Who may have a library account?
You are eligible for an MCPL card if you live, work or go to school in Montgomery County.
In addition, residents of the following jurisdictions are also eligible:
- District of Columbia
- Falls Church
- Fairfax County
- Loudoun County
- Arlington County
- Prince William County
The card is free, and there are
no age restrictions for cardholders. It can
used at any MCPL branch.
Your card also makes you eligible to borrow from public libraries throughout
the state of Maryland, in the District of Columbia,
and in the Northern Virginia jurisdictions listed above.
How can I
apply for a library card?
There are two ways to apply for a card:
- Apply for a card at the checkout desk of any MCPL branch. Bring a photo ID and proof of residency.
If you wish, you may print and fill out a library card application (also available in Spanish) and bring it in with you.
- If you don't have acceptable identification with you, the card will be mailed to you. If you need materials right away, up to 2 items may be checked out on your account when you submit the application. When you receive the card, bring it back to a library with photo ID and proof of address to validate it.
- Apply online. If you apply online and choose to have your card mailed to you, you must bring proof of address and a photo ID to a branch within 30 days, or the card will expire.
Two types of identification are required to open a library account: a photo ID and proof of residency. Identification supplied by an accompanying adult is sufficient for a child under 13. For 13- to 18-year olds, photo identification is required, and proof of a parent's address may serve as proof of the teen's address.
|Identification that satisfies both requirements
- Maryland Driver’s License
- Maryland Identification card
|Examples of Photo ID
- Valid US passport
- Valid US military identification card or discharge record (DD-214)
- Out-of-State driver’s license, with translation into English, if required
- Valid Out-of-Country passport
- School ID
- Employee or contractor photo ID card issued by a local, state or US government agency
|Examples of Proof of Residency
- Selective service card
- Vehicle registration card or title
- Voter registration card
- Utility or telephone bill
- Checking or savings account statement
- Property tax bill or receipt
- Mortgage account or proof of home ownership
- Residential rental contract (apartment lease or other rental of real property)
- Check with printed name and address
Types of accounts
Users with this card may check out any circulating
materials in the adult and children's collections
of the library system.
Parents or guardians may request restricted
cards for their children under age 13. This
card limits the child to borrowing only from
the children's collection. The restrictions
apply only to
the borrowing of materials and not to
the use of materials in the library.
With household cards, all members of a household living at
the same address share one library
card barcode number and have access to each
other's borrowing records. All household card
applicants must appear in person at the time
of registration for the card. As with other cards, you may have a maximum of 100 items checked out on a household account.
Nonresident cards can be issued to people who do not meet the residency requirements for a free card. Proof of address and a picture ID are required. There is a $10.00 non-refundable fee that must be paid at the time of registration and annually thereafter.
This free temporary card is issued to people who want to use library computers but are ineligible for a library account. You must show proof of out-of-state residence (for example, a driverís license) to receive a guest card. The guest card is good for one day. Your computer time will be limited by our policies for computer use.
This card is for those who use MCPL's Homebound Service.
Issued to a business or institution (nursing home, nonprofit organization, media, high school, community college, etc.) owner/operator for use by designated staff of the business or institution. The person applying must provide a letter on company/institution letterhead authorizing creation of the card for business/institution purposes. The letter should state the name of the person responsible should questions or problems arise. The responsibility for fines and payment for any lost materials is on the business and not an individual.
These accounts are for daycare providers, home school teachers, preschool and elementary school teachers only, providing extended loans for classroom or homeschool use. Apply for an education account on the school's letterhead indicating your employment at that institution, or, if you are a state-approved homeschool instructor, present the State's letter of approval. Educator accounts may be used to borrow only juvenile fiction and nonfiction, juvenile media, and picture books from the Children's collection. Materials are borrowed for a single 9-week check-out period with no renewals. Educators may have both a regular card and an educator card.
Your library account information is private.
Library accounts are confidential. By
law, we can only discuss your library account with
YOU. This is to safeguard the privacy of each card
holder and applies to both adults and children.
We recognize the difficulties this policy may present
for parents. We will do everything we can to help
parents maintain their children's accounts and avoid
unnecessary fines. For example, we can provide print-outs
of what you borrow at check-out.
We encourage you to check
the status of your library account or renew materials by accessing Your
Account on the library's website. You will need
a PIN and your library card number to use your account online.
You can also renew materials
through the telephone
renewal self-service line at 240-777-0007.
Expiration of Library Accounts
Library card accounts must be renewed each year. You can see your card’s renewal date on your account online, or ask any of our staff members. If your card expires, you will not be able to check out materials, place holds, or renew items you have checked out beyond the card's expiration date. You will also be unable to use the library's public computers.
You must pay all fines and fees before your library account can be renewed.
Please keep your mailing address, phone number, and email address updated. Email addresses can be updated on our Email Registration Form. Phone numbers can be updated by calling Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001. If there is no mailing address change, you can renew your library card account by calling Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001 or at your branch. However, proof of address must be shown at your branch if there is a change of mailing address.
Replacing Lost Cards
There is a $2.00 charge to replace lost or stolen cards. Visit any MCPL branch with an ID that includes your current address. The card will be issued to you immediately. If you visit a branch without acceptable identification, we will mail the replacement card to you. When you receive the card, bring it back to the library along with your photo ID and proof of address.