Anyone can use the resources of the Defiance Public Library System.  Only patrons with a library card may borrow library materials or obtain use of library internet equipment.  Juveniles ages 5-12, young adults ages 13-17, and adults are eligible for a library card. 

Library Card Application Procedure

Eligibility Requirements

Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in the state of Ohio is eligible to receive a Defiance Public Library System card free of charge.  Parents or legal guardians who signed permission for a juvenile’s library card may use the juvenile’s library card.  Use of all other library cards is limited to use by the person whose name appears on the card.  The library will merge or delete the records of any user found to have multiple active cards.

Any person not meeting the state of Ohio residency requirement will be issued a Defiance Public Library System library card upon payment of a fee established each year by the Board of Trustees.  The single paid library card may be used by all members of an immediate family.  The library will merge or delete the records of any user found to have multiple active cards.

All materials borrowed must be returned on or before the due date.  Library materials due may be returned to any of the Defiance Public Library System locations in Defiance, Hicksville, or Sherwood.

Fines are charged for items returned after their due date.  Cardholders are responsible for all fines incurred and for lost or damaged materials borrowed on their library card.  Library card records with fines/fees in the amount of $25.00 or more will be sent to our debt collection agency.

The cardholder must agree to the following:

  • Report a lost/stolen card immediately
  • Pay all fines/charges for the late return, loss of, or damage to all material borrowed on this card.

When applying for a Defiance Public Library card, an applicant must show proof of identity and that he/she lives, attends school, or pays property taxes in Ohio. To apply for a card:
Adults may use the following for verification of identity and address if it is 1 of the following valid Ohio State ID with picture:

  • Current driver's license
  • Current photo learner's permit
  • Current non-driver's identification

Young Adults (ages 13-17) can show the same ID as adults.  Alternatively, young adults may present 1 of the following, provided name and address are included in the documentation:

Juveniles (ages 5-12) must have their application completed and signed by a parent or legal guardian who shows proof of their identity and address. 

If the above documentation is not available, any 2 of the following forms of identification are acceptable for adults and/or young adults, provided one shows a photo and/or signature and the other the applicant's current address:

  • Current Ohio college or university photo ID card
  • Current employee photo ID card
  • Current Armed Services ID card
  • Alien Registration photo ID card
  • Matricula Consular (Mexican CID)
  • Current passport
  • Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Birth certificate
  • State of Ohio motor vehicle registration
  • Professional, vocational or union photo ID
  • Current rent bill or lease agreement
  • Tax bill or receipt*
  • Statement from a homeless shelter dated within last 30 days*
  • Bank statement**
  • Cable, phone or utility bill**
  • Any piece of mail delivered by the US Post Office**

**Note: Any of the above must be dated within the last 3 months, as indicated by the postmark or date of printed statement.

The name and address provided to verify identification must match the information entered on the application.

Cardholders are required to report change of name or address information promptly.

Special Notes on Young Adult Borrowers

Young Adults who are age 13 through 17 must present identification that indicates their grade level or age to obtain an application for a library card.

  • A parent/guardian may verify his/her child's age in the absence of identification.
  • Parents/guardians of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 may be given information about overdue materials only, upon presentation of the youth’s library card barcode number, printed overdue notice, or personal identification that confirms that the adult is the youth’s parent/guardians.

Special Notes on Juvenile Borrowers

  • Children may be present to receive their library cards, but their presence is not required.
  • A juvenile’s application form must be signed by a parent or guardian. If a parent/guardian is not present, special arrangements may be made for the library card application to be taken home for completion and signature.  Applications processed through the schools may waive proof of identity and address.
  • On the library card application, parents/or guardians determine whether their child may borrow all library materials or specify limits on materials allowed to borrow.
  • Parents/guardians are responsible for the lost or damaged materials borrowed by their children.

Special Notes on Classroom Borrowers

  • Educators and home school providers in the State of Ohio are eligible to apply each year for a Classroom card free of charge.  Card is effective August 1, through May 31.
  • Applicants must provide:
    • Proof of teaching status as a current teacher in an area school to be approved; i.e., school ID, OEA card, recent check stub or contract.  Home schooling parents must show proof of home schooling via state documentation or proof of enrollment in a virtual academy, or be recommended by Youth Service/Branch Manager
    • Teachers must provide a work email; Homeschooling parents must provide a valid personal email.
  • Cards will expire each June 1.  Exceptions may be granted for special circumstances, as approved by the Director/Designee.
  • Library materials borrowed on a Classroom card must be for classroom, not personal use.
  • 50 Item limit are checked out for six weeks, with no renewal, and no fines.
  • Fees are collected on items lost or damaged.

Special Notes on Organizational Borrowers

  • Cards of this type are available only to organizations located in Defiance County.
  • Only one card will be issued to any organization.  The organization must accept all financial responsibility for use of the card by its employees.
  • Cards will expire each June 1.  Exceptions may be granted for special circumstances, as approved by the Director/Designee.
  • If the organization has a change of address or phone number, or the card is lost, the library must be notified immediately.
  • 50 items limit are checked out for six weeks, with no renewal, and no fines.
  • Fees are collected on items lost or damaged.

Special Notes on Homebound Borrowers

  • The Homebound program is for individuals who can use regular library materials, but are unable to visit the library due to a temporary or permanent physical or age limitation or disability, or who reside in an assisted living or nursing home facility.
  • 20 Item limit are checked out for six weeks, with no renewal, and no fines.  Library staff may determine lower limits based on library resources.
  • Fees are not collected on items lost or damaged.

Special Notes on Non-Resident (Visitor or Temporary) Borrowers

  • Visitors with temporary addresses including homeless shelters or hotels, from out-of-state or abroad are welcome to use the Library’s resources on-site, many of which do not require the issuance of a library card for access to collections and Internet services.  Visitors may be issued a free 90 day temporary library card with an expiration date reflecting the brevity of their stay.
  • With the exception of a much sooner expiration date of up to three months from the date of issuance, all other registration procedures are applicable to the applicants.
  • A person using  a temporary card has the following privileges:
  • Limit of 6 items checked out at one time
  • Limit of 3 items on hold at one time
  • Borrowing privileges will be suspended when 1 item is overdue
  • Fine limit is $5.00 per item

Renewing or Validating Your Library Card

  • All adult, teen and child library cards for cardholders in the Defiance Public Library System expire and must be renewed every three years.
  • All Classroom and Organization library cards will expire each June 1, unless special arrangements have been approved by the Director/Designee.
  • All cards will receive an automatic address check reminder every year.
  • If you still have your card at the date of its expiration and you wish to renew it, there is no need to apply for a new card.

Loan Periods, Renewals, Fines and Fees

Unless exception is noted, the following apply:

  • Regular Check-out period is 2 weeks, with 2 renewals allowed, if the item is not reserved for another library user.  Fines for past due items is $.10 per item per day.
  • AV Browsing collection Check-out period is 1 week, with no renewal allowed.  Fines for past due items is $.50 per item per day.
  • On day of completing an application for a new library card, check-out is limited to 3 items.
  • Fee for lost/damaged item is replacement cost +$2.50 processing fee.  The library is unable to accept replacement materials.
  • Seniors, age 60 and older are exempt from fines.
  • If a lost item is found and returned in good condition within 6 months after payment, the customer will receive be refunded the replacement cost upon request.
  • Staff members are exempt from fines. These fine waivers are a “fringe benefit” for employees and are part of the employees’ public compensation.

 Lost and Replacement Library Cards

  • When you apply for a Defiance Public Library System card, you accept responsibility for all items on the card, all use made of the card and all charges made against it until your card is reported lost.  The Library must have a record of your card having been reported lost, or it is not considered lost.  Therefore it is to the patron’s benefit to report the loss or theft of a library card immediately.
  • The original card will be deleted upon notification of lost status.  The cost of replacing a lost or stolen library card is $.50.  This fee is assessed at the time the card is replaced.
    Report lost cards by phone, in person at any Library location, or by email.

Library Notices

The Defiance Public Library System provides a notification service for held items, overdue materials & other service-specific reasons.  Notices are available via telephone or e-mail & the method by which you receive them is chosen at the time you apply for a card.  Additionally, notices and bills for overdue material will be sent to the mailing address or email address on record at the Library.  It is the responsibility of the borrower to notify the Library if any of their contact information changes.

Note: In the case of borrowers who receive their notices by e-mail, it is their responsibility to make sure that e-mails sent from addresses with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the sender information be allowed through any filters they may have in place on their Inbox.

Failure to receive a notice does not absolve the borrower from any fines or fees attached to their patron record.

Revised 5/27/14