Library Card Information & Application

Apply for a Library Card

Who can get a New Orleans Public Library card?

Library cards are free for all Orleans Parish residents as well as those who currently have a valid library card from Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.

What information is needed when applying for a Library card?

  • To receive a permanent Library card, an applicant should provide picture identification, such as a valid Louisiana Driver's License or Louisiana State ID noting residency in Orleans, Jefferson or St. Bernard Parish. If the applicant has an out-of-state driver's license or other photo ID (a local college student ID, for example), the photo ID must be accompanied by one of the following proof of residence (voter's registration card, lease or rent receipt, piece of mail delivered to applicant at applicant's address, printed check, etc.)
  • If the applicant has no picture ID, any combination of two proofs of residency as listed above will be acceptable.

Can a person under age 18 apply for a card when the parent or guardian is not present?

  • If the parent/guardian is unable to come to the Library, the underage applicant can take the application home for the parent/guardian to sign. Until the parent/guardian signs the application and proof of eligibility has been shown, the applicant will be allowed limited borrowing privileges of up to 2 items at a time. They still must have a guardian's name and contact information recorded in their account details.
  • Whether the parent/guardian is present or not when the card is issued, he/she is responsible for materials borrowed by the child.

Are there any exceptions to the residency requirement?

  • Military personnel and their dependents who either live on a military base in Metropolitan New Orleans or are quartered off-base in out-of-Orleans Parish housing, should be issued free library cards. (The Census Bureau defines the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area as consisting of the following parishes: Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St John the Baptist and St. Tammany.)
  • Students who attend Orleans Parish schools but don’t live in Orleans Parish are still eligible to get library cards with proof of enrollment. Are non-resident cards available?
  • Persons who own property in New Orleans but who do not live in Orleans Parish can get a New Orleans Public Library card by filling out a Library card application as a non-resident and supplying identification and proof of ownership of their Orleans Parish property (i.e. a property tax bill, mortgage statement, or deed).
  • Non-Resident cards can be obtained online and cost $50.00 annually. Email for more information.
  • Non-resident cards can also be obtained in person at any Library location.

How many items can I check out on my card?

  • The maximum number of cataloged items that can be checked out on your Library card is 30 items. These may include:
  • Up to 30 books
  • Up to 30 audio books
  • Up to 30 DVDs
  • Up to 30 music CDs
  • Up to 3 downloadable titles on Overdrive
  • Up to 3 downloadable titles on Cloud Library
  • Up to 7 mp3s per week on Freegal
  • No limit on uncataloged paperbacks
  • No limit on past issues of periodicals but current issues are for use in the Library only

What are the loan periods for Library materials?

  • DVDs: 7 days
  • Overdrive (downloadable) titles: 2 weeks
  • Cloud Library (downloaded) titles: 2 weeks
  • Freegal music downloads: No return period
  • Popular reading books: 2 weeks
  • New and Now materials: 2 weeks; no renewals
  • All other circulating materials: 3 weeks

Are there differences in what adults, students, and juveniles can check out?

  • Adults (18 and up) may check out any circulating item.
  • Students (12 - 17) may check out any circulating item with the exception of unrated and R-rated DVDs.
  • Juveniles (0 - 11) may check out any circulating item with the exception of DVDs.