Library Cards are free to residents of California. You must, however, have photo identification with your name and current address. Identification can be a California driver’s license or an ID card issued by the DMV. ID cards issued by the Mexican, Argentinian and Korean consulates can be used as the sole ID requirement for obtaining a library card.
If you don’t have a driver’s license or ID card, then present two of the following, one of which must be a photo ID and one of which must have your current address: passport, school ID card, other government issued photo ID, employee ID card, printed personal check, credit card statement, rental or property tax receipt, or business mail with current postmark.
If you are under the age of eighteen, identification is not required. Your parent or guardian’s signature on the library card application is accepted instead of identification.
To receive a library card:
- Fill out an application in person at any Los Angeles Public Library location, or
- Download the application form (pdf), fill it out and bring it in to any location, or
- Pre-register over the Internet by visiting the Library’s Web Pre-Registration Page.
Residents of Los Angeles can get an e-Card by registering online. An e-Card provides access to online databases and downloadable e-media. Patrons who already have a regular library card do not need an e-Card.
If you are a teacher, you can apply for a Teacher Card.
Loan Periods /
Limits / Fines / Fees
Most library materials are loaned for 3 weeks. Failure to return materials may result in the borrower’s account being turned over to Unique National Collections, a materials recovery agency.
There is a maximum of 30 items allowed on the patron’s record. A teacher using a Teacher's Library Card may borrow a total of 50 items, with some restrictions, at any given time with librarian approval. 30 items may be charged at any given time to a Homebound borrower and 500 items to a Depository Loan borrower.
Different loan periods and fees may apply to materials not listed below. Ask library staff for details.
|Material: type of item||Loan Period|
|Circulating books, magazines, audiobooks||3 weeks|
|DVDs, videocassettes, music cassettes and CDs||1 week|
|Lost or Damaged Material||Fee (per item)|
|Hardback book (Adult/YA)||$25.00|
|Hardback book (Juvenile)||$15.00|
|Audiobook or CD||$25.00 ($60.00 for whole set)|
|Item||Fee (per item)|
Non-Resident Library Card (Outside of California)
For applicants whose permanent address is outside of California, there is a non-resident fee of $50.00. Non-resident cards are issued and renewed in person only, at the time of payment. Cards are not issued through the mail.
Returning Library Materials
Items checked out from any Los Angeles Public Library may be returned to any of its 72 branches or to the Central Library. Items may be returned in person or through a bookdrop. At Central Library, bookdrops are located at the Flower and Hope Street entrances and curbside at the 5th Street entrance.
Your Library Record
By entering your 14 digit library card number or 12 digit e-card number and PIN on the Patron Validation Screen you have access to your personal library record. You will be able to review items currently checked out on your library card, including overdue and lost items. You can renew items and review the status of titles you have placed on hold. You can also cancel holds on items you no longer need. Use the Change of Address Form to report changes in your account.
Renewing Library Materials
Most items may be renewed a maximum of three times. Reference materials may not be renewed nor items for which there are pending holds or reserves.
Eligible items will be automatically renewed on the due date. You may also renew items over the web by accessing your library record or by phone: (888) 577- LAPL. Renewals grant you an additional loan period from the renewal date.
The library also offers a Telephone Circulation Service. If you have a touch tone phone, you can renew your items by telephone, 24 hours a day, by calling the toll-free number: (888) 577-5275. If you are outside the toll-free area, dial (213) 623-9930. Telephone circulation also lets you review your library record to find out what you have checked out, when it is due, if items you reserved are being held for you, and if you have any unpaid fines or fees.
You can place a hold on an item free of charge from any library terminal, or over the web by clicking "Catalog" on the library’s web page. After searching for the title you want to reserve, select the library location to which you want the item sent and we will notify you by e-mail, a computer-generated telephone call or a postcard when it is available for pick up. If you need help with the hold service, library staff will guide you through the process or place the hold for you. The maximum number of holds on a patron record at any time is 30. If no copy becomes available, your hold may be canceled automatically.
If you would like an e-mail reminder when your library materials are due, when they are overdue, and when items placed on hold are available for pick-up, please contact your local library agency. You may also submit your e-mail address online in the Enhanced My Account.