Credit Card Policy

Library Board approved September 26, 2023


The Oak Park Public Library may provide eligible staff members with credit cards, such as purchase cards (p-cards), to pay for specific and limited library expenses. Library credit cards are used to supplement other acceptable payment methods and should be used when other approved payment methods are unavailable. 

This policy outlines staff members’ responsibilities for the appropriate use of credit cards and intends to protect staff members and the library from inappropriate use. Purchases made with library credit cards are subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).   


The library’s Finance Team may assign credit cards to eligible staff members. To qualify for a library credit card, a staff member must receive approval from their department director, hold a position that requires travel, purchase significant volumes of items or services for use by the library, or incur other regular, frequent library expenses of a kind appropriately paid by a credit card. 

The Finance Team will determine an appropriate credit limit for each cardholder and may temporarily increase the credit limit based on necessity.  

Before receipt of any credit card, each staff member must complete credit card holder training based on this policy, agree to and sign a Credit Card Holder Agreement, and acknowledge their credit limit on purchases. 

The Finance Team will periodically review all credit card holders to determine their continued eligibility to hold a library credit card and the appropriate credit limit for each cardholder.

Appropriate Use

Credit card holders may only use a library credit card for:

  • Purchases the department director responsible for the budget line/expense category is aware of;
  • Purchases within the approved budget limits;
  • Purchases of necessary items or services for library use;
  • Purchases within the established credit limit (unless the Finance Team grants an exception); and
  • Purchases that do not include sales tax when applicable (the library is a tax-exempt organization).

Inappropriate Use

Credit card holders must never use their library credit card for:

  • Purchases the department director responsible for the budget line/expense category is not aware of;
  • Purchases exceeding approved budget limits;
  • Purchases of items or services for any use other than library use;
  • Personal expenses or personal benefit; or
  • Cash advances.

Any inappropriate use of a library credit card or intentional, continued, or repeated non-conformance to this policy will result in appropriate progressive corrective action up to and including termination of employment. 

Credit card holders must return any cards to the Finance Team at the end of their employment or upon request if the staff member is determined to no longer be eligible to be a credit card holder.

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