Unless you live in a rural area, there is probably a public library nearby. The best part of living near a library besides all those books is access to all the library's programs -- all for free, like all library services. All that is needed to take advantage of everything your library has to offer is a library card. Fortunately it is easier than you think to get a library card. It can be done either in person or online.
How to get a library card
One of the primary benefits of both urban and suburban living is access to a public library.
Apply for a library card online
In general all that is needed is to fill out an online form to establish that you live within the library's district. The form will ask for name, address, and birthdate. After submitting the form, head over to the library at your convenience to pick up your new card. You will probably need to show ID at the main counter to establish that your submitted form matches the information on your ID.
Apply for a library card in person
Applying in person is even easier than applying online. Simply bring your ID to the main counter and tell the librarian that you would like a library card.
Library card FAQs
Library card = unlimited book access
What forms of ID are accepted?
Any of the following would be accepted at most libraries:
- Driver's license
- State ID
- Tax bill
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Mortgage or lease paperwork
- A check that has been pre-printed with your name and address
- Piece of mail with a recent postmark
The important thing about the ID is that it shows your name and current address.
How can my child get a library card?
If your child is under the age of 18, you will need to sign some paperwork to allow him or her to get a library card. This means you will be responsible for any books your children check out from the library. You can however restrict your child's access to certain sections of the library. Children's library cards will typically need to be renewed every year or two.
What happens if I lose my library card?
If you lose your card, notify the librarian as soon as possible. Library cards can be replaced for a nominal fee.
What if I don't live in this library's district?
Those who live outside the boundaries of the library's district can acquire a library card for a small fee. This fee is roughly the equivalent of a tax bill for a resident of the district. Once the fee has been paid however, all members of that household will gain access to the library.