Sign up for a free library card, learn how to borrow materials and review fines and fees for late returns.
Get a Library Card
New York State Residents
Brooklyn Public Library's card is free for anyone that lives, works, pays property taxes, or attends school in New York State.
To get started, NYS residents ages 13 and older may apply online for a library card. You may choose to have the card mailed to you or picked up at any one of our 59 branches.Get 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.
Before you can use your library card, you must visit one of our library branches and validate your account 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
If your ID does not have your current address, please bring another item as a proof of address that has been issued in the last 3 months (paystub, postmarked mail, utility bill).
Parents may use their government issued ID to validate their child's library account.
New York state residents who do not have a Brooklyn Public Library card and would like access to only the eBook collection may apply for an eCard. This card allows access to the Library’s Overdrive, 3M, and Flipster collections.
To register for an eCard, apply here and immediately receive a library barcode and PIN to begin accessing the eBook collection. You do not have to come into a Brooklyn Public Library branch to activate your card.
For more information about the eCard, please go to our FAQ (link here) page.
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. There is an annual, non-refundable $50 fee for out-of-state cardholders.
We currently do not accept applications from international residents at this time.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.
Library cards expire at various points of time depending on the age group:
Children (Birth to 12 years) – expires on the 13th birthday.
Young Adult (13 to 16 years) – expires on the 17th birthday.
Adults and Senior Citizens – expires every three years from the date of registration/renewal
Out of State – One year from date of registration/renewal
Please note that your registered library card is non-transferable and can only be used by the person whom the card was issued to. There is a limit of one card per patron unless participating in a special program (Teacher/MyLibraryNYC).
You may borrow up to 99 items at a time on your library card.
- Books – 3 weeks
- Audiobooks – 3 weeks with a limit of 10 items on one account
- 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 materials as long as there are no holds on the item and your account is in good standing.
There is a maximum of 99 renewals for each item (this does not include eBooks)
There are three ways to renew:
- In person at any Brooklyn Public Library location
- Online by logging into your My BPL account
- 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.
- Place a hold request through our catalog or in person at your local library
- You can place up to 10 holds on your library account on any circulating in the Library collection with the following exceptions: reference, special collections, and magazines and journals.
- The library will send a notice via email, text or telephone when your hold is really to pickup. Please be sure we have your correct contact information. You will have 7 days to pickup your hold.
- Return material to any Brooklyn Public Library location or book drop.
- All material is due back by the date indicated at time of checkout or renewal. Fines will begin to accrue if items are not returned by the due date.
- Multiple part materials must be returned complete at time of return to avoid late fines.
- Courtesy reminders of upcoming due dates are sent by email or text. Overdue notices are sent by email or phone. Failure to receive notices does not excuse overdue fines.
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. You can submit Interlibrary Loan requests in person at any Brooklyn Public Library branch. This service is free to Brooklyn Public Library patrons; however, fines and fees assessed by the lending library do apply.
Fines and Fees
Fines accrue per item, per calendar day, even if Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is closed. It is your responsibility to keep track of your due dates. Failure to receive courtesy library notices does not excuse fines.
- Books/Magazines: $0.15/day
- Audiobooks, CDs and CD-ROM software: $1/day
- DVDs & Videos: $1/day
- Interlibrary Loan: $1/day
- 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
- Collection Agency Fee: $10
Borrowing privileges are suspended when fines or fees reach a $15 threshold. You cannot place holds, renew, or check out material until your account falls below the threshold.
Unreturned, lost, or damaged material and materials with multiple parts that are returned incomplete will be billed to your account. You cannot place holds, renew, or check out material until it is resolved.
You can return or pay for the billed material. If billed material is returned, you will be assessed overdue fines instead.
Borrowers with unpaid balances of $25 or more may be contacted by a collection agency. A $10.00 collection fee is placed on accounts that reach this threshold.
Please read our Fines and Fees Policy for more information.
Paying Your Fines and Fees
You must have your library card to pay your fines. You can pay using the following methods:
- Cash payments are accepted at kiosks found at every BPL location. Staff does not collect cash from customers.
- Checks made payable to BPL can be given to the staff at any location. Include the library account number of the account being paid for on the check.
- Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover) are accepted at all BPL kiosks. You can also pay from home by logging into My BPL.