Apply for a Library Card
Your library card is your key to all 92 locations of The New York Public Library in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. In addition to borrowing library materials, your card allows you to download digital media, search hundreds of electronic databases, reserve a computer, and more.
Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. Learn more about eligibility for NYPL library cards. Learn how to renew or validate your NYPL card.
To be considered a resident of NYC, your home address must be located within one of the five boroughs of New York City. After you apply online, pick up your card in person at an NYPL location in the Bronx, Manhattan, or Staten Island.
To be considered a resident of NYS, your home address must be located in New York State. After you apply online, e-mail your valid identification to email@example.com, or fax it to (212) 621-0278. Your card will be mailed to you.
If you do not live in New York City or New York State, but you do work, go to school, or pay property taxes in New York City or New York State, then you qualify for this application type. After you apply online, pick up your card in person at an NYPL location in the Bronx, Manhattan, or Staten Island.
If your home address is in the United States, but not New York State or City, you qualify as a New York City Visitor from the United States, and you are eligible for a temporary card. You must pick up your card in person at an NYPL location in the Bronx, Manhattan, or Staten Island within three months of submitting your application. The card will remain valid for three months, at which point you will need to renew again in person.
Those whose country of residence is different from the United States are considered international visitors. After you apply online, pick up your card in person at an NYPL location in the Bronx, Manhattan, or Staten Island. You must pick your card up in person within three months of your application submission.
What to Expect Next
After you submit your application, you will see a confirmation page with a temporary account number, and you will be able to log in and request books and materials. To get your card, follow the confirmation page instructions. You may also apply in person at any library location in the Bronx, Manhattan ,or Staten Island.
For Other Applicants and Downloadable Forms
Children 12 and under, classrooms and other groups, educators, homebound individuals, and organizational borrowers should apply in person or download the appropriate library card application form [PDF].