At the desk, we met a very loud (seriously! Bring it down a few decibels, dude; you're in a library!) man who gave us the form to fill out, as well as voter registration cards. Cool, we can check that one off the list. Then he asked for photo IDs and proof of address. Dang. We didn't have proof of address with us.
We went back on Thursday, on our way home from the grocery store, because we had just picked up our mail on the way out and therefore had proof of address. Unfortunately, when we pulled out our wallets, they were devoid of photo IDs, because I had gotten our driver licences out earlier in the day to change our address online. Dang, again.
The library was closed on Friday, and we contemplated going to the next closest branch (a few more stops up the way on the bus), but as we completed a 5-hour trek to Wal-Mart on Friday, we decided that we could wait one more day to try the library again.
On Saturday, before heading out to the library, we both double-checked my backpack for photo IDs, proof of address and our completed forms to give to the nice library staff. Who, upon our arrival, duly checked us in and issued cards. Yay! It only took three tries!
The library cards in Austin are a nice green colour, with a stylized picture of the city on the front. When I admired their prettiness aloud, the woman assisting us shared this story:
When the libraries changed their card colour a few years ago, they ran a few PSAs to announce the change to the general public, and were at once flooded with calls and visits from people looking for a Legal Resident card. So, the PSAs were changed from "the library now has green cards" to "the library cards are now green", thus prompting a flood of questions like, "Oh, are the cards made of recycled plastic?"
Apparently, they gave up on educating the public after that and allowed people to discover for themselves what colour the library cards are.