September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Free Library Card Replacement
For all East Chicago Residents ONLY

1. Bring your children to the public library for a Free library card replacement.
2. Children, bring your parent(s) or guardian or student ID.
3. Adults, Proof of residency is required, bring your valid IN Driver’s License, valid IN State ID, or Matricula Consular with your current address. Stop by the Circulation Desk for more details.*
4. Replace your library card if it is cracked or worn out, just bring it in with a valid ID.
Replacements are available at the following locations:
Main Library – 2401 E. Columbus Drive – (219) 397-2453
Pastrick Branch – 1008 W. Chicago Avenue – (219) 397-5505
Outreach Centers:
151st Street Center – 4925 Gladiola Avenue
Clemente Center – 3616 Elm Street
Heritage Hall – 4506 Tod Avenue
King Center – 4802 Melville Avenue
Penn Center – 3550 Pennsylvania Avenue

*DETAILS – Proof of Residency includes:
• Valid IN Driver’s License with Current EC address
• Valid IN State ID with current EC address
• Current utility (EC Water or NIPSCO) bill with your name and EC address within the last 30 days
• Sealed mailed letter with your name and current EC address post-marked within the last 30 days

Library Board approved on 8-19-15

Who can get an East Chicago Public Library card?


A Patron must be an East Chicago, Indiana resident to receive an East Chicago Public Library Card.

All other non-residents must have their hometown library card and we will enter your library card into our system, if at all possible. If the patron’s library card number is not compatible with our system, our library card cannot be issued.

With your non-resident card you can only check out written materials.

What does a library card cost?

There is no charge for a library card. However, the cost for replacing a lost card is $5 for adults and $1 for children.


What documentation do I need to apply for a library card? Adults, high school age and older, must provide identification showing their name and current East Chicago address , such as a Driver’s License, State ID, Matricula Consular or a piece of mail that has gone thru the post office postdated within one month with their name and E.C. address and if it’s a window envelope it cannot be opened. (We do not take lease or the inserts of the mail if it has been opened.)
How old does a child have to be to get a library card? Children may obtain a card as soon as they can print their first and last names. A parent or legal guardian is required to sign a child’s library card application, agreeing to be responsible for items borrowed on the child’s card. The parent or legal guardian must bring in an ID proving that they are East Chicago residents.

Additional registration forms are required for computer and audio-visual use. Those wishing to use computers at the library must agree to abide by the library’s Computer Use Policy and sign a special form. A parent/legal guardian must sign this form for a minor child to be allowed to have access to computers and internet. Computer registration forms are available at the Circulation Desks at the Main and Robert A. Pastrick Branch Libraries as well as the staff at the library’s seven Reading Room locations. For more information, please review the library’s Computer Use Policy.

Patrons wishing to check out audio-visual materials (videos, musical recordings, recorded books) from the Main or Robert A. Pastrick Branch Libraries must be registered for Audio-Visual Department usage. You must be 18 or older to check out audio-visual materials. Registration may be completed in person in the Audio-Visual Department at either location. For more information, please review the library’s Audio-Visual Policy.

How do I place a hold on a book?

If a specific book you are looking for is available through the East Chicago Public Library system, but it is not currently available because it is checked out or not on the shelf, you may place a "hold" on that item.

We ask that patrons fill out a special reserve slip that is available either at the Circulation Desk or the Reference Desk or you may telephone us at 397-2453 at the Main Library or at 397-5505 at the Pastrick Branch Library. The information you will need to provide includes the title of the book, author, your name, your library card number, and your telephone number or address.

Your name will be placed on a list of those requesting a specific item. Holds are processed in the order that they are received, which is helpful to know if you are requesting a best-seller.

Once the book becomes available, a library staff member will call you at the number provided on the reserve slip. If a telephone number has not been provided, a slip will be mailed to your home.

The library will hold the item for pick up at the Circulation Desk for five days. Afterward, it will go to the next person on the waiting list or be placed back on the shelf for general circulation.

In order to place a hold, you must have a valid East Chicago Public Library card and be in good standing. If you have any overdue fines or other charges listed on your account, you will not be able to place a hold until your account has been cleared.



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What if I would like to renew the book/materials I checked out?

Many library materials may be renewed. Please see the information on loan periods for details.

Materials must by renewed on or prior to the date due. If materials already are overdue, they cannot be renewed and must be returned to the library to avoid further accumulation of fines.

To renew materials in person, please bring the items to the Circulation Desk and have your library card available. You may renew materials by telephoning the Circulation Desk at 397-2453 at the Main Library or at 397-5505 at the Pastrick Branch Library. You will need to have your library card number as well as the bar code numbers for the items that you wish to renew.

What is a InterLibrary loan?

If a specific book you are looking for is not available through the East Chicago Public Library system, we may be able to obtain it for you through our interlibrary loan service. This program allows the East Chicago Public Library to obtain the book through another library in the state or nation for its patrons. Interlibrary loans are limited to books that have NOT been published within the last six months.

We ask that patrons fill out a special interlibrary loan slip that is available at the Reference Desk or you may telephone us at 397-2453 at the Main Library or at 397-5505 at the Pastrick Branch Library. The information you will need to provide includes the title of the book, author, your name, your library card number, and your telephone number or address.

Library staff will then conduct a search for the book. It may take up to three weeks for the book to be made available. Books that are made available through other libraries in Indiana are delivered on Wednesdays by a special courier service. Books from out-of-state are delivered in the mail and their arrival dates vary.

Once the book has been delivered to the East Chicago Public Library, a library staff member will call you at the number provided on the reserve slip. If a telephone number has not been provided, a slip will be mailed to your home.

The loan period for the book is established by the lending library, but generally, books must be returned to the East Chicago Public Library within a three- to four-week period. The return date will be indicated when the book is checked out. Because books obtained through interlibrary loan belong to other libraries the overdue fine is substantially higher, $1 per day per book.

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