Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the services that the Library offers for the convenience of its Library users?

  • Free Library Cards and online library registration - Apply For A Library Card
  • Lending materials: Books, CDs, DVDs, Music CDs, Audiobooks, eBooks, Magazines, and Newspapers
  • Interlibrary loan
  • Downloadable audio-books, e-books, magazines, and music
  • Online Research Tools
  • Computers, iPads, internet, Wi-Fi, and outgoing fax services
  • Resource Materials in the Louisiana Division, City Archives & Special Collections, and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum Culinary Collection
  • Book Sales
  • Community Programs for all ages
  • YMCA Adult Literacy Center
  • Reference assistance through AskNOPL
  • Online credit card payment options for fines ($5.00 minimum payment). (Click on the "My Account" tab, log in to your account, and choose "Fines & Fees" from the drop-down list.)
  • Test proctoring
  • Meeting rooms
  • Every effort will be made to provide interpretation of library programs for the hearing-impaired. Contact the branch hosting the program to request this service.

Who qualifies for a free library card?

In the spirit of growth within our metropolitan community, New Orleans Public Library provides library card privileges not only to residents of Orleans Parish but also to library card holders in 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.

ID and proof of residence may be virtual.

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.

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 an NOPL 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).

Individuals who do not live in or own property in Orleans Parish can get an NOPL card by paying a fee of $50.00 for an individual or $100.00 for a family. These cards are good for one year and entitle their holders to the same privileges as resident card holders.

Applicants must fill out NOPL registration form, checking the non-resident section. They must provide identification and proof of address similar to proof provided by residents. For non-resident family cards, an application must be filled out for each family member. Mail the completed form(s) with your payment (a check made to New Orleans Public Library) to:

New Orleans Public Library ATTN: Circulation 219 Loyola Ave. New Orleans, LA 70112

Non-resident cards can also be obtained in person at any NOPL facility.

Apply For A Library Card

Can I use my library card at any location?

Your card is good at all New Orleans Public Library locations.

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 10 audiobooks
  • Up to 10 DVDs
  • Up to 10 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.

How many times can I renew an item?

Most items can be renewed twice unless someone else has placed a hold on the item. You can renew an item in person or over the phone, with the assistance of library staff, or by calling 504-596-2693 to reach Telemessaging, the library's automated phone renewal system. (Please note that you will not be able to use Telemessaging to renew material if you have an outstanding fine of $20.00 or more on your record). You can also renew online at (Click on the "My Account" tab, log in to your account, and choose "Items Out" from the drop-down list)

Can materials be returned to any location?

Materials can be returned to any NOPL location. You can put books into the bookdrops outside, but DVDs and CDs should be returned to the circulation desk unless a branch has designated that these items can be returned in its book drop.

What are the fines for overdue materials?

  • $0.20 per book or CD, per day
  • $0.20 per day for DVDs
  • $1.00 per day for reference materials
  • $1.00 per day for Interlibrary loan materials

Where can I pay fines? What form of payment does NOPL accept?

Payment for fines may be made at any location New Orleans Public Library. We accept cash, checks or money orders. Library users can also pay by credit card using our secure online payment method ($5.00 minimum payment). (Click on the "My Account" tab, log in to your account, and choose "Fines & Fees" from the drop-down list.)

What other fees does the library charge?

  • Free for the first replacement card, $1.00 for additional replacement cards for juveniles, students or adults
  • $50.00 annually for an individual non-resident card
  • $100.00 annually for family non-resident cards
  • $0.15 per page for all black & white copies/computer printouts
  • $0.75 per page for all color copies/computer printouts
  • $0.25 per page for microfiche/microfilm copies
  • $0.50 per page for local and long-distance fax service at most locations
  • $5.00 for test proctoring (check your local library for this service)

Are there fines for Youth Materials?

No, as of September 1, 2019, the Library no longer charges late fines for youth materials. Library users who check out youth materials still need to return the materials and will still receive reminders when a due date approaches and when it has passed. Materials that are not returned after 90 days will still be charged to the Library user’s account as a lost item and will incur fees.

Can I suggest that the Library purchase a particular title?

Yes, the Library regularly purchases new releases and best sellers in all formats but if you are looking for a book, e-book, CD, DVD, or other items that we don't currently own you can Recommend A Title.

How can I keep track of track of books I've checked out?

Follow the steps below or ask a library staff member for assistance.
• Go to
• Log into your account with your Library Card Number and PIN
• Select "My Record" from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen
• Click on 'Contact Information and Preferences'
• Click in the checkbox that says "Maintain Reading History"
• Click "Submit Change Request"
• Once the change has been submitted, the items you have checked out will begin being tracked.

What are the procedures for donating books to the Library?

To donate books and other materials, please contact the Friends of New Orleans Public Library at

How can I get a replacement library card and ensure that no one else uses my lost one?

If you suspect your card has been stolen or lost, please visit any NOPL location. Bring physical photo identification and other proof of residency or virtual ID and proof of residency. Your original library card number will be blocked so that it can’t be used to check out any materials. Your record will be updated and a replacement card will be issued at no cost. After that, the replacement fee is $1.00 for juvenile, student and adult cards.

Can out-of-town visitors to the library access the Internet at NOPL?

Out-of-town visitors will be issued a one-hour guest pass at no charge to use the Internet workstations.

How can I volunteer at the library?

Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Human Resources at 504-596-2607.