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New to the Library? Need a 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 proofs 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. Use our Ask-A-Librarian service 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 10 downloadable titles on Overdrive

  • Up to 10 downloadable titles on Cloud Library

  • Up to 7 mp3s per week on Freegal

  • 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

  • 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.

Why wait? 

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