How To...

*Access e-Books
*Use a Library Computer
*Request Library Material
*Use the Merlin Catalog
*Get a library card

 Scroll down for details!

How to Get a Library Card

Library cards are available to all residents, property owners, and visitors to the greater Iron River area.  All permanent residents and seasonal residents who own property in the area are eligible for free library cards which grant computer privileges and access to all material in the Northern Waters Library System.  Non-Wisconsin residents can also attain a card for an annual fee of $20.  We additionally offer free temporary passes for visitors wishing to use our computers.  Library cards can be obtained from and used at any of the nearly 30 libraries in the Northern Waters Library System.  Children under the age of 14 must have a signed (by a parent or guardian) application form to get a card. 

Proof of Residency and/or Local Property Ownership:

  • Driver’s license
  • Bayfield County property tax receipt
  • Voter registration card
  • State of Wisconsin identification card
  • Property deed or mortgage/lease agreement
  • Utility bill with your name on it
  • Bank check with imprinted name and address
  • Vehicle registration


Your initial library card is free!  A $1 fee is assessed to replace a damaged or lost card.  Card holders are responsible for notifying the Library immediately if the card is lost or stolen. 


Library policy prohibits staff from releasing any information about library issues, including personal information such as telephone numbers and addresses and checked out materials, to anyone other than to the specific library card holder.


 The library will serve all customers who request service.  Service will not be denied or abridged because of religious, racial, social, economic, or political status; or because of mental, emotional, or physical condition; age; or sexual orientation.


How to Request Library Material

If you cannot find an item in the Merlin Catalog please ask a librarian for help.  If it is not in the Northern Waters Library system we would gladly look throughout the state or possibly country for materials.

How to Use the Catalog

How to Use the Library Catalog: You can find books, CDs, DVDs, videos, books on tape, magazines, etc. in the Merlin catalog.  The default setting allows you to conduct general searches and gives you the option to include all Northern Waters Libraries or limit your search to material available at the Iron River Public Library.  To access all of the material available in the Northern Waters system click on “Limit Search to” arrow and scroll up to “View All Merlin Items.”  When you request items in Merlin, the material will be delivered to the library of your choice.  Also, by using your library card barcode, you can log into the Merlin catalog to view and renew items you currently have checked out.  To narrow the scope of your search to specific types of material at specific libraries, click on “Advanced Word Search.” 

How to Access e-Books

Free eBooks at your Wisconsin Library!

The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) offers a large collection of digital books, audiobooks, music, and videos free to any Wisconsin public library cardholder.

Visit to get started! 

Ebooks are available for most eReaders that support the ePub format (including Nook and Sony Reader), and for Kindles or any device that supports the Kindle app. Downloadable audiobooks are available for most MP3 players and iPods. The process for downloading your library books to a Kindle is slightly different than for other devices. For more information, watch a short (5-minute) video showing you the process of selecting, downloading, and transferring books to your Kindle. The Wisconsin digital collection is provided through a service called OverDrive, and is available for any Wisconsin public library cardholder. For information on how to get started with your device, visit the OverDrive help page, and check out the "Get Started With..." section. It gives you step-by-step requirements for downloading library materials to your device.

Things to Note:

• You can only check out 10 WPLC items at a time, but you can make a "wish list of material you would like to check out at a later date. 

• You can check out an item for 7, 14, or 21 days; we recommend that you set your default setting at 21 days. 

• You cannot renew a WPLC item; after your time is up it will automatically be deactivated. 

Misc. Free eBook Websites:

How to Use a Computer

Login Information:

The Iron River Public Library uses the "Pharos" system on our public access computers. Your “login ID” is your library card number (with no spaces) and your password is your birthdate, entered in the MM-DD-YYYY format including the hyphens.  Once you have logged in “Pharos” will begin timing your session.  “Pharos” automatically grants each patron 30 minutes to use the computer.  After 30 minutes you will be automatically logged off after receiving a pop-up message two minutes prior.  Your session may be “extended” if the computer you are on has not been reserved by another patron through the Pharos Reserve Station.


Parental Information:

Patrons under 18 MUST submit a signed parent/guardian's Computer/Internet Usage Agreement form to use the internet.  Please ask your librarian for a form.  No one under 18 will be permitted to use a computer on their own card or on anyone else's unless the agreement form has been signed.



Our Wi-Fi network is free and unrestricted and is available to any wireless devices within range. Please use appropriate caution as the library is not responsible for securing the data transmitted over our Wi-Fi network. No password is required, and the Wi-Fi network is available 24/7.


There are no filters on library computers, and the Iron River Public Library takes no responsibility for the content found on the internet.



Printing is available from the library's computers for a nominal fee: 15¢ B&W and 30¢ color.