The primary purpose of the Prairie Creek Public Library District is to provide library service to the residents of the library district and library card holders. The Prairie Creek Public Library District is primarily supported by property taxes paid by residents of the district; therefore, providing library cards at no cost to residents upon presentation of proof of residency. Additionally, anyone owning real estate property within the district may obtain a library card at no charge, upon presentation of a tax bill.  Owners of commercial property are entitled to one card per business.  Others may apply for borrowing privileges by paying the current fee established by the State Librarian.

Resident borrower: Any resident of the Prairie Creek Public Library District may obtain a library card by completing the application card and providing two proofs of current residency along with a photo ID.  Acceptable identification and proof of residency include a current driver’s license, State ID, utility bill, property tax bill, mortgage documents, voter’s registration card, or a postmarked bill less than one month old.  Patrons who only receive mail/bills online may follow the following steps:

  • Patron must present a photo ID.
  • Patrons will be allowed to print (free of charge) two (2) of their most current online bills.  These must be utility or phone bills.
  • If patron still does not have appropriate proof of residency, the library will mail a postcard/letter to the address given with instructions on how to receive their library card.

Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian who will assume legal responsibility for any lost or overdue items.

Resident library cards are valid for three years.  In the event that a patron loses or misplaces their card, the card must be replaced.  The fees for replacing the resident card are as follows:

  • 1st replacement:   $1.00
  • 2nd replacement: $2.00
  • 3rd replacement:  $3.00
  • 4th replacement:  $4.00
  • 5th replacement:  $5.00

Replacement card fees are capped at $5.00 regardless of the number of times that have exceeded the 5th replacement.

Non-Resident borrower: Any family not a resident of the Prairie Creek Public Library District,  may obtain a library card by completing an application card and contracting for service consistent with 75 ILCS 16.30-55. 60.  The contract fee covers all family members residing at the address and only one card will be issued for the family’s use.

A non-resident card is valid for one year from the date of purchase, is non-transferable, and is non-refundable.

Non-resident fees and charges are as follows:

  • In compliance with the guidelines set forth by the Illinois State Library, the non-resident fees shall be calculated using the General Mathematical Formula.
  • Non-residents who display a current real estate tax receipt for property owned within the Prairie Creek Public Library District may receive a non-resident card without charge.

Reciprocal Borrower:  Any person holding a valid borrower’s card from a library participating in the Illinois Reciprocal Borrowing Program may be granted reciprocal borrowing privileges.  Patrons will be required to complete the application card.  Staff will verify the applicant is in good standing with their home library.  The following limitations apply to all reciprocal borrowers:

  • Reciprocal borrowers may not check out items on their Prairie Creek Public Library District card if they have fines at their home library.
  • The expiration date for their Prairie Creek Public Library District card will be the same as their home library’s card expiration.  They will not receive a three year expiration date as do regular resident card holders.
  • Reciprocal borrowers must interlibrary loan materials from their home library.

RETENTION SCHEDULE FOR EXPIRED PATRON CARDS:  The library card database is purged annually.  All expired cards with an expiration date of 1 year or less are kept in the file.  All expired cards with an expiration date of 2-5 years, and are free from any fines or overdue materials, are kept on file in the Interlibrary Loan Office.  Expired cards with an expiration date of 5 years or more and are free from fines and overdue material are deleted from the database.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF LIBRARY RECORDS:  Circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users with specific materials are recognized as confidential in nature, and access to such records is restricted to library staff, legal signatory and members of the public who have a legitimate interest in regard to these records.

  • By signing the application for a library card, the legal signatory (for anyone under the age of 18), is authorizing the underage cardholder to checkout materials.  The legal signatory is responsible for all materials checked out and therefore is entitled to this information.
  • All library staff are advised that such records shall not be made available to members of the public, the press, or to any agency of state, federal, or local government, unless they have been requested to do so by order, subpoena or other process authorized under federal, state or local law.
  • On receipt of any legal process, order or subpoena, the library director will attempt to contact the library’s attorney to insure that the document is in proper legal form and there has been a good cause for its issuance in a court or other body of legal jurisdiction.  The library shall comply with all lawfully issued subpoenas.  The librarian in charge will follow instructions as issued by the library attorney.

Emergency Release of Information Identifying Individuals Pursuant to Public Act 95-00-40: The Illinois Library Confidentiality Act requires a court order before a library may publicly release information contained in library registration or circulation records.  Public Act 95-0040 created an exception to the requirement for a court order if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The information is requested by a sworn law enforcement officer who states that it is impractical to get a court order as a result of an emergency situation;
  • The law enforcement officer states that there is a probable cause to believe that there is a probable cause to believe that there is imminent danger that someone will be physically harmed;
  • The information requested is limited to only identifying a suspect, witness or victim of a crime;
  • The information does not include any registration or circulation records that would indicate materials borrowed, resources reviewed, or services used at the library.

The Public Act 95-0040 also provides that the library can request the law enforcement officer to sign a form acknowledging the receipt of the information.  A representative from the library will have the law enforcement officer complete the Officer’s Request for Confidential Library Information (Appendix A)

LIBRARY HOURS AND EMERGENCY CLOSING: The library will be open 6 days a week, with the exeption of holidays, which complies with the standard set by ILA in Serving Our Public.

Library hours will consist of 52 hours as follows:

  • Monday – Thursday        10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday                                10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday                            10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The library follows Dwight School District’s weather closings only when dangerous driving conditions exist.  Patrons should call the libary at (815) 584-3061 or check the Facebook for winter and emergency closings.  Information regarding scheduled closings can also be found on our website at

LENDING POLICIES: The Prairie Creek Public Library District follows the Illinois State Library System rules for circulation materials.  Patrons must present their valid library card to borrow materials.  A patron who has forgotten their card may check out materials using a valid ID.  Library materials will circulate using the following schedule:

  • Books  –  circulate for 4 weeks / are available for Reciprocal Borrowing / fine: $.10 per day (max. fine cost of the item)
  • Audiobooks – circulate for 4 weeks/are available for Reciprocal Borrowing/fine: $.10 per day (max. fine cost of the item)
  • CD’s   –  circulate for 2 weeks / are available for Reciprocal Borrowing / fine: $.10 per day (max. fine cost of the item)
  • DVD’s – circulate for 2 days / are available for Reciprocal Borrowing /fine: $1.00 per day (max. fine cost of the item)
  • Nonfiction DVD’s – circulate for 7 days / are available for Reciprocal Borrowing / fine: $1.00 per day (max. fine cost of the item)
  • Interlibrary Loan  – circulation set by sending library /not available for Reciprocal Borrowing/ fines set by sending library
  • Periodicals  –  circulate for 2 weeks / are available for Reciprocal Borrowing / fine: $.10 per day (max. fine cost of the item)
  • Reference items may circulate at the discretion of the library director.
  • Current issues of magazines are not allowed to circulate.
  • Several back issues of some magazines are kept for one year and are available for circulation.  The following magazines are only kept for 3 months and then deleted from circulation:  Entertainment Weekly & People

All circulating items, with the exception of items on hold, may be renewed ONE time.

Since the Prairie Creek Public Library District is a member of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), a resident borrower has the privilege to check out materials from other libraries in the surrounding area and return the items to the Prairie Creek Public Library District.

Books and other materials not shelved at the Prairie Creek Public Library District may be borrowed through RAILS, making most books in print and other materials available to library patrons.

Books which have been placed on hold must be picked up within one week, including books borrowed from other libraries.

Renewals will be allowed by phone, in person, or via library website (RSA) unless there is a fine on the account or a hold on the item.

Interlibrary loan materials may be renewed depending upon the rules of the lending library.  Habitual failure to return Interlibrary Loan materials in a timely manner may result in the patron’s loss of Interlibrary Loan privilege.

Patrons may elect to receive date due notices and overdue notices by email and/or text messaging.

A book drop is available outside the library for patron use.  The book drop is checked daily before the library is open for business.  Any items placed in the book drop after the library opens for the day will not be checked in until the following morning.

HOLDS:  Patrons may reserve materials which are not immediately available for patron use.  Patrons may place items on hold in person, by telephone, or by accessing the RSA catalog located on the library’s website.  When the reserved materials are available to the patron who has placed the hold, the library will notify the patron.

  • The specific title of the material will not be stated to anyone other that the library patron who placed the hold.
  • The date of the message will be noted and the material will be held for the patron for a period of one week.
  • If additional patrons are waiting for the material, the next person on the list will be called and notified of the availability of the item, and the same procedure will be followed.  If no additional patrons are waiting for the material, the item will be placed back into circulation.
  • Relay of the message to the appropriate person in the household, and prompt retrieval of the material, are the responsibilities of the patron.

DVD POLICY:  Dvd’s are limited to 4 PER HOUSEHOLD – NOT PER PERSON.  Only two “New” DVD’s may be checked out at one time and will be included in the total of four per checkout.

  • Children, 14 years and under, must have a signed parental consent.  The only exception to this is if the parent/guardian is with the child at the time of checkout.
  • Minors, under the age of 18, must have parental consent to check out any video that is rated “R”.
  • There is no grace period for overdue DVD’s.  A fine of $1.00 per day/per dvd will be assessed starting the first day the dvd is late.  This fee will continue to be added until the item is either returned, the fine has reached either the cost of the item or the maximum fine amount.  If the dvd is in the outside drop when the library opens at 10:00 a.m. it will not be considered late and no fines will be assessed.
  • DVD’s may be renewed over the phone.  If a patron calls to renew a DVD that is already overdue, the DVD can be renewed, however, a fine will still be added to the patron’s account.

FINES:  No library materials can be checked out to a patron who has overdue material.  Fines for all circulating items will be $.10 per day/per item, with the exception of DVD’s which will be $1.00 per day.  This does not include Sunday’s or holidays.  These fines will continue to accumulate until the items are returned or the fines accumulate to either the cost of the item or the maximum fine amount.

  • Overdue items, with the exception of DVD’s will have a 5 day grace period.  Patrons will be notified the first day the item is overdue.  Fines will begin to accumulate after the 5 day grace period has expired.
  • Patrons who have overdue fines will have their cards blocked once the total of fines has reached $5.00.
  • A charge of $25.00 will be applied to a patron’s account for a returned check.  All borrowing privileges will be stopped pending cash payment of the check and the returned check fee.

LOST AND DAMAGED MATERIALS:  The charge for any lost or damaged item will be listed in the database.  The total cost for lost or damaged items will be the cost of the item plus fines that have accumulated.

  • The price for any lost or damaged interlibrary loan item will be set by the lending library.
  • No refunds for lost or damaged materials will be given after 60 days.
  • The library, if possible, will repair materials that has been damaged at no charge to the patron.  However, if the damaged material cannot be repaired it will be treated as lost material and the patron will be responsible or payment or replacement.
  • Replacement costs for DVD cases, barcodes, etc. are as follows : DVD cases – $1.00 / Audiobook cases: $1.00 / Barcodes: $1.00
  • Patrons may bring in a new item that is exactly the same as what was checked out to replace the lost or damaged item.

COMPUTER USE: The library has computers on both floors for patron use.  These computers are to be used in accordance with the Prairie Creek Public Library Computer/Internet Policy.  Patrons under that age of 18 must have signed parental permission on file to use the computers and must use the computers located in the children’s library.

  • Patrons are asked to show their library card at the front desk and sign in on the patron computer log.
  • Patrons who exhibit a Prairie Creek Public Library District library card, and who are in good standing, may use the computer at no charge.  All printouts are $.25 per page.
  • Visitors who do not have a Prairie Creek Public Library District card may use the computer for a fee of $1.00 and must show a photo ID.

XEROX COPY SERVICE FEES: Patrons will be charged $.25 per copy.  The library only offers black and white copying ability.

  • No photo paper will be provided by the library
  • Patrons may use their own paper, however, the cost per copy will still be $.25 per copy.
  • In regards to a Freedom of Information request, The Prairie Creek Public Library District, in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, may waive all or a portion of the copying fee, depending upon the nature of the FOIA request.

FAX MACHINE: Faxes are sent only with the Continental United States.

  • The use of the fax machine is solely and strictly at the use of the user.
  • The library, library trustees, and any library staff shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage to any materials either sent or received through the fax machine.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 will only be allowed to use the fax machine with the signature of the user’s parent/guardian.
  • The user must read the Library Fax Agreement and must agree to the terms.  Signature that agreement was read must be signed by the user. (Appendix B)
  • Patrons sending and/or receiving faxes will be charged the following fees:  sending – $1.00 for the first page, (excluding cover sheet), $.50 for each additional page / receiving – $1.00 for the first page, (excluding cover sheet), $.50 for each additional page.