Proper ID and proof of address for new or existing patrons

The ID and proof of address requirements for acquiring a card and/or updating existing information are being updated to reflect changes to technology and how people do business.  Patrons receive bills electronically and this change will allow us to accept those as documentation for registration or updates.  In the new Pharos system, the patron’s financial Pay4Print account is tied to their library Polaris account, so it is important to verify the individual’s identity and address prior to making any changes to their registration.

Registering new patrons:  Patrons must show photo identification with their  name and address, and a signature.  Another alternative is  a letter that came in the mail in conjunction with a form of photo ID that bears a signature such as a health card, student ID, or credit card.  A signed copy of a  lease in conjunction with a second form of ID may be used as well.  Patrons may show proof of address on an electronic device in addition to their photo ID.  Some examples of electronic documentation include:  gas bills, credit card bills or bank statements.   If a patron has a PO Box, they must show proof of address with a valid street address.  If they work in the Commonwealth they must show a valid paystub, tax ID, and/or business card that lists the MA address.

Existing patrons:  Updating existing patron registration information requires proof of identity and address.  This includes updating a PIN.  When a patron has an address and/or expired block, staff must ask for proof of ID and address before updating  the Patron Registration workform.

Existing patrons may use a copy of their library card saved on their electronic device in place of the physical card.

In the event a patron uses their electronic device, staff should ask them to enlarge the image, if needed, and hold or place the device in a convenient spot for review.  Staff are not responsible for the patron’s device.

School visits procedures:  The form goes home to be filled out by the parent, or sometimes the information is filled out by the school. No ID is needed.

 Outreach procedures:   If it’s outreach to children, the should be handled the same way as a school visit. The form would go home with the child and be filled out by the parent. No ID needed.  If it’s outreach to an adult, they need to provide an ID.