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Answers to Common Questions

You can apply using our online form and get a temporary library card number. You are not able to access our online and downloadable services with a temporary card number, although this does allow you to enter your details for yourself.


You can give us a call, tell us your information over the phone, and we will mail you a card that you and your family can use to access all of our online resources.

For more information on the three different types of cards, see below or (click here to see types).

Who can get a Metro or Metro Lite card? 

  • Anyone from Marion, Cedar Rapids, or Hiawatha
  • Anyone from communities who contract with the Metro Libraries (Robins, Alburnett, rural Linn County)
  • Other Linn County communities with public libraries
  • Other Iowa communities with public libraries that participate in Open Access

Library card applications for Metro and Metro Lite cards for children from birth through age 13 must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. Both child and guardian must be present.

If you don’t have current I.D., you can get a Quick Library Card that limits you to checking out no more than three items, limits your holds to five, and limits your fines to $5. Quick Cards must be renewed after 12 checkouts.

Whichever card you apply for, you’ll get your card right away and can start taking advantage of all the services we offer.

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 $20.00 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. Most items can be renewed twice. Quick Picks cannot be renewed.

Is the item you want checked out? It’s easy to get on the waiting list, and when your turn comes, we’ll notify you automatically. 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.
  • Call the library at 319-377-3412 and talk to our helpful staff.
  • 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: Uptown 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 blue 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.

You’ll want to sign into your account using the “Log In” button, and then click on the Requests link under the  “My Account” menu item. You can then submit your form from there. To begin making your request, click on this link.

The Marion Public Library charges $3.00 for each interlibrary loan received from another Iowa library and $5.00 for requests 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.

Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan

  1. You must have a valid Metro Library Network 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 seven requests per patron at one time. This includes requests that have already been submitted, but are not yet completed.
  4. Fill out a separate form for each item.
  5. Please fill out all required fields, indicated by *. The more information you provide, the better our chances of finding your item.
  6. Due dates for interlibrary loan materials are set by the lending library. Interlibrary loan materials are borrowed from other libraries. Please return them on time! There is a $1.00/day overdue fine for late items.
  7. We cannot request items with a copyright within the past one year; but ask us! Perhaps we can add the item to our collection!

Our address is 1064 7th Ave, Marion, IA 52302.

Additional Marion landmarks that will help you find the library include:

There are many ways you can support the Marion Library!

The Friends of the Marion Library gratefully accept donations of your gently used books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs to be sold at our bookstore and semi-annual book sale.

We cannot accept more than two boxes at a time. 

For larger donations, please contact Neil at

Drop off donations inside the library at the Check Out Desk. All proceeds support the Marion Public Library!

We accept:

  • Fiction – paperback and hardcover
  • Nonfiction – paperback and hardcover
  • Children’s books
  • DVDs and CDs
  • Books on CD
  • Weekly Magazines – up to 3 months old
  • Monthly Magazine – up to 6 months old

We cannot accept:

  • Audiocassettes or VHS
  • Textbooks
  • Encyclopedia sets older than 10 years
  • Outdated Computer books or software
  • Record albums
  • Catalogs
  • Professional journals
  • Odds and ends – including calendars, personal journals, outdated medical and financial resources

Please use your best judgement about donating things that are not in good condition. If you would not purchase it, it’s likely no one else will either, and we will have to recycle your donation. Save our volunteers that extra work and recycle rather than donating outdated items and things in poor condition. 

A receipt for your donation is available upon request; donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you for supporting your local library!