Sign up for a free library card, learn how to borrow materials and review fines and fees for late returns.
Get a Library Card
Apply for a full-access Library Card
Brooklyn Public Library's card is free for anyone that lives, works, pays property taxes, or attends school in New York State.
- NYS residents ages 13 and older may apply online for a library card.
- Children 12 and under may not apply online and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get a library card at an open branch.
Once you apply for a library card, you must visit one of our currently open branches and validate your card within 30 days by showing a government-issued ID that includes your name and present address.
Acceptable government issued IDs include:
- Current New York State Driver’s License
- Current New York State Driver’s Permit
- Current New York State Identification Card
- Current IDNYC Municipal Card
See below for what to do if you are a New York resident with an out-of-state ID.
Young adults (ages 13 to 17) can also provide the following in lieu of the above:
- Current school photo ID
- Current report card
- Working papers
If you do not have any of the IDs listed above, you may provide a current photo ID (e.g. passport, work ID, military ID, green card, etc.) plus proof of current NYS address that has been issued in the last 3 months (paystub, postmarked mail, utility bill). An electronic bill, rental/lease agreement, or bank statement may be used to fulfill the residency requirement*.
*Note: Post office boxes are not accepted as home addresses. Proof of residence is required.
Parents may use their government-issued ID to validate their child's library account.
New Yorkers with government-issued IDs from other states
If you live in New York State and do not have a New York State ID, you will need to bring your valid out-of-state ID and proof of New York state address that has been issued in the last three months (paystub, postmarked mail, utility bill).
If you work in New York or own property in New York and do not have a New York State ID, you will need to bring your valid out-of-state ID and proof of employment in New York, or proof of property ownership in New York.
New York state residents who do not have a Brooklyn Public Library card and would like access to the Library's eBook, eAudio, online resources and electronic databases, and Print on Demand services may apply for an eCard. Your eCard will expire in 1 year and will auto-renew while our libraries have limited services due to the pandemic.Get an eCard today
Register for an eCard and immediately receive a library barcode and PIN to begin accessing our digital collections and computer services.
Please note that in order for your application to go through successfully, you must allow the form to track your current location. When prompted with a message such as "disc.bklynlibrary.org wants to track your physical location", you must click on "allow once".
If you have converted your eCard into a full access library card and would like to have your holds, wishlists, checkouts, etc. transferred to your new account, please complete the Report a Replacement Card form to get started. After submitting the form, it will take approximately 1-3 business days for your activity to transfer over.
For more information about the eCard, see our eCard FAQs.
Out-of-State Residents (non-NYS residents)
Non-NYS residents may apply for a Brooklyn Public Library membership and enjoy access to our extensive selection of Articles & Databases and eBooks and eAudio. There is an annual, non-refundable $50 fee for out-of-state cardholders.Get a Library Card (Non-NYS residents)
Once your application is submitted, a representative will contact you within five (5) business days with the next steps.
If you choose to pick up your library card, you may do so by visiting any one of our 59 locations and speak with a staff member. The $50.00 annual, non-refundable fee may be paid at the time of pick-up.
We currently do not accept applications from international residents at this time.
Renewing Your Library Card (Currently automatic for all cards previously set to expire in 2019 and onward)
Out of State Residents: Library cards expire every year. To renew your out-of-state membership, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with your library card barcode and copy of acceptable ID. A $50.00 non-refundable annual fee will be applied to your account.
eCard holders: eCards expire one year after registration and can be renewed at one of our branches offering library card service.
Educator cardholders: For information on how to renew your Educator account, please visit our Educator Card page.
Reporting Your Card Lost
Any items that were borrowed and/or fees accrued prior to reporting your card lost or stolen is your responsibility. If your card is lost or stolen, please report it by calling 718.YOUR.BPL or 718.968.7275 immediately.
You may also use the "Report a Card Lost" feature on your My Account page which will temporarily disable your account from use by unauthorized users. Please note that if this feature is used, you will not be able to renew or borrowing library material (including eMaterial) until your account is rectified. Please call us at 718.YOUR.BPL or 718.968.7275 to speak with a staff member who can help unblock your account.
To replace your card, you must pay a replacement fee and show acceptable ID.
You may borrow up to 50 physical items at a time on your library card, and up to 20 downloadable titles (across Overdrive and Libby combined).
- Books – 3 weeks
- Audiobooks – 3 weeks with a limit of 10 items on one account
- Printed Music (Scores) - 3 weeks
- Videos, DVDs, CDs and magazines – 1 week with a limit of 10 CDs and a combined total of 10 videos and DVDs.
You may renew physical materials as long as there are no holds on the item and your account is in good standing.
There is a maximum of 15 renewals for each item.
There are several ways to renew:
- In person at an open BPL location
- Online by logging into My Account
- Using the BPL app
- By text, if you are subscribed to text message notifications
- Over the phone by calling 718.230.6700
Place an item on hold for a quick and convenient way to receive materials that are not currently available at your local library. For detailed information on BPL holds, read this page.
- Place a hold request through our catalog or in person at your local library
- You can place up to 15 holds on any circulating items in the Library collection with the exception of reference, special collections, and magazines and journals. You can place up to 10 holds on downloadable titles at one time.
- The library will send a notice via email, text or telephone when your hold is ready to pick up. Please be sure we have your correct contact information. You will have 7 days to pick up your hold.
- Return material to any open Brooklyn Public Library location. After-hours book drops are open at select locations.
- All material is due back by the date indicated at time of checkout or renewal. Items not returned more than 28 days after their due date are considered lost. A replacement charge for the cost of lost items will be added to your account in order to replace them in our collection.
- Multiple part materials must be returned complete at time of return to avoid replacement charges.
- Courtesy reminders of upcoming due dates are sent by email or text. Overdue notices are sent by email, text, or phone. Failure to receive notices does not excuse overdue charges.
Interlibrary Loan is a service that allows valid Brooklyn Public Library cardholders to request to borrow books not owned by BPL from other libraries in the United States. Effective July 17th 2021, you can submit Interlibrary Loan requests at the reference desk of any open Brooklyn Public Library branch. This service is free to Brooklyn Public Library patrons; however, fines and fees assessed by the lending library do apply. Learn more.
BPL is now Fine Free!
Fees & Lost Materials
BPL no longer charges daily late fines, but we will charge you for the replacement cost of items that are a month or more overdue. Replacement charges will be cleared as soon as the items are returned. If you cannot return the items, you can either pay for the cost of replacement or contact us about other options.
As of October 1, 2021, all previously accrued late fines and collections fees have been cleared.
How will I know when my items are due?
When you check out any physical items, you will receive a receipt with the printed due dates of your materials. The library will also send reminders when your library materials are coming due or overdue. Courtesy reminders of upcoming due dates are sent by email or text. Overdue notices are sent by email, text, or phone.
You can check the due date(s) of your items at any time, as well as update your notification preferences, by logging into My Account.
Once your materials are 28 days overdue, you will receive a bill with replacement charges for the item(s). Please review the Borrowing Materials page for information about loan periods for library items.
What happens if I return something late or lose an item?
We do not charge daily late fines, so there are no charges for any item you return late, once you return it.
Items not returned more than 28 days after their due date are considered lost. A replacement charge for the cost of lost items will be added to your account in order to replace them in our collection. You cannot place holds, renew, or check out any physical library material until you have returned your lost items or have paid for their replacement.
If the lost materials are returned, the replacement charges will automatically be cleared from your account. BPL will refund any fees paid when a lost item(s) is returned within 90 days of payment, in good condition, and with proof of payment.
The library is not able to accept replacement items purchased by patrons.
What other fees may get added to my account?
Brooklyn Public Library cards are free to everyone who lives, works, pays property taxes or goes to school in New York State. The following fees apply to library cards:
- Replacement Card Fee (Adult/Young Adult): $2
- Replacement Card Fee (Senior/Juvenile): $1
- Out-of-State Card Fee: $50
- Replacement Card Fee (Out-of-State): $5
- Bounced Check Fee: $10
How can I make a payment?
You can pay using the following methods:
- Pay online by logging into My Account.
- Cash and credit (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover) payments are accepted at self-service kiosks found at every open BPL location. Staff does not collect cash from customers.
- Pay by check/money order. Check/money orders must be made out to Brooklyn Public Library. Please be sure to reference your library barcode number in the notes section. Check/money orders can be given a staff member or mailed to:
Attn: Finance Department
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11238
What happens if the charges aren’t paid?
Please return any items you still have and we will remove the replacement cost from your account. If you are unable to return the items or pay for replacement, please contact us to discuss your options.
Effective December 1, 2021, library accounts of patrons ages 18 and older with an unpaid balance of $25 or more for longer than 60 days will be submitted to BPL’s vendor, Unique Management Services, who will follow up with you. Your balance will not be reported to credit bureaus or affect your credit score.
Unique Management Services will contact you on our behalf until arrangements are made for repayment or return of overdue materials.