due dates. Previously existing fines for items will be waived.
We know you may have some questions. See if you can find your answers below.
Why is Elizabeth Public Library going fine-free?
The Board of Trustees of Elizabeth Public Library want the library to be welcoming to all members of the community. More and more libraries throughout the U.S. have recently gone fine-free. Research has found that fines do not motivate Library users to return items on time, but that fines do represent an inequitable barrier to service that disproportionately impacts children, students, and your neighbors with the most limited resources.
What happens if someone doesn’t return their items?
Elizabeth Public Library is going fine-free, but we still have due dates.
Renewals will remain the same. If materials are not renewed or returned, the account the materials were borrowed on will be blocked and the cardholder will be billed. In most cases, returning the materials will clear the account. Lost and damaged items will still be billed.
What about materials from other LMxAC Libraries? What about Interlibrary Loan?
All materials returned to any Elizabeth Public Library location will be fine-free. Materials returned to another LMxAC library will follow the ‘local rule’ at that library; if it is a fine-free library there will be no overdue fines; if it is not fine-free, you may incur an overdue fine.
Didn’t find the answers you need?
Contact us at email@example.com with your questions.
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Read Down Your Fines
Children and teens 19 and under can read in the Library to pay off their overdue fines. This can be done at any one of our four locations. Once signed in at children’s, teens or an appropriate desk at a branch, children and teens will receive one dollar ‘credit’ for every 15 minutes spent reading. Reading down fines counts toward overdue Library fines only and cannot be applied to lost/damaged charges. Click here for more information.
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Books may be borrowed for 28 days ( unless otherwise indicated). The limit on the number of items to borrow is 25.
1. Adults over the age of 18, having a valid Elizabeth Public Library card, a MURAL library borrower's card, or a library card from aLMxAC member library may borrow DVDs by signing the designated line on the back of the library card application indicating that they gave received and agree with the library policies for borrowing DVD items.
2. Borrowers will be charged the full retail replacement cost in case of loss or damage, plus a processing fee of $5.00.
3. Borrowers may have a maximum of 5 DVDs checked out at any time.
4. The loan period is seven (7) days. If the date due should fall on a Sunday, a holiday, or any other day the library is closed, the DVD will be due on the following day that the library is open. [Effective November 1st, 2013]
5. All DVDs circulate for free, for seven (7) days. [Effective February 1st, 2018]
6. Overdue fines of $2.00 per day will be charged for all DVDs returned late.
7. DVDs may be returned in the book drop. Please make sure cases are securely closed.
8.Effectively February 1st, 2018, the Library will allow the placement of reserves (or Holds) on DVDs.
9. DVDs are licensed only for non-commercial private exhibition in homes. Any other use or copying is strictly prohibited by law.
Your Elizabeth Borrower's card may be used at the Main Library, the Elmora Branch, the La Corte Branch, and the E'port Branch of the Elizabeth Public Library. It may also be used at the Hillside Public Library, any LMxAC member library, and most libraries located in Union and Middlesex counties except for the Summit, Westfield, and Woodbridge Public Libraries.
Yes, as long as you...
* are 16 years or older.
* have a library card with barcode number.
* have a PIN number which you can apply for at the first floor Circulation Desk.
* You can access your account by clicking here and then click on the My Account button located at the top of the page.
* Enter your library barcode number and your PIN number.
* Information you'll see under your account includes: Items checked out to your accounts; Titles on request by your account; Fees/Fines due for your account.
* You can renew your checked out books yourself at this point as long as the books are not overdue.
Do the steps in "How to access my account through the Internet". Click "Easy Search" on the top left corner of the page, and enter the search word in the empty box. After you find the title you want, click "Request Title"(in red). You will see options for the library location at which you would like to pick up your book. Select one and then click "Submit Request" button. You will then see a message "your request has been successfully processed"(in blue). If you are experiencing any problems on this, call 908-354-6060x7203.
The fees are:
Non-resident library card (one year) $50.00
Photocopies (per page) $0.10 Black and White
Photocopies (per page) $0.25 Color
Microfilm reader printouts (per page) $0.10
Computer printouts (per page) $0.10 Black and White
Computer printouts(per page) $0.25 Color
The fines are:
Maximum fine per item $30.00
Replacement fee for lost library card $1.00, $3 or $5, depending upon the number of cards lost.
Replacement fee for lost adult book Cost of book plus $10.00
Replacement fee for lost children's book Cost of book plus $2.00
If you would like to get a copy of the policies as approved by the board of trustees just click here
Meeting Rooms are used for programs by organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual and charitable activities. They are not intended for the commercial benefit of private individuals, or profit-making purposes. Solicitation of money (including admission charges, dues, donations or sales) is prohibited except when in connection with Library sponsored programs and with prior approval of the Director. Reservations of Meeting Rooms are on a first come, first serve basis. Use of the Meeting Room is obtained through a written request form. No groups are permitted to use the Meeting Rooms on a continuing basis for regularly scheduled meetings, and meetings are not scheduled on Sundays unless special permission has been granted.
Meeting Room Application
The Elizabeth Public Library Main Branch has a large auditorium for group meetings on the 4th floor with room capacity for 75 -150 people. Two “classroom” spaces on the third floor can accommodate 10-12 and 25-30 people, respectively. The Elmora branch Meeting Room has capacity for 35 people.
There is no charge to all groups affiliated with the City of Elizabeth. The Meeting Rooms are available for rental during the hours the Library is open for groups not affiliated with the City of Elizabeth. For the use of the Main Library auditorium, the fee is $100. For the use of the Elmora Branch Meeting Room, the fee is $35. This fee is non-refundable and should be submitted with your application. Applications must be approved by the Library Director. Meetings may not disrupt the use of the Library by others.
When not being used for Library programs, the Meeting Rooms may be reserved for public gatherings. Permission to use the Library Meeting Room in no way implies Library sponsorship or endorsement of any group or its program. All meetings are considered open to the public. The complete policy governing the Meeting Rooms are available to download and print HERE.
Some regulations for the use of the Elizabeth Public Library Meeting Rooms include, but are not limited to:
• Admission charges for programs held in the Meeting Rooms are prohibited.
• Smoking is prohibited in any Library Meeting Rooms.
• Selling of or taking orders for goods or services are prohibited.
• The organization using the Meeting Room must not identify the Library as being a sponsor or cosponsor of a program either verbally, in printed materials, or in publicity releases.
• All printed materials to be handed out during the use of the Meeting Rooms must be submitted to the Library Director at least one week in advance of the meeting for approval. No materials may be distributed without such approval.
• Organizations with liability insurance coverage must submit a certificate of insurance to the Library Director at least one week in advance. For further details on liability insurance, see the policy governing the Meeting Rooms HERE.
• The Meeting Rooms must be left in an orderly and clean manner. Failure to do so and any situation which generates additional cleaning for the Library will result in cleaning charges to the organization. Failure to abide by these regulations may result in the withdrawal of meeting room privileges. Application forms are available in the Administrative Office in the Elizabeth Public Library Main Branch or are available to download and print HERE. You may also contact the Assistant Director of the Library at (908) 354-6060, ex.7154 for general inquiries.
Access to The Elizabethtown Reading Room is by appointment only. Please visit the Local History & Special Collections Dept. for more information.
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The Elizabethtown Reading Room is the only one of its kind in Elizabeth and contains items such as local government documents, genealogy materials, Union County history, high school yearbooks and maps. These items may be accessed by appointment only. For more information, visit the Local History & Special Collections Dept website.
How can I apply for a job with the Elizabeth Public Library?
Candidates interested in applying for a job at the Elizabeth Public Library must have a current resume, references, and be 18 years old or older. Resumes are accepted either in print addressed to: Director, The Elizabeth Public Library, 11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ, 07202, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To access the online application form, go to any page on our website and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can download and print the form or click HERE.
Library card holders can reserve computers for one hour at the Elizabeth Library branches only. You may call the branch with your valid and active Library card. Users must be prompt. Reservations are held for only 10 minutes after your sign-up time, after which anyone with a valid card may use the computer.
Computer Use Policy
The Elizabeth Public Library provides access to digital information in many formats including electronic databases and the Internet. Not all information found on the Internet is accurate, legal, or acceptable to everyone. The Library assumes no responsibility for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising from the use of information found on the Internet, or any communication sent through the Library’s computer terminals. Links to other websites found on the Library’s homepage were selected by Library staff, but the Library has not participated in the development of these sites, nor do we exert any editorial control over them. The Library does not limit access to materials, monitor an individual’s use of the Internet, or attempt to prevent users from viewing materials some individuals may find offensive. A link to another external website is not an endorsement by the Library. The Library does not warrant that our website, the server that makes it available, or any link to external sites is free from viruses or any other harmful components. Print-outs are 10¢ a page for B/W, 25¢ for color.
• Not use the Library computers to access materials that are legally defined as obscenity, child pornography, or harmful to minors;
• Not use the Internet for illegal activity;
• Not damage or destroy equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or to other users including adding, altering, or deleting files on Library work stations hard drives or other Library equipment;
• Not violate the Library’s computer system or network integrity by such means that may include bypassing network security functions, obtain passwords in a fraudulent manner, or altering the configuring of library work stations in any way;
• Refrain from the transmission of threatening, harassing or abusive language and images;
• Avoid congregating around computers;
• Avoid disruptive or disorderly behavior, or risk having their Internet work station sessions terminated;
• Use his/her library card to access the Internet. It is not permissible to use the Library card of a family member or friend to access the Internet. In instances where a patron is using someone else’s Library card, both the patron’s own account, and the account of the person whose card is being misused may be blocked. The Library reserves the right to ask a patron to show his/her Library card to a staff member when asked to verify that he/she is in fact the cardholder.
All visitors using the public computers must respect the privacy and sensibility of other users. The Library reserves the right to terminate Internet access privileges of any person who is not willing to comply with this policy.
How much time do I have on the computer?
There are time limits on computer use per day; the limit may vary according to location, and level of demand. At each initial log-in, a user will be allowed 2 hours.
In order to use Internet computer terminals at EPL, users must have a current Elizabeth Public Library card. The card must be in good standing.
For persons not eligible for an Elizabeth Public Library Card, an Internet Only Library Card may be issued in some circumstances.
All library computers are turned off fifteen minutes before the library closes. The library is not responsible for any data lost at this or at any other time.
Can I use the internet at EPL if I don't live in Elizabeth?
“Internet Only” Cards
The Elizabeth Public Library allows non-residents to use the Library’s Internet computers in the same manner that Elizabeth residents use them. Non-residents not eligible for a free Elizabeth Public Library card, or those unwilling or unable to pay the annual fee for a full-service card, may apply for an “Internet Only” card that allows access to the Internet at the Library and remote access to the Library’s online resources.
There are two designated areas in the Main Branch for quiet study. One is located off the 2nd floor entrance on South Broad Street and the other is on the 3rd floor behind the Periodicals desk.
The Elizabeth Public Library located at 11 South Broad Street at the corner of Rahway Avenue offers parking to patrons with entrances on both Rahway Avenue and South Broad Street. The Main Branch and all three branch libraries have on-site parking. The parking lots are for the use of Library patrons, staff, and trustees only. Persons may not park on the lots to attend to non-library matters in nearby offices or stores.
The Elizabeth Public Library can accommodate 77 vehicles in our parking lot, including 24 earmarked for staff and 2 for handicap accessibility. Overflow parking is available two blocks away at the Bollwage Garage on Caldwell Place.
Fax machines are not available at the Elizabeth Public Library. However, there are businesses within walking distance of the Library that offer fax services. Please see the Reference staff for suggestions.
The Elizabeth Public Library has handicapped access for the Main Library branch and all branch libraries.
The Main Branch has public restrooms on the ground (first) floor. There are additional bathrooms on the 4th floor when the auditorium/ meeting room is open for events. The Children’s Department has bathrooms for children and accompanying adults only. Each branch Library has restroom facilities. The Library’s public restrooms are for short-term and immediate use. Improper use of Library restrooms, including but not limited to, washing or drying clothes, bathing, or shaving is forbidden. Books, magazines, newspapers, recordings or other items of the Library’s collection are not allowed in the public restrooms. Patrons shall not consume food or beverages, smoke or use tobacco or tobacco products, be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, bathe, or deface our public restrooms. Any patron not abiding by these or other rules and regulations of the library may be required to leave the Library premises. Library employees may contact the Elizabeth Police if deemed advisable. Any patron who violates these rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the Library Director. A patron whose privileges have been denied may have the decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees.
Children's Room Policy
It is the duty and privilege of parents to supervise the reading and material selection of their children. The Library is in full compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. The Library has installed filtering software on all computers in the Children’s Room with Internet access, and will enforce the operation of the same during any use of the computer to prevent minors from visual descriptions that are (1) obscene, (2) child pornography (3) harmful to minors.
Children's Room Computers
As with other Library materials, supervision of a child’s use of the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. In the Children’s Room, all computers have been configured to automatically provide filtered access to the Internet. Although the Library provides state-of-the-art Internet filtering software, all software is not foolproof. The Library does not warrant that Internet workstations with filtering software turned on will effectively block objectionable material in all cases. Parents and legal guardians should be vigilant in supervising their children’s use of the Internet and should not have a false sense of security that their children using Library computers are fully protected from objectionable material. To help ensure the Internet security of children using the Internet, children will not be allowed to use chat and email.
Volunteering (Volunteer Application)
While the Board of Trustees of Elizabeth Public Library encourages the participation of volunteers who support our mission, at the present time we have no adult volunteer opportunities available. Those who are interested in helping with programming or fund-raising opportunities can email email@example.com with the word FRIENDS in the subject line, and we will contact you for future participation in our Friends of the Library group, which is currently in nascent formation.
For more information about volunteer opportunities for teens, visit the Teen webpage.
Teen Volunteers in grades 9-12 can download or print the application HERE.
Can I get a library card if I am currently homeless or living in a shelter?
Transient Housing and Temporary Cards
New residents to the City of Elizabeth, who do not yet have identification showing a permanent address in the City of Elizabeth, may obtain an “Internet Only” card. This card can be changed to a full-service card with the required proof of permanent residency.
Persons in transient living situations, which includes both corporate housing and homeless shelters, are entitled to an “Internet Only” card that provides access to the Internet at the Library and remote access to the Library’s online resources. Users should be aware that not all of the Library’s online resources are available remotely. To obtain the “Internet Only” card, each person must produce valid identification and proof of temporary residency, such as a housing voucher, a letter on temporary housing letterhead, or similar documentation.
If a person in temporary housing has valid proof of the expected length of stay on a letterhead document, a standard library card may be issued, with an expiration date of two weeks before the expected departure from the City of Elizabeth. This card will allow the checkout of a total two print items; DVDs cannot circulate on this temporary card.
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How can I make a donation to the Library?
Thank you for your interest in donating to Elizabeth Public Library! All donations to the Library, no matter the size, are appreciated. You may also make a specific donation to honor, recognize, or memorialize someone. For each $25 donation, the Library will plate a book in remembrance or in honor of a loved one. Donations are accepted via check payable to Elizabeth Public Library and mailed to our address to the attention of the Library Director. Please fill out this form and submit with your donation.
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Can I donate books to the Library?
Thank you for your interest in donating books to Elizabeth Public Library! Due to COVID-19, we are not accepting general book donations at this time. However, donations to the Local History & Special Collections Department are currently being accepted. This page will be updated when we are again accepting donations. In the meantime, we encourage you to look into other ways to recycle your used books , including donating to Better World Books .
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How do I get a City ID (EMID)?
To get an appointment. Call Wanda at (908)820-4298. Leave name and number and Wanda will return the call.
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11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth New Jersey 07202 | 908-354-6060 | Share your ideas and comments: elizpublib[at]gmail.com
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