Welcome Card/eCard FAQs

What is the difference between an eCard and a Welcome Card?
A Welcome Card allows instant access to BPL's eBook and audiobook collection, databases, and computers and printing, plus limited physical borrowing (max 3 holds, max 3 checkouts). A Welcome Card expires every year. BPL began issuing Welcome Cards in October 2022. 

eCards only allow for digital access (no physical checkouts). BPL no longer issues eCards effective October 2022 (current eCard accounts will not be impacted). Existing eCard accounts will begin to expire in March 2023. When an eCardholder renews their account, it will renew as a Welcome Card. 

Who can get a BPL Welcome Card?
Any person(s) residing in New York State may apply online for instant access, or visit a BPL branch. An ID is not required. 

Is my eCard/Welcome Card renewable? 
Accounts will expire after one year. eCards/Welcome Cards can be renewed online via My Account, by contacting the library, or by visiting any open BPL branch. eCards will renew as a Welcome Card. You do not need an ID to renew. 

Note: in order to renew your Welcome Card online, you must enable location sharing from your device. Learn more.

If I apply for another library card, can I transfer my existing holds, lists, etc. over?
To maintain your holds, lists, etc. on your account, please ask for assistance to renew your card or upgrade to a full-access account.

How many eBooks may I borrow at one time?
You may borrow up to 10 eBooks/audiobooks and place up to 5 holds on Overdrive items.

How long can I keep an eBook?
The default lending period is 21 days. The book will be returned automatically when the lending period is over.

I forgot my barcode! What should I do?
Simply Contact Us. Once verified, we can provide you your card number.

What if I already have a physical BPL library card?
You already have complete access to the library's digital and physical collections! Learn more about renewing an expired account.

What are the benefits of converting my eCard/Welcome Card into a full-access library card?
A full-access library card unlocks all resources and services the library has to offer, including full access to the circulating collection, laptop loan, checkout of speciality items, and Meeting Room reservations, in addition to the library's online resources, computer use, and printing/copy services.

To upgrade to a full-access account, visit a BPL branch with a current photo ID with proof of address. For a list of approved documents, please click here.

If I upgrade to a full-access account, will I be able to keep my holds and lists from my Overdrive account?
Yes! Your checkouts, wish list, etc. will remain on your account and will not be affected if you upgrade to a full-access card.

I live outside of New York City. Can I convert my eCard/Welcome Card to a full-access BPL card online?
Unfortunately, no. You must visit one of our Brooklyn Public Library branches in person to upgrade.

How does this affect my out of state library card?
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.