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?

NOTE: The Library's Community Room and study rooms are currently unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Library has three group study rooms (max capacity 6 people) and four individual study rooms (max capacity 2 people) available for use. Due to high demand, individuals are limited to 2 hours of use per day. The study rooms cannot be reserved ahead of time, and the library does not maintain a waiting list for these rooms.  Use is granted solely on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The study room sign-in sheet is located at the Reference Desk.

The Library also has a large public meeting room, called the Community Room, that may be reserved by Waukesha County based non-profit groups when it is not in use by the Library. The room may not be used by organizations for commercial purposes or for private social events. It seats up to 65 people, and must be reserved in advance.  To reserve the Community Room, an application must be submitted a minimum of 5 business days (Monday-Friday) prior to the meeting date in order to allow sufficient time for processing. Applications will be considered using the guidelines set forth in the Library’s Public Meeting Room Policy.

Please contact the Reference Desk at 262-524-3682 if you have questions about using the library’s meeting 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.