Full-access cardholders 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). To get a full-access BPL library card, visit any of our branch locations and show acceptable ID.
See below for borrowing information for other Specialty Card types.
- Books – 3 weeks
- eBooks and audiobooks – 3 weeks
- Printed Music (Scores) – 3 weeks
- DVDs and CDs – 3 weeks
- Magazines – 1 week
- Specialty items (board games, telescopes, musical instruments, sewing machines) – visit the item page for more details
You may renew 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 (magazines renew a maximum of 2 times).
There are several ways to renew books and materials:
- 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 to request materials not available at your local library. Learn more.
- 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 with the exception of reference, special collections, and magazines and journals. You can place up to 10 holds on downloadable titles at once.
- You will receive 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 available at many branches.
- 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 replacement 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. This service is free to Brooklyn Public Library patrons; however, fines and fees assessed by the lending library do apply. Learn more.
Specialty Card Types
Online applicants for a library card can get instant access to BPL's eBook and audiobook collection, databases, computers and printing, plus limited physical borrowing (max 3 holds, max 3 checkouts). To be eligible for a Welcome Card, patrons must enable location sharing via their web browser at time of application, and be geolocated within New York State.
Patrons unable to provide ID when applying for a library card at a BPL branch may also be issued a Welcome Card. Learn more.
Teachers, administrators, librarians, and childcare providers currently employed in a public and private school, licensed childcare facility, afterschool, or special education program as well as homeschooling parents and guardians are eligible to apply for an Educator Card. Learn more.
Juvenile Restricted Card
Parents and legal guardians of children under the age of 13 may elect to set their child's account to a Juvenile Restricted card. Restricted cards grant access to children's computers and only permits checkout of materials from the children's section of the library. Note that these restrictions do not extend to digital lending. A Restricted card can be switched to a regular Juvenile card at any time. Juvenile Restricted cards will expire on the child's 13th birthday, unless the parent takes action prior.
As of July 15, 2022, Brooklyn Public Library is no longer offering its fee-based out-of-state library card. Our priority remains serving Brooklynites and assuring that they can access the materials they need in a timely manner. BPL Library cards remain free for anyone who lives, works, pays property taxes or attends school in New York State. Existing out-of-state accounts will remain active until their expiration date and will not be renewable.
Books Unbanned Initiative
Teens and young adults ages 13-21 outside of New York State can apply for a free Books Unbanned eCard. This card provides access to BPL’s entire digital collection and helps connect young people facing censorship and book bans in their communities with materials that explore a wider range of topics. You can support the Books Unbanned initiative by making a donation.
Cardholders who have borrowed more than 2,500 items from BPL are invited to join our Power User program. Learn more.