Circulation Policy

Library Card

Materials will not be checked out without a library card. Cards may only be used by the person whose name appears on the card. Library cards expire after one year, after which another free card will be issued. A Superior Public Library card can be used at any library in the Northern Waters Library Service area.

Lost/Stolen Library Cards

The patron is responsible for notifying the library if the card is lost or stolen. Charges against an unreported lost or stolen card are the responsibility of the patron. With proper identification, a duplicate card can be issued for $3.

Change of Address Notification

Patrons are asked to notify the library with change of address or phone numbers.  The Post Office charges us for each change of address card.  We pass this cost on to the patron.  There may be more than one charge for an address change, depending on how much mail gets sent out before we can update our records.


Residents of Douglas County are eligible for a free library card at the Superior Public Library. Children under age 14 are eligible if accompanied by a custodial parent or legal guardian with library card in good standing.  Applicants must present a picture identification and proof of residence, such as a piece of mail that’s been delivered to the new address, a printed receipt with their name and address on it, or check blanks with their address printed on them. Applicants must be present to be issued a card. 

Out of State Residents

As of January 1, 2014, non-residents of Wisconsin* wishing to check out materials from Superior Public Library will be charged a thirty dollar annual user’s fee. In exchange, non-residents of Wisconsin will be allowed to place holds, a service currently reserved for in-state patrons. Non-residents of Wisconsin will still be asked to use their home libraries for inter-library loan service.

*Cloquet residents will be exempt from the non-resident fee. Cloquet Public Library and Superior Public Library have a reciprocal borrowing arrangement.

Other Wisconsin Residents

Wisconsin residents living in Bayfield, Ashland, Washburn, Sawyer, Iron, Burnett and Vilas Counties are also eligible to check out materials by using their Merlin system library card, their home library card, or obtaining a Superior Public Library card with proper identification.


Superior Public Library does not give out information from a patron’s account to anyone without a court order. Patrons rights to privacy concerning what they read and view are protected by the following Wisconsin Statute: 43.30 Public Library Records.  (See attached policy for release of library records of a child under age 16 to custodial parents and legal guardians.)

Check Out Periods

  • Six Weeks: art prints
  • Three Weeks: books, audio books, documents, toys
  • Two Weeks: items borrowed from libraries outside the Merlin system
  • One Week: magazines, DVDs
  • Three Weeks:  E-readers & tablets

Check out Limits

A limit of X total items includes the following:

  • Two: Puppets, art prints
  • Eight: audio books, movies, music CDs, books* of a given subject used for school
  • Eight: magazines
  • A reasonable amount: books
  • One:  E-readers & tablets

Reserving Items

Hold Limits

You are limited to 20 total reserved items.

Hold Notification

You will be notified when an item is ready for you to pick up. Seven days after being notified if the hold hasn't been picked up it will be cancelled.

Renewing Items

Items can be renewed twice if there are no holds. To renew an item online from the Merlin catalog, log into your account. Items borrowed for you from a library outside the Merlin system can not be renewed.

Returning Items

There is a bookdrop in the parking lot accessible by car for the convenience of patrons. Borrowers are responsible for materials checked out to them until the item is inside the library. Fragile items and items that can be damaged in extreme weather should be returned inside the library. Materials returned in the outdoor bookdrop after the library is closed will be checked in the following day. Patrons need to make sure items have dropped down inside the bookdrop and to not use it if it is too full.

Videos and audio-books need to be rewound before returning.

Overdue Items

Overdue Notification

You will be notified by email or phone when you have items that will be due soon. You will receive two overdue notices before a bill is sent in the mail.


A bill will be mailed after the second overdue notice. If you need to pay for a lost book, send a check payable to the sender of the bill.


You will lose library privileges when you have outstanding bills and/or fines over $5.


Patrons are expected to return materials on time and in good condition or promptly pay fees or fines incurred.

Adult Materials

  • Twenty cents/day with a maximum of four dollars each for items other than DVDs
  • Fifty cents/day with a maximum fine of five dollars per item for DVDs
  • Five dollars/day for E-readers & tablets with a maximum of thirty dollars per item.

Youth Materials

  • Twenty cents/day with a maximum of one dollar each for items other than DVDs
  • Fifty cents/day with a maximum fine of two dollars per item for DVDs