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How to Get a Library Card

It's not just another piece of plastic. A library card is easy to get, and it allows you to borrow books, magazines, CDs and videos for free.

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Look in the phone book or call your local public library to find out when it is open.

Take two pieces of identification with you to the library; one should be a photo ID (a driver's license, military ID or student photo ID) and the other should provide proof of residence. A voter registration card, a check with your name and address printed on it, or a utility bill are accepted as proof of residence.

Go to the circulation desk and ask for an application.

Ask the librarian about the library's borrowing policies, including loan periods, overdue fines and book renewals.

Fill out the application and return it to the circulation desk. If you are a local resident, your library card will be free; nonresidents can obtain a card for a small annual fee, usually between $10 and $25.

Thank the librarian after he or she processes your application and hands you your very own library card!


Most libraries will issue cards to children if a parent is with them when they apply. The parent must sign the application and be responsible for abiding by library policies on behalf of the child. Some libraries require that the child be able to write his or her own first and last name before the child will be issued a card. In some cities you can apply for a library card online. Some libraries will mail the card to you, but you may have to pick it up at the library in person.


If your library card is lost or stolen, you must notify the library, or you will be responsible for any charges against your card. Libraries charge a small replacement fee for lost cards.

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