Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I get a library card?

Library cards are FREE to any Waukesha or Jefferson County resident who presents picture/photo identification and proof of current address. Residents under the age of eighteen are also eligible for a library card when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian presenting a picture ID and proof of current residency. Examples of proof of residency include a driver's license, check book, house or property title or mortgage, lease agreement, piece of personal mail, or a utility bill.

You can start your registration online. Your temporary library card number will be available immediately for accessing OverDrive/Libby and the Library databases. Please visit the Library within one month to present a picture ID and proof of current residency in order to get your permanent card.

The Waukesha Public Library is a member of the Bridges Library System, which serves all residents and taxpayers of Waukesha and Jefferson Counties. Your library card may be used at any library in the Bridges Library System.

How do I pay my fines and fees?

Fines and fees can be paid in person at the Special Services Desk at the front of the Library or they can be paid online by logging into your CAFE account through the Library catalog. Credit cards are accepted at the Library and through the online interface.

How do I reserve a meeting or study room at the library?

Study Rooms

The Library has three smaller study rooms on the first floor meant for small groups up to five. These rooms are not reservable and are meant to serve students, tutors, and others needing a small space to collaborate. Stop at the Reference Desk to have a staff person let you into a study room.

Conference Rooms

Four Conference Rooms are located on the first floor of the Library and are meant for small groups up to 20 people. These rooms can be reserved and are intended for public use by community organizations needing a space for organizational, educational, and other meetings. See below for a link to the Library calendar to reserve a Conference Room.

Community/Program Rooms

Community/Program Rooms are defined as WPL’s larger spaces that hold more than 20 people and where setup can be altered. Community/Program Rooms are available for use by organizations including non‐profits, community and neighborhood groups, organizations for the public good, educational, and cultural institutions, benevolent organizations, and government agencies. The room may not be used by organizations for commercial purposes or for private social events for individuals. A minimum number of attendees is required. Community Rooms can be used for:

Programs: Programs held in library spaces must be for an educational, cultural, civic, intellectual, community service, or charitable purpose. Programs must be free and open to the public. Anyone requesting admittance to the program must be allowed to attend free of charge.

Meetings: Meetings with a restricted invitation list may be held in Library Community Rooms. Examples include board or administration meetings, organization meetings, large book clubs and neighborhood watch group gatherings.

Reserving a Room

To reserve a room, go to the Library Calendar (linked below) and click on the link that says RESERVE A ROOM at the top of the page. From there you can make a reservation either based on the specific room or by the date you wish to hold your event.

Please contact the Reference Desk at 262-524-3682 if you have questions about using the Library’s program, conference, and study rooms.

Can I make a donation to the Library?

The Library will gratefully accept lightly used books and media in excellent condition. Many of them will be sold through the Friends of the Library ongoing book sale, but selected items may be added to the Library's collection. All proceeds from the Friends book sale are used to enhance the programs and collections of the Waukesha Public Library. Donations are accepted at the Checkout Desk. The library cannot place a monetary value on gifts for tax purposes, but receipts are provided upon request.

Materials that are most welcome include:

  • Anything about Waukesha or Wisconsin history
  • Recent fiction/nonfiction books in excellent condition
  • Paperbacks that are like new
  • Children's books
  • Recent best sellers
  • Books on CD and DVDs in excellent condition

Due to space and storage limitations, the library cannot accept the following types of materials:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Textbooks
  • Old encyclopedia sets
  • Reader's Digest Condensed Books
  • Books that are more than ten years old (except local history)
  • Books previously discarded from libraries
  • Items that are tattered, yellowed, musty, stained
  • Items that are highlighted, written in, or that have loose pages
  • Paperbacks that are obviously worn
  • Computer software and computer manuals
  • Videos that have been viewed more than a few times

Monetary donations are always welcome and may be designated as memorials. Gifts of non-library items ordinarily will not be accepted. Questions? Call us 262-524-3694 and we'll be happy to help!

Use this link to make a donation online to the Waukesha Public Library Fund via Waukesha County Community Foundation.