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, Wea Prairie, 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 outside of Tippecanoe County may be eligible for a free TCPL card if their home library is designated as a reciprocal library. Residents of the city of West Lafayette Public Library taxing district are eligible for a reciprocal borrower’s card. Call Circulation Service at (765)429-0123 to see if your home library is a reciprocal borrowing library.
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.
Yes! If you don’t have a library card with us, sign up for an account through our online catalog, TIPCAT, here. Once you’ve completed the online form, visit any of our locations to complete the application process. Review the proof of identity and proof residency requirements in the What will I need to bring section below.
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 that this is not an electronic submission. You must still print the application out and bring it in with you.
The library will accept the following to prove your identity and residency. A driver’s license with your current address can count for both an ID and address. People under the age of 18 may use their parent or guardian’s proof of address as verification. If you do not live in Tippecanoe County and need 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 (765)429-0123 for more information.
– Driver’s License
– State ID
– School ID
– Parent/Guardian verification (minors only)
Proof of Residency
– Driver’s License
– State ID
– Car Registration
– Check Book
– 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 account privileges will expire so the library can confirm your contact information. 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.
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).
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 through Tipcat’s My Account
- Over the phone at 765-429-0123
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.
The library expires accounts to confirm contact information each and notification preferences. To extend your account privileges call us at 765-429-0123 or visit any of our locations. As soon as your information is updated, your borrowing privileges are restored.
We offer a variety of materials for checkout. Cardholders may have up to 75 total items checked out on their card at any one time. Most items checkout for 2 weeks and can be renewed 3 times if they are not on hold for others. QuickPick items are not eligible for renewal.
What are the item limits?
20 Fiction DVDs – 1 Week Checkout
20 Talking Books – 2 Week Checkout
20 Music CDs – 2 Week Checkout
2 QuickPick DVDs – 2 Day Checkout
2 QuickPick Books – 1 Week Checkout
1 Hot Spot – 2 Week Checkout
20 hoopla Downloads
10 Libby (Overdrive) Downloadables
Unless there is a hold on the item, most materials may be renewed three times. Items eligible for renewal will be automatically renewed. You will receive an email or text message alerting you to the new due date.
If you have an item which cannot be renewed, we encourage you to return the item as soon as possible so it will be available for other patrons. You are eligible to check the item out again after it has been on the shelf for 24 hours.
For holds and overdue items you may choose to be notified by:
o Short Text Message
o Phone Call
Access your account online to update your notification settings. You can also 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.
Yes, all library buildings offer curbside pickup for available holds. When you arrive call the number on the sign at the entrance to the library and a staff member will check out and deliver your item(s) to your vehicle. Please be sure to have your library card number handy.
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?
The library will automatically renew your materials on the due date if the items are eligible for renewal. Items will not renew if others have placed a hold on the item or if the item has already been renewed 3 times. You will be notified of an automatic renewal along with the new due date via email or text. If you receive your notifications via phone, your eligible items will still automatically renew. You can access your account online to see a list of checked out items, along with the due dates. You can also update your notification preference through your online account, or by calling the library at (765)429-0123.
When materials are late the library makes several attempts to contact cardholders. This includes an automated phone system, text messaging, e-mail, and mail to notify the cardholder. (For privacy and security reasons, the automated system 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 MyLibrary!, 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.
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. The Wyandotte and Wea Prairie Branches have drop boxes under the entrance overhang.
24-Hour Library Built-In Drop
605 South Street
To return items at the 24-Hour Library:
- Press Return item on the
- Place the item in the tray, one at a time.
- The machine will acknowledge your return
- Press Done after you have returned all of your items
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 four library buildings have computers available for free internet access, word processing and database searching. All four buildings also provide wireless internet access both inside and in the parking lots 24/7.
Library card holders may log into TCPL computers 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.
WIFI users should connect to TCPL-PUBLIC and click the button on the agreement page.
The following is a list of services the library does NOT offer and a list of businesses that provide them:
Fax: Copymat, Office Depot, Staples, Kinko’s, Boiler Copy Maker, West Lafayette Public Library
Notary Public: Most banks, The UPS Store. Call ahead to ensure availability
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
*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 ptax return.
3101 S. Creasy Lane
Call for an appointment.
Lafayette Senior Center
Jenks Rest Building
Call for an appointment.
1110 Union Street
765-742-0006 ext. 5
Call for an appointment.
United Way of Greater Lafayette
Call for an appointment.
Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM)
420 N. 4th Street
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.
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.
Free, public computers and Internet access @ TCPL
TCPL offers the use of free, public computers with Internet access. You can access the IRS and Indiana Department of Revenue sites to print forms from there.
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)
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.)
Individuals may call free
Information & VITA sites:
To order forms: 1-800-829-3676
Businesses may call free
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.