Borrowing Materials


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

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.

Place a Hold on Material

Reserve ShelvesIs 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 account from our home page. 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. 
  • Download the MLN app for iPhones or Android.

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



Returning Materials / Finding Book Drops

Metro Library Network book drops are located at all area Hy-Vees.
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.



Check-out Periods

  • Books - 21 days
  • Audiobooks - 21 days
  • Fiction DVDs - 21 days
  • Non-fiction DVDs - 21 days
  • Quick Pick books - 10 days
  • Magazines - 10 days
  • Music CDs - 21 days
  • Children's Kits - 21 days
  • Library of Things "Things" - 14 days



  • Beginning July 1, 2020, there are no fees as long as an item is returned. Cardholders who were prohibited from checking out materials due to unpaid fines will once again be able to check out materials. Fees will still be assessed if an item is not returned to the library after 30 days. Reminders will be sent to help enforce due dates.
  • Lost item fines may be paid online or at any Metro library.

Getting a Library Card

It's easy to get a library card!

  • 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.