Get a Library Card

Mattoon Residents

The Mattoon Public Library is a City Library, which means all residents who live inside the city limits of Mattoon are eligible for a free library card.

To register for a library card at the Library, we ask that you bring:

  1. A state or federally issued Photo ID. Some examples of a photo ID include a valid driver’s license, a state issued photo ID, a passport, a FOID card, or a military ID.
  2. Proof of residency. Some examples of proof of residency include a valid and correct ID, a lease, a property tax bill referencing the Library, a water bill, or a piece of canceled mail. If you bring in something like an electric bill, we ask that you have the windowed envelope with the post-cancel and the inside statement with the address.


The Library staff has the right and the responsibility to validate an address as in or out of our service area.

If you have a fine at any SHARE member Library, we cannot issue a card without your other cards being cleared of all fines and blocks. In order to get any fines cleared, you will have to speak to the Library where your fine is owed.

To self register for a library card, please visit the registration page.

Mattoon Non-Residents

If you do not live in the city limits of Mattoon, we are required by state law to charge a non-resident fee. The Mattoon Public Library formulates the fee by the state-approved formula, which is based on the average that Mattoon city residents pay.

Current Fee: $75.00 a year, per family.

Reader’s Bridge

For those that are unable to pay the fee, the Mattoon Public Library offers Reader’s Bridge, which helps patrons cover 90% of the fee. In order to qualify for Reader’s Bridge, you must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • You earn minimum wage, but you are working less than full time
  • Your children receive free or reduced school lunch
  • You have a Link card
  • You have a state medical card
  • You live in subsidized housing
  • You are receiving TANF

The Library Director has the ability to offer Reader’s Bridge for reasons other than those listed above.

Reader’s Bridge is available when funding allows.

To apply, please fill out the Reader’s Bridge application and give it to the Library.

Reciprocal Borrowing

The Mattoon Public Library accepts any public library cards from Illinois Heartland Library System SHARE Libraries. Unfortunately, school and academic library cards can not be used at the Mattoon Public Library.

If you are visiting the Mattoon Public Library area for a few weeks or months and have a valid public library card at another public library outside of SHARE (e.g.: Urbana Free Library, Chicago Public Library, etc.), your card can be added to our system. In order for you to be added to our system, you will need your library card and a photo ID. Your original library card must be free of fines and in good standing while you are a patron of the Mattoon Public Library.

This policy is invalid if you are staying outside the city limits.

By IHLS rules, all reciprocal borrowers are not allowed to use downloadable services such as eBooks and eAudiobooks.

PADS Members

We encourage all PADS members to have a library card and use our resources. We encourage you to participate in programs such as the Summer/Winter Reading programs and Movies in Lytle Park!

All rules and requirements above pertain to PADS Members as well as the following:

  • A PADS ID Card or a letter from the current director of pads with an authentic signature will serve as proof of residency (no photocopies will be allowed).
  • No library cards will be issued to PADS residents under the age of 13.

To learn more about PADS policies, please look at the brochure.