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Answers to Common Questions

To apply for a library card, patrons can:

  1. Visit us in-person with an ID.
  2. Fill out our online form and get a temporary library card number (note: temporary card numbers do not have access to online and/or downloadable services).

What kind of cards does the Metro Library Network have?

MLN offers two different types of library cards: Metro and Quick.

Who can get a Metro Card? 

  • Anyone from Marion, Cedar Rapids, or Hiawatha
  • Anyone from communities who contracts with the Metro Library Network
  • Other rural Linn County communities with public libraries
  • Other Iowa communities with public libraries that participate in the State’s Open Access program
  • Child from birth through age 13 can get a Metro Card with a parent or legal guardian. Both child and guardian must present when the card is applied for, and guardians must sign off on the card.

Who can get a Quick Card?

  • Any patron who does not have a current form of ID.
  • Any visitor to a physical library location.

Quick Cards limits checkouts to no more than three items and limits holds to five items.

Renewing your materials is very simple – choose the way that’s easiest for you!

  • Log in to your library account using your library card number and your PIN.
  • Call our self-serve phone line at 319-398-7405.
  • Call the library at 319-377-3412 and talk to our helpful staff.
  • Stop in at the library and we can help you in person.
  • Download the MLN app for iPhone or Android.

You will not be able to renew your materials if you have $20 or more in fines, if there is a hold on the item you wish to renew, or if you have reached the limit of how many times you can renew your item.

Our check out periods & limits for different items in our library can be found below!

 You can place a hold on an item in several ways:

  • Log in to your library account. When you find an item you want held for you, click on Place Hold.
  • Call the library at (319) 377-3412 and ask for the Information Desk; our staff will help you with your hold request.
  • Stop at the Information Desk when you are at the library and we can help you in person.
  • Use the MLN app for iPhone or Android.

You have five days to pick up your hold once you are notified.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to return your library materials. Materials can be returned to any of the Metro Libraries: Marion, Cedar Rapids (either the main building downtown or the Ladd branch on the west side), or Hiawatha. You may also use the book drops located in every local Hy-Vee store. If you can’t find the drops, just ask at the Hy-Vee Customer Service desk and they’ll point you in the right direction.

For more details on our library cards and policies, please review our Circulation Policy at the policies page.

If you are getting a card for the first time, you will have a chance to select a PIN on your application form. If you already have a card but have never had a PIN number, you will need to stop at a service desk when you visit us next, or give us a call at 319-377-3412. We cannot set up or confirm PINs via email or chat for security reasons.

Once you have a PIN, you can change it at any time by accessing your account online.

You can easily access your account online in a number of ways including:

  • Click on the “Log In/ My MPL” button at the top of our website
  • Clicking on “Log in” in the My Account menu of our online catalog home page,
  • By logging in at any of our catalog computers if you are visiting the library
  • By accessing our mobile app for iPhone or Android. You’ll need your 13-digit library card number and your PIN to log in to your account.

If you have questions about your account and can’t easily access it through any of these methods, we always welcome hearing from you by phone (319-377-3412), email, or in person.

While the library provides automatic phone, text, and mail notifications, we encourage you to sign up for email notifications. Not only will you be notified about available holds and overdue items more quickly, we will also notify you two days before your books are due to remind you to return or renew them. (Remember this is only a courtesy reminder. If you miss seeing your email notice, your books are still due on the same date.) You will also be included on our email list for notices about special events at the library and receive our monthly email newsletter.

If you are not already getting notices by email, simply give us your email address by sending us an email (, by phoning us at 319-377-3412, or by stopping at any service desk when you are in the library.

If an item you are seeking is not available at any library in the Metro Network (Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, or Marion), we can often get it from another library through Interlibrary Loan.

How to request a book from another library outside the Metro Library Network:

  1. Log into your library account by clicking on the red “Log In/My MPL button at the top right of your web browser page.
  2. Enter your library card number in the Username or Barcode box.
  3. Enter your PIN number in the Password box.
  4. Click on the “Search” option.
  5. Click on “Keyword” in the drop-down menu.
  6. Click on the “Select Databases” in the gray section of the window.
  7. Click on the checkbox next to “SILO For Interlibrary Loan”.
  8. Click on the “Set Databases” button.
  9. Your search screen will now say “2 selected databases.” Enter the words which you want to search for in the text box and then click on the magnifying glass to search for the results.
  10. Locate the item in the list you would like to receive. Click on the “Place Request” button on the right side of the item you would like to receive.

Also be aware that when you search for an item the library does not own, you will see the message “No matches were found in the Metro Library Network”. Click there to search and request an interlibrary loan (fees may apply). If you need further assistance, please call the library at 319-377-3412, use the chat feature or reach out to


The Marion Public Library does not charge a fee for materials we request from Iowa libraries, but there is a $5 fee for any interlibrary loan materials received from an out-of-state library. The same fees apply per article for journal photocopies; we no longer borrow microfilm or microfiche, as we do not have a reader. The lending library may charge an additional $20.00 – $25.00 dollars. Some material may be checked out with a vinyl strap around the cover. If the strap is missing when returned, there will be a $1.00 fee added to the patron’s account.

Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan

  1. You must have a valid Marion Public Library card to request interlibrary loans.
  2. Please check the library catalog to be sure that the material is not owned by any Metro Library Network library.
  3. We will process up to five requests per patron at one time. This includes requests that have already been submitted but are not yet completed. Fill out a separate form for each item.
  4. Please fill out all required fields, indicated by an *. The more information you provide, the better chance we will have of finding your item.
  5. Interlibrary loan materials are borrowed from other libraries. They set the due dates for how long you will be able to borrow items. Please do not remove any labels or bands that identify the item as an interlibrary loan. These items are to be picked up at the Information Desk inside the library and returned to the same desk. Please do NOT put items in the book drop or return to any other library.
  6. We cannot request items with a copyright within the past year; but ask us and we can add the item to our collection!

To make a purchase suggestion, fill out our form here.

There are many ways you can support the Marion Public Library!

The Friends of the Marion Public Library accept donated materials. Click here for more information.

To sign the Marion Public Library photo release form, please click here.