Patron Registration Guidelines

It is important that all patron records are uniform to avoid confusing busy circulation staff.

Patron information is used for printing overdue notices, so it must be clear, accurate, and complete.

A patron may register at any online library, but it certainly makes sense for them to register at their local library.  The library card is good at any of the online libraries, regardless of which online library issued the card.  Be aware that some libraries alter the procedures a bit for out-of-system borrowers.

The registration record will be shared by all of the online libraries.

The registering library will:

  • Request appropriate proof of name and address from a patron.
  • Thoroughly search the database to avoid entering a duplicate record.
  • Enter information in all of the fields for the Minimum Record – first name, last name, street name and number and/or PO Box, city, state, zip code.
  • Enter additional information at the library’s discretion – patron’s middle name or initial to differentiate between patrons with the same first and last name, employer name, address and phone number, date of birth, first and last name of parent or guardian of a juvenile.
  • Input the patron information and issue a library card.


  • Use standard capitalization
  • Punctuation – Do not use periods at the end of abbreviations
  • Abbreviations:

Title: Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, Dr, Rev,

Suffix: Jr, Sr, Esq, I, II, III

Company Name: Inc, Co, Ltd, Bros

Street: Hwy, Cnty, St, Ave, Rd, Dr, La, Cir, Apt, Blvd, PO Box, Ter, Pl, Hts,  TrPk, N, E, S, W, NE, NW, SE, SW (abbreviate N, S, E, W, if it serves as a qualifier, not if  the word is an integral part of the street name).  ST is used for State,  as in ST Hwy.


  • Update any patron’s record after they show proof of change of name or address.
  • Do not delete a patron record created at another library – contact that library.
  • Any library can replace any patron’s lost card after seeing ID.
  • When a patron moves and starts using another online library on a regular basis, it would be helpful statistically to change the registration qualifier.  Fields indicating agency (library) must be changed, too.

Click here to download the full guide to patron registration.