Get a Library Card

All residents, property owners, and visitors to the Mercer area are welcome to apply for a library card at no cost. Your card is good at nearly 30 libraries in the Northern Waters Library System.

You will be asked to fill out a simple application form, provide identification, and provide proof of address if your current address does not match your identification. Children under the age of 14 are required to have a parent/guardian signature on their application form.

Library cards expire after one year, and may be renewed by visiting the library to verify your contact information.

MPL Library Card Application

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; gender; or sexual orientation.

Search the Library Catalog

The Mercer Library is part of the Merlin shared library catalog, used by almost 30 libraries in northern Wisconsin.

Simple Word Search: Type keywords in the Quick Search form.

Advanced Search Form: Use Advanced Search to narrow your search.

Renew Library Materials: Login to Merlin with your library card number to renew items you have checked out.

Request Items: When searching the Merlin catalog, click “REQUEST” at the top of the screen to request an item. The Mercer Library receives deliveries of items from our partner libraries three times a week, and there is no cost to borrow materials from other Merlin libraries.

For more information on using the Merlin online catalog, see the Merlin Help Center.

Request Books and Other Materials

The Mercer Library is part of the Merlin network of libraries, and can order any items in the Merlin Catalog to be delivered for our patrons. We receive deliveries from our partner libraries three times per week.

For items not found in the Merlin catalog, including copies of journal and magazine articles, interlibrary loan services are available. Items can often be obtained through WisCat – the catalog of public and academic libraries in Wisconsin. There is no charge for interlibrary loan. Contact our library staff for more information.


  • B&W copy/printing: 10¢ per page, 20¢ double sided or 11″ x 17″
  • Color copy/printing: 25¢ per page, 50¢ double sided or 11″ x 17″
  • Fax: Outgoing – $1 for the first page, 50¢ for each additional page up to $5. Incoming – 10¢ per page
    Note: to receive a fax at the library, send it to 715-476-2366 – the same as our phone number.
  • Laminating: $2 per sheet up to 8 1/2″ x 11″
  • Scanning to email: No charge
  • USB drives and optical discs: The library’s computers will NOT save any data from public user sessions, so all files must be saved on external drives or discs. The library may have CD-Rom or DVD-Rom discs or USB flash drives for sale at a nominal cost.

Meeting Rooms

The Mercer Public Library Reading Room and Friends of the Library Room are available to reserve for use by individuals or organized groups in the library service area. These rooms may be used at no cost by local individuals, community organizations and nonprofit groups. Individuals or businesses who wish to charge admission for attending an educational program in the library’s meeting space will be charged a $25 room use fee.

To reserve a meeting room, call the library at 715-476-2366.

Seating is limited in the library’s meeting space. For larger groups, consider using the Mercer Community Center, which is connected to the library. Reservations for the Community Center are handled by the Mercer Town Clerk, 715-476-2403.

Wireless Printing

Print from your mobile device to a library printer.

Apple iOS and OS X devices

Our wireless print server supports all iOS AirPrint enabled devices. iOS devices with AirPrint do not require download or installation of additional apps or software. Such devices include iPad (all versions); iPhone (3GS or later); iPod Touch (3rd generation or later); Mac OS X® (Lion or later); mobile devices running iOS 4.2 and later.

Windows Devices

Windows laptops, tablets, and phones (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 require installation of the Bonjour Print Wizard. Download Bonjour Print Wizard at and install the wizard onto your device. Run the wizard and choose the detected available printer to install on your device.

Android devices

Android mobile devices may be able to print to our library printer by using the Ricoh Smart Device Connector app. ‘

In all cases, once the proper software is installed on the device, it is just a matter of bringing up the document or webpage you want and selecting “Print” from the devices menu.

WiFi and Library Computers

Our WiFi network is 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 WiFi network. No password is required.

You must log in with a library card to use a library computer. Your login ID is your library card number (with no spaces) and your password is your birth date, entered in the MM-DD-YYYY format including the hyphens.

Patrons over 18 who do not hold a library card may request a temporary card from library staff. Patrons under 18 are required to have a parent/guardian’s signature on the Mercer Library’s Computer/Internet Usage Agreement form on file at the library.

There are no filters on our library network, and the Mercer Public Library takes no responsibility for the content found on the internet.


Borrow Library Materials

Patrons may check out up to 25 items on their library card, including no more than 7 movies per card. The Mercer Library’s lending collections include books, DVDs, books on CD, board games, music CDs, puzzles, and children’s kits. We also have special items like a telescope, pressure canning and water-bath canning kits, and other unique items to borrow.

Loan periods for our circulating items are:

  • Books – 21 days
  • “New” books – 14 days
  • Books on CD – 21 days
  • DVDs – 7 days
  • DVD sets – 14 days
  • Equipment and special items – 7 days
  • Most items can be renewed up to twice if there are no other patrons waiting.

There are no overdue fines on any items at the Mercer Public Library. Patrons are encouraged to honor due dates and request a renewal for items that they wish to keep longer.

Donate books to the library

What items do you take?

The library is happy to take donations of items in good, usable condition. Sometimes we keep items for our library collection, but most items are given to the Friends of the Library for our used book sales.

We love hardcovers, paperbacks, children’s books, DVDs, CDs, and board games and puzzles if they are in good condition with all their pieces. We are also happy to take workbooks like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and coloring books if they are in new, unused condition.

What don’t you take?

We cannot accept textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines, and condensed books. We also cannot accept any items that are moldy or have insect damage due to the risk of spreading those problems to other books at the library or in our book sale.

Can I get a receipt?

The library is happy to provide a donation receipt for your donated books and other items, but all we are able to provide is a receipt for the number of items, type (hardcover, paperback, etc.), and general condition. Figuring out their value is a job for you and your tax preparer.

The IRS’s guidelines for determining value can be found here – Goodwill, for example, suggests that the value of hardcover books is $1-$3 per book. (See )

What if I have more valuable items?

If you suspect that you have any titles with more value than the average used book, you should take notes on the title, publication date, condition, dust jacket, and any special characteristics like autographs, and then look them up in online booksellers to determine their value. Some sites to check might include and . Factors that affect value include the edition (first editions of important titles have more value than other editions, in general), the condition of the book and dust jacket, presence of authentic autographs from well-known writers, and rarity of the book. Just because a book is old doesn’t mean it is valuable!


Our library system, Northern Waters Library Service in Ashland, offers a free Mail-a-Book service to homebound patrons. Mail-a-Book is a county-funded service available to residents in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, Vilas, and Washburn Counties.

Mail-a-Book patrons can request books, audiobooks, movies and music CDs to be mailed to their home. Patrons can place their requests online through the Merlin catalog, call Northern Waters, or email your requests. You have three options for returning items: (1) U.S. mail (you pay postage) (2) Any NWLS rural book drop (3) Any NWLS member library, including the Mercer Library.

To qualify, you must live in an area not serviced by a local public library or unable to visit a library due to disability or travel limitation. More information and the Mail-a-Book application form is available on the Northern Waters website. 

If you have questions or need help setting up Mail-a-Book services, give us a call at 715-476-2366.