Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a Library Card?

Getting a Tippecanoe County Public Library Card is easy and often takes only a few minutes.  Below are some questions you may have about getting a card.  Remember you will need to bring in a current photo id and proof of address in order to receive a card.  You can apply in person at any Tippecanoe County Public Library location (Downtown, Klondike, Wyandotte, or the Mobile Library).

Tippecanoe County residents and property owners are eligible for a free library card. There are no age restrictions for receiving a card. If a minor receives a library card without a parent or guardian present, the library will notify the parent or guardian by mail. Parents and guardians are responsible for items borrowed and the use of the card by the minor.

  • Residents of the city of West Lafayette are eligible for a reciprocal borrower’s card.
  • Region 4 Ivy Tech Community College students may present a valid Ivy Tech ID to receive a card.
  • Residents of other Indiana library districts may be eligible for a free reciprocal borrower’s card if your home library is a member of the Reciprocal Borrower’s Agreement. Call Circulation Services at 429-0123 to see if your library district is a member.

If you live in an Indiana taxing district that does not support a local public library, you may purchase a Non-Resident library card. The current fee is $50.00 annually.

Alternatively if you live in an Indiana taxing district that does support a local public library, but that library is not a member of the Reciprocal Borrower’s Agreement, you will need to purchase a Public Library Access Card (PLAC) to get a Tippecanoe County Public Library card. The current fee is $65.00 annually.

Call Circulation Services at 765- 429-0123 for more information.

You must bring a current photo ID and proof of your residency when applying for a card.  Cards will only be issued to individuals who apply in person. This includes minors.

Applications are available at all of our locations. You can also click here to complete and print out a library card application. Please note this is not an electronic submission.  You must still print the application out and bring it in with you.

The following are documents the library will accept to prove your identity and residency.  A driver’s license with your current address can count for both an ID and address.  Additionally, if you do not live in Tippecanoe County and are looking to register as a reciprocal borrower you must have your home library card with you.  If you have any further questions or concerns please call Circulation Services at 429-0123 for more information.

Photo ID

  • Driver’s License
  • State ID
  • School ID
  • Parent/Guardian Verification (minors only)

Proof of Residency

  • Driver’s License
  • State ID
  • Car Registration
  • Check Book
  • Lease
  • Pay Stub
  • Utility Bill

If your card is lost or stolen, you should report this to any Library Circulation desk immediately. A Circulation staff member will block your account in order to prevent misuse of your card.

If you would like to replace your card, please come in person to any Library Circulation desk. There is a $1.00 fee for a new card.  You will need to show a photo ID to receive a new card. Minors will be asked questions to verify their identity.  Please note that the cardholder must be present. Even if the cardholder is a minor their presence is required to receive the card.

If you forget your card, you may check out with a photo ID.  These checkouts will be limited to 3 items.

Each year your library account privileges will expire. The library does this so we can confirm your contact information each year. To extend your account privileges for another year you can call us at 429-0123 or visit any of our locations.  As soon as your information is updated, your borrowing privileges are restored for another year.

What do I need to know about borrowing from the library?

Having a Tippecanoe County Public Library card allows you to borrow items from the library.  It also allows you to access electronic databases, downloadables, and the Internet.  Please always have your library card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) with you when you call or visit the library.  We also offer a variety of ways for you to access information about your account.

    • In person at any of our locations
    • Online with Tipcat’s My Account
    • Over the phone at 765-429-0123
    • Via a 24/7 automated line 765-429-0204

Please allow up to 48 hours for returned materials to be checked in. If returned materials are still on your account after that time frame, contact Circulation Services 765- 429-0123 immediately.

 

Your PIN is typically the last four digits of your phone number.  If this doesn’t seem to be correct, just give us a call at 765-429-0123 and we can correct any errors.

Each year your library account privileges will expire. The library does this so we can confirm your contact information each year. To extend your account privileges for another year you can call us at 765-429-0123 or visit any of our locations.  You may also request your library privilieges be extend online here. Please complete the entire form even if your contact information has not changed and allow 48 hours for the request to be processed.  As soon as your information is updated, your borrowing privileges are restored for another year.

We offer a variety of items available for checkout.  This includes books, DVDs, music CDs, CD-ROMS, and audiobooks.  Any cardholder may have up to 75 total items checked out on their card at any one time. Different items will have their own limits.  Most items may be checked out for two weeks and renewed twice, with three exceptions.  The exceptions are: fiction DVDs are checked out for one week and can be renewed twice for one week each, downloadables which check out for two weeks and cannot be renewed, and materials borrowed from other libraries which will have a special due date.

What are the item limits?

10 Fiction DVDs

10 Talking Books

10 Music CDs

2   Youth Concept Kits

2   Youth Storytime Kits

10 Downloadables

Unless there is a hold on the item, most materials may be renewed twice, each time for two weeks. However, fiction DVDs renew only for one week and downloadables may not be renewed at all.

If you have an item which cannot be renewed we encourage you to return the item so they may be available to other patrons.  You are eligible to check the items out again after they have been on the shelf for 24 hours.

You can return items from Tippecanoe County Public Library to any of our branches or to any of the four drop boxes at Pay Less Super Markets.   We have a courier who typically takes items between our branches daily.  Never leave materials on top of, hanging out of or next to the drops. You are responsible for any library materials that are lost, stolen or damaged due to an improper return.

Pay Less Super Market locations:

2513 Maple Point Drive
Lafayette, IN

1032 Sagamore Parkway
West Lafayette, IN
(please be sure not to confuse the West Lafayette Public Library drop box with the TCPL ones)

65 Beck Lane
Lafayette, IN

2200 Greenbush Street
Lafayette, IN

Not all materials will fit in the 24-hour drop boxes. Every effort is made to empty these drops at least once per day, but occasionally they will become full. Never leave materials on top of, hanging out of or next to the drops.

You are responsible for any library materials that are lost, stolen or damaged due to an improper return.

For holds and overdue items you may choose to be notified by:
o    Email
o    Short Text Message
o    Phone Call

Call us to set this up at 765-429-0123 or ask us at the checkout desk at any of our branches.

If the item you want is not available, you may place a hold on it at any library, over the phone, or online through TIPCAT.  Please have your library card and PIN available when placing holds. When a hold becomes available, we will notify you according to the preference specified on your account.  This is typically either a phone call or an email.  From the time you are notified that a hold is available you will have five days to pick it up.

When you place the hold you may specify at which branch you would like to pick up your hold or even whether to suspend the hold.  If the item was listed available in the library at the time you placed a hold, we will typically pull it for you the following day.  If you are unsure about whether or not a hold has come in for you, you may call circulation services at 429-0123 or check your account online through TIPCAT.

A suspension is only necessary for dates you will not be able to pick up an item, so if you are going on vacation for a few weeks, this can be a good idea to avoid missing your holds.  A suspension will keep your place in line.

You should see suspension dates both when you first place the hold and again in your account on TIPCAT.  Please be aware that a suspension must be placed before an item becomes available for pickup

If the library does not have the item you would like, we may still be able to get it for you. The two primary ways you can get these materials are either to ask a member of our reference staff to place a request from another library for the item or to make a purchase request.

Indiana law [IC 5-14-3-4 (b)16] requires all records of your use of library materials and services be kept strictly confidential.  TCPL staff will not disclose such records to any third party without a valid court order.  This includes spouses or adult children. The library also accords these same rights to minors.  We do however recognize that a parent or guardian is responsible for any charges accrued on a minor’s card.  We allow a parent or guardian to access a minor’s account on the condition that they have the minor’s card in hand OR on condition that the minor is present.

This commitment to confidentiality may sometimes seem inconvenient, but it ensures that your use of the library remains your business.  To protect your privacy and control over materials charged to your account, please do not share your card. Report lost cards to circulation services immediately by calling 765-429-0123.

Does the library have fines or fees?

When materials are late the library makes several attempts to contact cardholders. This includes an automated phone system called iTIva, text messaging, e-mail, and mail to notify the cardholder.  (For privacy and security reasons, the automated system and text messages will not provide specific title information.)  If you have a question, there are several ways you can check the status of materials checked out to your account:

  • In person at any of our locations
  • Online with Tipcat’s My Account
  • Over the phone at (765)429-0123
  • Via a 24/7 automated line (765) 429-0204
  • Via BookMyne, an app for Apple and Android devices

Please keep in mind that these notifications are a courtesy and the card holder is still responsible for returning items on time.  The library does not charge daily overdue fines; however, if your materials become long overdue, your account may be submitted to a collection agency.  A $10.00 non-refundable fee is then added to your account.

The library’s collection belongs to everyone. Please return materials promptly so others may enjoy them. The library does not assess daily overdue fines for overdue materials.  However, materials long overdue will be considered lost. Materials returned in poor condition will be billed as damaged.

Items considered lost or damaged will be billed for the replacement cost of the item and a $5 processing fee per item.  Once a charge is applied to a card holder’s account the bill must be resolved before borrowing privileges will be restored.

Library accounts that have lost or billed items may be submitted to Unique National Collections, a materials recovery agency, and will be billed a non-refundable $10 referral fee per account.

Any fee on your library account will keep you from checking out other items.  These fees can be paid at any of our branches or by credit card online or over the phone by calling circulation services at 765-429-0123.

The Library’s fines and fees are set by the board policy here.

When a title shows as available in on order it has been ordered for the library but either has not yet arrived or is being processed by Technical Services. It is not yet available for checkout but it is available for a hold to be placed on it.

Each of the library buildings has 24-hour outside drop boxes. At the Downtown Library the drop is to the left of the Alabama Street/parking lot entrance. The Klondike Branch has a drive-up drop on the West side of the building.

TCPL also maintains drop boxes at the four area Pay Less Super Markets (map):

2513 Maple Point Drive
Lafayette, IN
 
 
1032 Sagamore Parkway (please be sure not to confuse the West Lafayette Public Library drop box with the TCPL ones)
West Lafayette, IN
 
 
65 Beck Lane
Lafayette, IN
 
 
2200 Greenbush Street
Lafayette, IN

Not all materials will fit in the 24-hour drop boxes. Every effort is made to empty these drops at least once per day, but occasionally they will become full. Never leave materials on top of, hanging out of or next to the drops.

You are responsible for any library materials that are lost, stolen or damaged due to an improper return.

Yes, all three library buildings have computers available for free internet access, word processing and database searching. All three buildings also provide wireless internet access.

Library card holders may log in with their library card number and the last 4 numbers of their telephone as their PIN.

Non-cardholders may apply for a temporary number at a service desk.

Due to high demand usage times may be limited.

The following is a list of services the library does NOT offer and a list of businesses that provide them:

Fax: Copymat, Office Depot, Instant Copy, Staples, Kinko’s, Boiler Copy Maker

Notary Public: Most banks, The UPS Store. Call ahead to ensure availability

Color Copier: Copymat, Office Depot, Instant Copy, Staples, Copy Print Shop, Kinko’s,

Boiler Copy Maker

Laminator: Copymat, Office Depot, Instant Copy, Staples, Copy Print Shop, Kinko’s,

Boiler Copy Maker

Overhead projectors, PA systems other meeting and AV equipment: Midwest Party Rentals

Community Service: Volunteer Bureau

Tax Forms:

Indiana Department of Revenue

100 Executive Drive (map)

Lafayette, IN 47905

(765)448-6626

  

Internal Revenue Service

955 Mezzanine Drive (map)

Lafayette, IN 47905

(800)829-1040

 *TCPL does not endorse any of the businesses above, but provides this as an informational service. Services and businesses available are subject to change, please call ahead to confirm.

 

 

Online Tax Forms To Print

State Taxes: www.in.gov/dor

Federal Taxes: www.irs.gov

Other states? Try the web site for that state.

 

Local Tax Preparation Assistance

People who need help preparing basic tax returns may contact one of several local organizations. Trained and certified volunteers from the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program may be found at the locations below. Unless otherwise indicated, from February 1 to April 15, these organizations offer free online filing and assistance for low and moderate incomes.

Don’t forget to bring – your photo ID, social security Card, W-2 forms and 1099s, property tax or rent information, notices from the IRS, and, if possible, a copy of your 2011 tax return.

 

Ivy Tech
3101 S. Creasy Lane
Room 2333765-269-5848
Call for an appointment.

 

Lafayette Senior Center
Jenks Rest Building
Columbian Park
765-447-2311
Call for an appointment.

 

Salvation Army
1110 Union Street
765-742-0006 ext. 5
Call for an appointment.

 

United Way of Greater Lafayette
Various locations
765-742-9077
Call for an appointment.

 

Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM)
420 N. 4th Street
765-423-2691

Monday & Wednesday
5:00-8:00 p.m. Walk in or call for an appointment.
Thursday: 1:00-4:30 p.m. Call for an appointment.

February Schedule
Wednesday: 1:00-4:00 p.m. Call for an appointment.
Thursday: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Walk in or call for an appointment.

 

TCPL Online Tax Resources

Gale Legal Forms database offers Indiana and other state tax forms. With a TCPL library card, from your own computer/printer, you may access and download state tax forms at no cost to you.

Free, public computers and Internet access @ TCPL

With a TCPL library card, you may enjoy the use of free, public computers with Internet access. To print from library computer printers, you first need to purchase a printer card (minimum fee $1).

Office Locations, Information & More

Indiana State Tax Information:

Indiana State Tax Offices – Lafayette
100 Executive Dr., Suite B, first floor
(State Rd 26E, across from Caterpillar)
Information: 765-448-6626
To order forms: 317-615-2581

Federal Tax Information:

Federal Tax Offices – Lafayette
955 Mezzanine Dr.
Hours: M-F 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
(Closed 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.)
765-449-3880

Individuals may call free

Information & VITA sites:

1-800-829-1040

To order forms: 1-800-829-3676

Businesses may call free

1-800-829-4933

2012 Tax Preparation Books From TCPL Are Popular!

Quantities are limited. Use TIPCAT to place a hold.

For Do-It-Yourself Customers, TCPL programs include:

  • Financial & retirement advisories
  • Legal issues & resources
  • Home mortgages & maintenance
  • Gardening & decorating advice
  • Health & family nutrition

 Where to find TCPL books about:

  • Law: 340-349
  • Economics/Finance: 330s
  • Housing/Financing: 330-332, also 640-643
  • Gardening 635
  • Decorative Advice-Interior: 747
  • Decorative Advice-Exterior: 710-719, also 635
  • Health & Family Nutrition: 613

To find out more, check the home page, click Adults on the menu, visit any TCPL library, or call 765- 429-0113.

Due to the training involved, all volunteer positions at the library are considered long-term assignments. The library does not usually have opportunities for limited duration tasks so does not accept community service applications.