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Frequently Asked Questions
Helen Plum Library is issuing library cards remotely to residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. A library card is available to anyone who lives within the Helen Plum Library District. Please review the library's Lending Guidelines.
To sign up for a new card online:
- Complete the online form.
- A Patron Services staff member will contact you via email to complete the process and provide your new library card number.
- When the building reopens, be sure to bring the necessary ID (see below) to the front desk to pick up your new card.
- Enjoy your new Helen Plum Library card!
To renew your library card online:
- Complete this online renewal form.
- A Patron Services staff member will contact you via email to complete the process
To pick up your card:
You will need to bring one form of current identification from the list below.
- Driver's License
- State ID
- Tax bill
- Utility bill
- Bank Statement
- Pre-printed check
- Mortgage or Lease
- Piece of first-class mail addressed to you with a current postmark
We require a parent or guardian's signature for all children under the age of 18. These cards expire every three years.
Listed below are the various types of library accounts:
A NON-RESIDENT CARD for families who live outside the Helen Plum Library District (unincorporated Lombard). A fee is determined for a non-resident card by using the same method which resident taxpayers' annual taxes are determined. The library's current tax rate will be applied to the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) appearing on a registrant's tax bill. If you are renting outside the Helen Plum Library District (unincorporated Lombard), the fee is determined according to Illinois statute. Qualifying renters may purchase a library card by paying an annual fee equal to 15% of their monthly rent as indicated on their lease. Keep in mind, once the fee is paid, all family members residing at that residence can receive a library card. Please be sure to bring your most recent property tax bill or lease if you are renting. These cards expire every year.
A PROPERTY OWNER within the boundaries of the Helen Plum Library District, may obtain a library card at no cost. Please be sure to bring your most current property tax bill. Only one card is issued. These cards expire every three years.
A BUSINESS CARD can be obtained by owning a business within the Helen Plum Library District. The business owner must present a letter, on company letterhead, stating the desire to have a business library card. The library card will be opened in the business's name with the company's top administrator being responsible for all account activity. Business library cards are good for three years.
Information here is for materials checked out from Helen Plum Library. Materials checked out through Interlibrary loan are subject to the loan rules of the lending library.
Most items check out for 3 weeks. Below are the exceptions:
- 2 Weeks: New Adult books, Lucky Day books and DVD series
- 1 Week: DVDs and Blu-rays
- 3 Days: Lucky Day DVDs and Lucky Day Blu-rays
- Physical Items: You may check out as many items as you can carry.
- Digital items: Varies by the service provider. Click here to explore your digital options.
- Patrons owing more than $25.00 to the Library may not be allowed to check out materials. Patrons may request a 24-hour hold on items in order to allow for time to correct the situation.
Our Lucky Day collection features popular books and movies. One Lucky Day movie and book may be checked out per Helen Plum Library cardholder. DVDs and Blu-rays may be checked out for 3 days, and books may be checked out for 2 weeks. These items cannot be renewed.
You may have two renewals on most items. Items on hold for other patrons cannot be renewed. Items eligible for renewal will automatically renew on the due date of the item. Interlibrary loan items will not be automatically renewed; renewals for these items may be requested. Patrons will receive a notification via phone, text or email if an item is not renewed.
Items that cannot be renewed:
- Lucky Day DVDs and Books
- eReaders (Nooks and Kindles)
You can renew materials in person, during business hours over the phone at (630) 627-0316, via Text Message or by using your My Library Account.
PLEASE NOTE: If your materials are overdue, they cannot be renewed online.
Fines & Paying Online
Overdue, Lost and Damaged Materials
Fines for overdue materials are $0.10 per item, per day with the following exceptions:
- Video Games: $0.50 per day
Electronic: $1.00 per day
Fees for lost or damaged items are determined by the Library. Patrons are required to pay for lost or damaged items; substituted items are not accepted. If a patron pays for a damaged item, the patron may keep the item.
Pay Online (eCommerce)
You can pay $2.00 or more in fines and fees online and have them removed immediately from your account.
Follow these easy steps:
- Click "My Library Account" (enter your barcode and PIN)
- Click on your name in the upper right corner of the catalog page
- Click "$xx.xx in unpaid fines and bills" (located on the left)
- Click "Pay Online" (Choose what you want to pay)
- Click "Continue"
The PayPal screen pops up for your credit card information and an email address where your payment confirmation will be sent. (Accepted credit cards include Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express). You can also click "Pay with PayPal" to use your PayPal account instead. Once all your credit card information is entered, click on "Pay Now" at the bottom of the screen.
You can place requests on materials both checked out and currently available in the library (these items are pulled at the top of every hour and placed on the open holds shelf for easy pickup). Please call (630) 627-0316, visit a reference desk at the Library, or use your online Library Account.
If you need an item the Helen Plum Library doesn’t own, we will try to get it for you from another library. All you need is a current Helen Plum Library card. Interlibrary loan requests are limited to four items per week per cardholder. The library will contact you when your item is ready for pick-up.
There are three ways you can request an item:
1. Call the Adult Services or Youth Services Departments at (630) 627-0316.
2. Stop by the Adult Services or Youth Services Desks in person.
Want to see an item added to our collection?
We are constantly adding to our collection, please let us know if there’s something specific you’d like to see. Suggest a Title here.
Search the catalog, and find the item that you would like to place a hold on. Select the “Request it” button by the item in your search results or on the item record page. Log in, if prompted, with your library card number and PIN. Choose Submit to finish requesting the hold.
Use the search box at the top of most library web pages to search for books, DVDs, CDs, and more. You can search for the title, author, subject, call number, or ISBN. This will search all fields in library records for your entered search terms.
Shoutbomb text message service allows you to use your mobile phone to receive text notices about:
- Holds that are available
- Items that are due soon, overdue, or renewable
The Library does not charge a fee for this service, but your mobile phone plan’s regular text messaging rates apply.
A text will be sent only when activity on your account triggers a message.
What do you need?
- A mobile phone and wireless service.
- The barcode number from your library card and the PIN for your account
PLEASE NOTE: Choosing to use the Shoutbomb service does not change the email or mail notifications you have been receiving from the Library. This service is an additional method of managing your Library account.
Using the Shoutbomb Service
How to sign up:
Option 1: Complete this online form.
Option 2: Sign up using your mobile phone using the following steps.
- Send a text message to (630) 656-9314.
- In the body of the text please type SIGNUP and then send the message.
- Shoutbomb will send you messages.
- Reply to the messages from Shoutbomb, asking for your library card number (14 digits, no spaces) and your PIN code.
- addcard - Add another library card to your Shoutbomb registration.
- dropcard - Remove a card from your Shoutbomb registration.
- help - Request detailed descriptions and how to use each keyword.
- hl - Request a list of your items currently on hold.
- ra - Request to renew all eligible items.
- signup - Register for text messaging service.
- quit – turn off the text messaging service.
For a list of these basic commands in Spanish, see How do I use the Shoutbomb service in Spanish?
Want to know more?
Visit our Text and Voice Notification FAQ page.
eBooks and eAudiobooks are available for checkout 24/7 and are compatible with several different devices. Start your digital journey by searching our catalog or by visiting our eBook page. Browse the Overdrive, Axis 360 and hoopla collections, and follow the prompts to download the materials to your favorite device.
Register online at Helen Plum Library
Visit any public computer at Helen Plum Library to register to vote online! Keep in mind: you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by the general election, and a resident of your precinct for at least 30 days prior to election day.
To apply electronically you must input:
- Your Illinois Drivers License number or Illinois Secretary of State issued State ID number
- Date the license or ID was issued
- The last four digits of your Social Security number
- Your birth date
Register online from any location
To register online from any location and for more information about elections, including polling places, absentee voting and to check to see if you're already registered, please visit the DuPage County Election Commission.
With the increase in online education and homeschooling, this important service is available by appointment for Helen Plum Library cardholders. Call the Adult Services department at (630) 627-0316 to schedule your exam.
Preserve old family events, recitals and memories with the Library's VHS to DVD conversion equipment! With helpful training from our Adult Services staff, you can use it to convert homemade VHS to DVDs.
The equipment is available to Helen Plum Library cardholders 18 years of age and older. While the equipment is available on a walk-in basis, reservations may be made up to one week in advance by visiting us at the reference desk or calling the Adult Services Department at (630) 627-0316.
Bring the VHS tape you want to convert and a DVD-R or DVD+R to copy to. If you don’t have a DVD-R or +R, the Library sells new DVD-Rs for $1 each at the Patron Services Desk.
In accordance with federal copyright laws, commercial and other copyrighted videos may not be converted in the Library.
The Museum Adventure Pass program allows Helen Plum Library members to check out one pass per 7 days per family. For lending guidelines and to view a list of participating museums, please visit Museumadventure.org. Some museums use the pass for buy-one-get-one admission or completely free admission into the facility.
Explore More Illinois is a cultural pass program that allows Illinois public library cardholders access discounts at museums, park districts, historical societies, zoos, arts centers, recreational facilities, and other attractions.
Visit the Explore More Illinois website, log in with your library card credentials and browse for passes by date or attractions. Make your reservation and print or download your pass shortly before your visit. You can have two active reservations per library card. Please cancel your reservation(s) if unable to attend, otherwise, the reservation will count as being used. Remember that once you print or download your pass you cannot cancel your reservation.
Community Display Case
The Helen Plum Library Community Display Case is a locking glass cabinet with a locking temporary storage cupboard beneath it. It is located in the Library lobby. Please review our Policy on Exhibits, and fill out the request form here.
Youth Services Collector’s Cases
Our most popular display cases in house, these showcase our community’s youngest collectors. Collections are displayed for one month. Please visit Youth Services for more details.
The Helen M. Plum Memorial Library Foundation was founded in 2015 in an effort to provide opportunities for an array of revenue sources and to supplement tax support. Click here to visit their website!
Used Books Sale
Visit Helen Plum Library’s Used Book Sale all year long! Items for sale are always changing, so come in often!
A Memorial Gift to the Library is a meaningful and lasting way to remember a loved one. A Tribute Gift is a thoughtful way to celebrate a birthday, honor a graduate or commemorate an anniversary. Your gift makes it possible for the Helen Plum Library to enhance its collections and continue to serve as a vital resource for the Lombard community.
Thank you for your generosity.
A Memorial Gift to the Library is a meaningful and lasting way to remember a loved one. A Tribute Gift is a thoughtful way to celebrate a birthday, honor a graduate or commemorate an anniversary.
Your gift makes it possible for the Helen Plum Library to enhance its collections and continue to serve as a vital resource for the Lombard community.
Your donation will be used to purchase adult, teen, or children's materials in the subject area of your interest. A bookplate will be added to each new item, and a note acknowledging the gift will also be sent.
The Helen Plum Library’s collection has been greatly enriched by the many fine donations of materials and contributions. The library is very grateful for these donations and through donors, has been able to acquire many important acquisitions which could not have been purchased otherwise.
Types of donations
Cash: Memorials, Tributes and Other Gifts
Cash gifts as memorials or for other purposes are accepted for the purchase of library materials. While the general subject or type of materials may be specified by the donor, professional staff will select the actual titles based on Library need.
If you wish to donate to the Library, you may contact the Library Director:
Barb Kruser, Director
Helen Plum Library
110 W. Maple St.
Lombard, IL 60148
Or download and print out our memorial form. Please fill in all relevant information so that we can follow your instructions accurately.
Fill out this Form to pledge a financial contribution to the Library.
Helen M. Plum Memorial Library Foundation
Established in 2016, the foundation is nonprofit corporation which provides support for the library through tax-deductible contributions.
Click here to visit their website!
Planned Giving / Bequests:
The Library has been the recipient of several extremely large bequests. Consider making us part of your estate plan. Discussing the purpose of the donation with the Director as part of that planning is strongly advised.
IRS Section 170 gifts:
Donations to the Library qualify as charitable deductions for the donor under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. It states that deductions are qualified to "any political subdivision" if "the contribution or gift is made for exclusively public purposes."
Also, refer to IRS Publication 526, "Charitable Contributions", which lists, in part, "money or property you give to...local governments, if your contribution is solely for public purposes...". Under the Illinois Constitution, the Library is a local government and a political subdivision of the State of Illinois. Further, the Library's expenditures are limited by Illinois law to "public purposes."
The Library will set up a memorial fund, from which interest can be drawn to purchase library materials, in the amount of $xx or more. Once the fund is established, however, the Library cannot guarantee that it will exist in perpetuity. The Library reserves the right to spend this money for other purposes.
Books and other items:
Any books or other items donated to the Library become the sole property of the Library, which may use them or discard them to fit the Library’s needs.
The Library accepts donations of the kinds of things that are found in a library collection, such as books, DVDs, CDs, video games, computer software, and the like. The Library does not usually accept items that would not normally be part of the library’s collection, except with permission from the Director. For example, we do not accept historical objects, photographs, antiques, art works, furniture, computers, printers, scanners, etc.
The Library does not accept donations given conditionally, except with the permission of the Library Director. For example, the Library does not accept gifts with the condition that they be kept, used, processed, or maintained in any certain way.
The Library does not accept multi-volume sets (encyclopedias), magazines, newspapers, or textbooks.
The Library does not accept items that are in poor condition, moldy or smelly.
In accepting a gift of materials, the Library reserves the right to decide whether items donated should be added to its collection. While some items may be useful in our collection, others may not be if they are:
- a duplicate of an item of which the library already has a sufficient number;
- outdated or obsolete;
- in poor condition, which would not justify the expense of processing, cataloging and preparing it for use; and/or
- of a specialized nature and not within the collection development plan of the library.
If donated book and other materials are not used, these items will be sent to Discover Books for selling or recycling. The Library receives a percentage of all sales from this organization.
Income Tax Statements
The library cannot assess the value of a donation. There is a donation form that can be completed for your records. It is the donor’s responsibility to determine the value of the donation or use an independent appraiser to do it for them.
Use of Donations
Any cash received by the Library, books, or any other objects, become the property of the Library and will be used or not, solely at the Library’s discretion. The Library does not accept gifts with the condition that they be kept, used, processed, or maintained in any certain way.
The library cannot commit itself to perpetually housing a donation. Of course, no donation will be disposed of in a careless manner and every donor can be assured that the library will respect their donation and house it as long as feasible.
- No one may use the Library’s dumpsters to dispose of their unwanted materials.
- Library staff will not pick up donations from another location. Donations must be brought to the Library.
- Library staff can help transport donations into the library only if there are appropriate staff available to do so.
Recognition of Gifts
- The Library has a sign, located near the front desk, that recognizes significant donations.
- A record is kept in a loose-leaf binder that the public can view and browse.
We regret that we cannot guarantee the materials will be kept for perpetuity. Professional librarians may withdraw the items as they become outdated or damaged.