The Gail Borden Public Library District offers online access to books, movies, music, digital media, and subscription-based databases to all valid library card holders. A library card is available to all residents of the library district.

How to Get a Library Card

An image of Gail Borden Public Library's library card

Register Online

Once your online registration is complete you will receive a barcode number via email, this number can be used immediately to access online materials and databases.

If you wish to make your new card a full-use card, please bring identification to any Gail Borden Public Library location or bookmobile to receive a physical card and access to the full range of materials and services the library offers.

Apply In Person

Bring identification to any Gail Borden Public Library location or bookmobile to receive a physical card and access to the full range of materials and services the library offers.

Acceptable Forms of Identification
  • Driver's license
  • Property tax bill
  • School ID (must have name & address)
  • State ID
  • Bank statement
  • Utility or cable television bill
  • Credit card statement
  • Pay stub (must have name & address)
  • Medicare card
  • Illinois motor vehicle registration
  • Mail with current postmark within 2 weeks & address
  • Identificación consular

All forms of identification must be current and up-to-date.

Don't Live in the District?

Living Out-Of-District With A Public Library

If you do not reside within the district boundaries and want a Gail Borden Library card, you must first obtain a library card at your home library. When you visit the Gail Borden Public Library in person, you can have your home library card registered as a Reciprocal Borrower

Reciprocal Borrowers are limited to a total of 30 items on their library card at any given time. The following restrictions also apply:

  • Requesting materials via interlibrary loan.
  • Placing reserves on any materials.
  • Accessing subscription databases from home.
  • Checking out library devices.
  • Checking out items from one of the library's media dispensers.
  • Checking out eBooks.
  • Registering for certain library programs. These programs are clearly designated in publicity.

Living Out-of-District Without A Public Library

Out-of-district customers who live in an area unserved by a public library and whose property is contiguous to the library district, must annex their property in order to obtain a library card. Those whose property is not contiguous can purchase a contract card for full service. The fee for a contract card is based on the equalized assessed valuation of one's residence. A copy of the tax bill for the residence must be presented in order to apply. Contact the Administration Office at 847-742-2411 for more information.

Just Visiting?

Visitor cards are available to persons who are temporary residents (minimum of 3 months) within the Gail Borden Library District boundaries. These persons may be:

  • Employed temporarily in the library district
  • Exchange students residing within the library district
  • Guests of library district residents
  • Minors residing temporarily at a special facility or school with the library district
  • Adults residing temporarily at a special facility within the library district.

Library cards issued to visitors will be valid for a period of 3 months to one year, depending on the conditions of the residency. Renewals will be considered on an individual basis.

Qualifications & Requirements for a Visitor Card

If employed temporarily with an area business, applicant must present a letter from the business personnel office on company letterhead.

Exchange students or guests must confirm the host family name, address, and phone.

Minors who are temporary residents at a special facility or school must present a letter, on official letterhead, indicating that the facility is the responsible party. This letter must be signed by the Executive Director, Principal or equivalent.

Adults who are temporary residents at a special facility or school must present a letter, on official letterhead, indicating that the facility is the responsible party. This letter must be signed by the Executive Director, Principal or equivalent. A "Computer Use Only" card is available for these individuals. No items may be checked out.

Loan Period & Checkout Limits

Items Loan Period Checkout Limits
Books 28 Days No Limit
Book Club Books 45 Days -
DVDs, Blu-rays, Binge Boxes, TV on DVD, Wifi Hotspots 14 Days -
Media Dispenser DVDs and Blu-rays 5 Days 5 items total from the Media Dispenser
Media Dispenser Video Games 7 Days 5 items total from the Media Dispenser
eBooks & eAudiobooks Checkout limits and loan periods are outlined on the eLibrary page. -
Library of Things (Chromebooks, Rokus, electricity usage monitors, telescopes, etc.) 7 or 28 Days 2 devices (includes eBook readers, Rokus, Wifi hotspots & Library of Things items)
Art Prints 90 Days 6 prints

I want to:

Check out an item

Valid library card holders may check out or borrow items from the library.

Items can be checked out with the library's self-checkout equipment, the library's mobile app, or by staff at the Customer Service desks at each branch. Receipts listing items checked out and their due dates may be printed or sent to your email address under your account.

Place an item on hold

When all copies of an item are checked out, library district residents may place a hold or reserve on up to 40 items. When the items become available, you will be notified by telephone, e-mail, or U.S. mail.

How to place a hold

There are two ways to place a hold:

  1. Through the library catalog
    1. Search for the desired item.
    2. Click "Place Hold" and when prompted, login with your library card number and your PIN number.
    3. Select a pick up location.
  2. Contact the service desk where the item is available using the table below. Staff will locate the item and place it on the hold shelf or drive-up window.
Location Item Type Phone Number
Main Library Adult Books 847-429-4680
Main Library Kids Books 847-429-4685
Main Library DVDs, CDs, Audiobooks on CDs, and other audio visual items. 847-429-4696
Rakow Branch Books and audio visual items. 847-531-7271
South Elgin Branch Books and audio visual items. 847-931-2090
Renew an item

Most items may be renewed if:

  • The item allows for renewals.
  • There are no holds on the title.
  • The item has not been renewed the maximum number of times allows.
  • There are no blocks on your account.

The following items can not be renewed:

  • Video Games
  • Media Dispenser discs
  • Audio/Visual Equipment
  • Rokus
  • Launchpads
  • Kindles
  • Wifi Hotspots

To renew items

  • Online - Login into your account and follow the on-screen instructions to renew your items.
  • GBPL App - Download the GBPL Mobile App on your device and renew your items
  • Phone - Call our Telephone Renewal System (TRS) at 847-742-3210 and follow the instructions.
  • In Person - Bring items to the self-check machines for renewal.

Any item that is eligible for renewal is automatically renewed two days before it is due based on the item's due date. These renewals will be noted on the courtesy notices that are sent via email. You can also log into your account to check for due date changes. Note: Items will not be renewed automatically if there are holds or any other renewal blocks.

Return an item

Library Branch Locations

Most items may be returned at the drive-up return, unless otherwise specified.

Branch Interior Book Drop Drive-up Return
Main Library Available Available
Rakow Branch Available Available
South Elgin Branch Available Not Available

Media Dispenser Discs

Media Dispenser discs must be returned directly to the dispenser where it was originally dispensed:

  • Red cases must be returned to the Main Library Mediabank during building opening hours.
  • Black cases must be returned to the Rakow Branch Mediabank at any time.

Remote Bookdrops

The library has established bookdrops at various locations in the library district for the return of books, videos, and non-Media Dispenser DVDs and Blu-rays only. Please return all other formats to the Main Library or to the Rakow Branch.

To avoid unnecessary fees do not return materials to a book drop if the contents do not fit safely inside. When book drops are full please return at a later date or visit one of our other conveniently located bookdrops.

Jewel Osco - East

1040 Summit St.
Elgin, IL 60120

Returns accepted during store hours only.

Jewel Osco - West

1660 Larkin Ave.
Elgin, IL 60123

Returns accepted at any time.


Returns only accepted at a Bookmobile Stop.

Renew my library card

Library cards expire every three years to ensure we have your current contact information.

If your card is expired, bring identification showing your name and current address to any library branch. If your address is not correct on your ID, you will need to show a proof of address (in the form of a utility bill, rental agreement, tax bill, or first class mail with your name and address postmarked with the last two week).

Report a lost or stolen library card

Please notify the library immediately if your card is lost or stolen, or if your address changes. Visit any Gail Borden Public Library branch to have a lost or stolen library card replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is my PIN?

A PIN is your Personal Identification Number. It provides additional security when you use your library card.

Your PIN is required when you wish to:

  • Place a hold/reserve on an item using the library catalog.
  • Log into your account to view your account status and to renew materials online.
  • Reserve titles in one of the library's Media Dispensers.
  • Check out materials using one of the library's self checks.
  • Access some of the library's online resources and databases.
  • Log in to use a computer at any of the library locations.
Can I obtain my library card number over the phone or the Internet?

No. To assure security, users will be required to visit the library and present two valid forms of identification (one must be a photo ID) to verify the card-holder's identity.

My items are overdue - are there fines?

Fines are no longer assessed for overdue items, however after items are 14 days overdue, your card will be blocked meaning you can no longer checkout any additional items until you bring the overdue item(s) back.

You will be charged replacement fees for the library items that are not returned 28 days overdue. Replacement fees vary, depending on the cost of the lost item. When the items are 42 days overdue, the account is sent to a collection agency. If you return the items, the replacement fee will be waived.

See Fine Free FAQ for more details about the elimination of overdue fines.

See Fees for information about library materials that are not returned or are lost and how you can pay for those materials.

Fees for Materials, Services, and Equipment

Why is my library card showing as "blocked" when I login to my account?

There are many reasons why your card may be showing as blocked. The most common reasons include:

  • You have items that are 14 days overdue.
  • You have fees over $10 for lost or damaged items.
  • Your card was reported lost.
  • We received returned mail from your address.

If your account is blocked, you will not be able to access eBooks and other digital content.

Call us and we’ll see how we can help you.

The library doesn't seem to have what I am looking for. What are my options?

The library may purchase the item for the collection or borrow through an Interlibrary Loan. Fill out a Materials Request Form or ask for assistance at any service desk.