Library Cards/Using the Library

Get a Card

Most Iowa residents are eligible for a library card, including residents of Algona, rural Kossuth County, and residents of other communities that participate in the State Library of Iowa Open Access Program. 

Visitors from out-of-state living in the Algona area for less than 3 months are eligible for a temporary library card. 

Adults need a valid photo ID that shows a current Algona Public Library service area mailing address.  Applicants 12-17 years of age may apply for a library card using their student ID, driver’s license, or permit. They must list at least one parent’s/guardian’s contact information as the financially responsible party. Children applying for a library card should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

You can apply for a library card in-person or online:

  • Just come into the Algona Public Library with the identification mentioned above to obtain your library card.
  • Complete the online form prior to coming in (saved time!).

If you apply online, you will still need to come into the library to pick up the physical card. To receive your library card please bring your photo identification and proof of residency to the library’s front desk.

Using Your Library Card

  • Check-out – You must present your card (or photo ID) to borrow materials.
  • Card renewals – Standard cards are valid for 3 years and can be renewed with proof of current address if there are no outstanding fines or fees.
  • Lost card – Notify the library if your card is lost, stolen, or found.
  • Responsibility – You are responsible for all fees and materials checked out with your library card. Parents and legal guardians are financially responsible for the use of cards issued to children under 18 years of age.
  • Renewing – Materials may be renewed twice online, by phone, or in-person unless the item is on hold for another customer.
  • Returning – Items should be placed in the book drops located at both ends of the building or in the interior book drops located at both circulation desks.
  • Overdue – You will be restricted from borrowing materials if you have overdue items on your account.
  • Confidentiality – Your APL customer information and circulation records are confidential.

Request an Item

Search the Catalog

Search the catalog to place a hold on physical items from our library.

Search tips:

  • Search by both the author’s name and the title
  • Double check you have the names and spellings correct

If the item you’re looking for is not in the catalog, we may still be able to get if for you by interlibrary loan (ILL) or purchasing it for our collection.

Interlibrary Loans

Use the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) form to request an item from another library in the U.S.

Best for:

  • Older items published at least one year ago
  • Items on specific topics like medical texts or research material

Please do not submit ILL requests for:

  • Video games
  • Items currently in popular demand or recently published

Purchase Requests

We may be able to purchase items for our collection upon request! Use the Purchase Requests form to suggest titles.

Best for:

  • Current and recently published items
  • Materials that meet the criteria of our Collection Development Policy

Curbside Pickup & Home Delivery

Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup is available during regular library hours.

  • Request items to be held. If you need recommendations, fill out our Shelf Help form and a librarian will be happy to make a variety of selections for you.
  • You will receive a call or an email to notify you when your holds are ready.
  • Park at the designated Curbside Hold Pickup parking spot. It will be located at the north end of the building. While the exterior is under construction, please park as close as you can to the entrance.
  • Call 515.295.5476 to notify staff that you have arrived.
  • Allow a few minutes for staff to complete your request.
  • Staff will walk your holds out to your car.
  • If you have holds to return, you may hand them to the staff member, and they will check them in.

Home Delivery

We will bring the library to you!

Home delivery services are available to any resident of the Algona Public Library (APL) service area who is unable to visit the library due to age, long-term illness, or disability.  A valid library account in good standing is necessary for the service.

To request home delivery of items you already placed on hold, give us a call at 515.295.5476.

If you do not have items on hold, we will be happy to make reading selections for you based upon your preferences. Click here for our Shelf Help: Personalized Recommendations form.


Study Rooms

Need a quiet place to work? Drop in to use one of three study rooms.

Study rooms are best for:

  • Video conferencing
  • Work, study, and research
  • Job searching

Study rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis for those visiting the library.

Meeting Room

Meeting Room A

Meeting Room A is available for reservations.  Information about public use of the room is available in the Meeting Room A Policy.  The room is designed for table and chair seating of approximately fifty individuals.

Any individual or group representative requesting reservation of the meeting room must complete and sign the appropriate form, pay the room rental, and pay the damage deposit in a separate check. This must be completed during regular library hours BEFORE the reservation is accepted.

Study Room
study Room

Meeting/Study Rooms


  • Library policies should be followed when using the rooms.
  • Privacy is not guaranteed. Meeting rooms are not soundproof.
  • Use of a meeting room is available on an equitable basis regardless of the activities, affiliations, beliefs, or policies of the individual, group, or organization using the room. Use does not constitute Library endorsement.

Failure to comply with Library policies may result in the suspension of Library privileges, which includes exclusion from Library property.



Public computers are free to use. Software includes internet browsers and Microsoft Office. Laptops are available for check out use in the library.

Wireless Internet

Connect your device to the library’s wireless connection. A password is not required to use this service.  Wireless coverage extends to our parking lots.

Print, Copy, Scan & Fax

Multifunction device and kiosk is ready for self-service printing, document processing, and payment.

Black & White printing 25¢ per page

Color printing for $1.00 per page

(Prices subject to change without notice)

Mobile printing technology is available, enabling you to print from your phone or tablet, from home or from within the library!

Library Tech Consultations

Make an appointment with a librarian for one-on-one help with your technology needs.

  • Using Library eResources including eBooks and databases
  • Searching the Internet
  • Setting up an email for Facebook account
  • Using Microsoft Word to type resumes or other documents

Appointments are available by calling 515.295.5476.

Note: masks may be required for these appointments.

Read the Library’s Internet Policy.

Test Proctoring

The Library can proctor written, emailed, or online exams. A private study room is provided for test taking.

The following guidelines help to ensure the integrity of the testing process:

  • Proctoring is done by appointment only. A minimum of 7 days advance notice of desired test time is recommended for best results. Appointments can be made in person or by phone by contacting 515.295.5476.
  • Students are responsible for arriving at their scheduled appointment time. Exams will not be rescheduled for students who fail to notify the proctor in advance that they cannot make their appointment.
  • Students need to ensure that the examination and other required exam materials are sent to the proctor. All test requirements, exam instructions, and verification forms must be received from the issuing educational institution before any tests are taken.
  • Tests can be received and/or returned through the mail, by e-mail or by fax. Students or the examining institutions must provide a return envelope and postage for mailings.
  • At the time of testing, students must provide photo identification.
  • Students are responsible for supplying all necessary materials such as pens, pencils, calculator, paper, etc. to complete the test.
  • Proctors will enforce any time limits that are placed on the exam, as well as other rules set forth in the exam materials. The use of cell phones or visiting with others during the testing period will not be allowed.
  • The Library cannot provide direct in-room supervision of students during exams.
  • For online exams, the Library will provide a study room with a computer that has Microsoft Office and Internet access. The Library cannot guarantee that technical problems will not occur when using the Library PCs or that we will be able to accommodate the download of specific test-taking software. Students are responsible for ensuring that the computing resources are adequate for their testing purposes prior to the day of the exam.
  • Proctors will not enter their personal information (Social Security number, driver’s license, home phone number, home address, etc.) on the proctoring materials.
  • The Library cannot assume responsibility for completed tests that are not received by the testing institution. Students must contact the institutions to determine if the completed tests were received. The Library will keep copies of scanned or faxed test materials for two weeks.