Courtesy Cards - Borrowing

Apply for a Courtesy Card

To discover specific borrowing privileges for categories of courtesy cards, see the page for Visitors and Affiliates. If you will be visiting from out-of-town please contact us in advance (see contact information below).

  1. Turn in completed applications at the Main Library Circulation Desk. You will also need a photo ID and proof of your current address. The only acceptable documents for these purposes are listed below. Expired documents will not be accepted.
    • Photo ID
      • Valid Illinois driver’s license or ID card
      • Valid out-of-state driver’s license or ID card
      • Valid student/staff ID card from another college or university
      • Valid passport
      • U.S. Military ID card
    • Proof of your current address
      • Current lease agreement
      • Utility bill in applicant’s name from current or previous month only
      • Credit card bill or bank statement from current or previous month only
      • Benefit statement from Veterans Affairs from current or previous month only
  2. Your courtesy card will be mailed to you; you will be able to borrow items once you have received the card. If your courtesy card is returned to our office as undeliverable to the address you provided on your application, you will not be able to reapply.
  3. Courtesy card application

Card Renewals

Bring your old courtesy card with you when you reapply. If necessary, we can extend the expiration date so you may use your old card until your new card arrives. Borrowing history and previous conduct are taken into consideration when reviewing applications.

Cards for Urbana Campus Guests and Visitors who are Scholars

Guests and visitors who are scholars may apply for a Courtesy Card at the Main Library Circulation Desk by presenting a photo ID and a letter from their Urbana campus sponsoring academic department.

  • This letter should be on departmental letterhead, signed by an authorized representative of the sponsoring department, and should state that:
    1. The named person is a guest of that department until a specified date.
    2. The sponsoring department will assume financial responsibility for any library materials checked out by the card holder.

A sample letter template is provided for your convenience to assist with this process.

Cards for BTAA Borrowers and OCLC Borrowers

Patrons who are affiliated with institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) or are participants in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program may apply for a Courtesy Card at the Main Library Circulation Desk by following the directions at the Reciprocal Borrowing guide.

Courtesy Card User Responsibilities

  • Courtesy card users are expected to update their card when their mailing or email address changes.
  • Courtesy cards are valid for one year. Valid photo ID and proof of current address are required to renew your card. Lost cards require a new application.
  • Your library account number is the 14 digit number printed below the barcode on your card. You will need this number to access the My Account function to check the status of your account in the Library Catalog.
  • You can find materials through the Library Catalog.
  • Courtesy cards may be used at any of the libraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (except Residence Hall Libraries).
  • Courtesy cards cannot be used to borrow library materials from other libraries in our statewide library consortium (I-Share) and are not valid on-site in other libraries in the consortium.
  • Courtesy card users are not eligible for Interlibrary Loan services. Courtesy card users are expected to use the Interlibrary Loan services of their local public libraries.
  • Most courtesy cards do not provide entrance to the Main Stacks.  Please inquire at the Main Library Circulation Desk if you wish to have materials paged from the Main Stacks.
  • Courtesy card users may be billed for overdue or lost items and should review their borrowing privileges when they receive their card.

Contact Us:

Circulation Contact Form
217-244-0732 (evenings and weekends only)
866-262-1510 toll-free