plaza amphitheater looking east

FAQ: All About the Cudahy Family Library

How do I get a library card?
If you’re applying for your first card, please bring in a photo ID and something else with your name and current address on it (examples: a piece of mail, a signed lease, car registration, utility bill). It only takes about 5 minutes to get your card, and you can use it right away! If you’re renewing your card, just show us a photo ID and we’ll confirm your contact information verbally. The library cards are valid for 2 years and can be used at any public library in Milwaukee County.

What can I do with my library card?
Lots! We have a HUGE selection of books, movies, magazines, and CDs to borrow – for free! You can also download free eBooks, check out an iPad, use our computer lab, and impress your friends by having the coolest card in town.

What programs are offered for children?
We offer free weekly story times for babies through preschoolers and an annual summer reading program with fun events and great incentives for all ages. You can sign up for our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten reading readiness program and help build literacy skills for success in school. We also host special programs throughout the year and monthly get-togethers like Lego Club. Most of our programs do not require pre-registration, so come on over and join the fun!

Are there any adult programs?
Absolutely! We offer adult programming on a variety of topics throughout the year – check our calendar for upcoming events. During warmer weather, we often host outdoor events in the lovely Ladish Foundation Plaza's amphitheater. We also offer an adult summer reading club: a great chance to do something you love (reading!) and maybe win a prize.

How can I reserve a meeting room?
We have smaller study rooms that can be reserved by simply calling or emailing the library – or if they’re not in use when you walk in, just ask at the reference desk. We also have two larger meeting rooms, the Ladish Co. Foundation Meeting Room and the Winter Garden, that can be rented out for group meetings or private parties. Please click here for more information.

How long can I borrow materials?  Can I renew them?  Can I return them to another library?
Most of our books and audiobooks can be borrowed for 3 weeks (if there’s a waiting list, you might only get one week) and can be renewed twice. CDs, DVDs, video games, videotapes, and magazines can be borrowed for one week and can be renewed twice. Almost all materials can be returned to another library – the exceptions are some of our electronic items: Chromebooks and Launchpads.

What if I keep something too long?
Almost all of the materials that belong to the Cudahy Family Library have a three day grace period, and any exceptions to the grace period are noted in big print on the item itself. Fines for most of our adult items are $0.10 per day -- exceptions are the Launchpads and the video games @ $1.00 per day and Chromebooks @ $10.00 per day. As of February 14, 2020, the Cudahy Family Library does not charge overdue fines for any children's or young adult materials that are returned late. Fines for materials that are sent to Cudahy from another library for you to borrow are set by the library that owns the material.

What if I want something that you don't have?
We will check with other public libraries in Milwaukee County to see if we can borrow it for you. If no one else in the county has what you’re looking for, we can request a copy through the interlibrary loan or Infopass programs (see one of our librarians for more information). Or you’re always welcome to make a suggestion for purchase for our collection!

Where are the outside book returns?
We have a drive-through book return on the west side of the building -- next to the railroad tracks.

Do you have any other services I should know about?
We have lots of specialty equipment that you can use in the library: a heavy-duty shredder (free), a scanner (free), a black and white photocopier ($0.10 per copy), laser printers ($0.10 per b/w copy, $0.50 per color copy), a microfilm/fiche reader (free; $0.10 per copy), and a fax machine ($1.50/first page $1 additional pages). We are also offer free Wi-Fi, we are a polling site, our librarians will proctor exams (free), and we maintain an award-winning local history collection. And don’t forget – we’re a library, so we have lots of quiet spaces to curl up with a good book!