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. Once your application has been submitted, please visit one of our 59 branches to pick up your card.
Children 12 and under may not apply online and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get a library card.Get a Library Card
Before you can use your library card, you must visit one of our library 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 16) 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 only the eBook collection may apply for an eCard. This card will give you access to the Library’s Overdrive, 3M, and Flipster collections for 1 year.Register for an eCard
Register for an eCard and immediately receive a library barcode and PIN to begin accessing the eBook collection.
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 "go.bklynlibrary.org wants to track your physical location", you must click on "allow once".
If you had an eCard before 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. 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
New York State Residents: Library cards expire every three years. Please bring acceptable ID to any library branch to renew your card.
Out of State Residents: Library cards expire every year. To renew your out-of-state membership, please send an e-mail to email@example.com 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 are non-renewable and will expire one year after registration.
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 to a staff member at one of our branches 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 visit your local library and speak with a staff member to unblock your account.
To replace your card, you must pay a replacement fee and show acceptable ID.
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. Learn more.
Fines and Fees
Fines and Fees Schedule
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.
If you lose or damage any of the items checked out to your account, you will be charged the full replacement cost of each item. No replacement items will be accepted in place of any outstanding items.
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. If you are referred to the collection agency, you must pay your balance in full before your borrowing privileges are restored.
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.
October 19, 2017: Fine Forgiveness
Did you hear? On October 19, 2017, we cleared ALL fines from ALL kids' and teens' library cards as part of our fine forgiveness program. Find out more!
We're Here to Help
Do you have a question that doesn't require a trip to the library? Call 718.YOUR.BPL or 718.968.7275. You can also connect with a librarian via chat, email, or with an in-person appointment.