Library cards are free to all California residents and allow patrons to borrow materials from any of the five Berkeley Public Library locations. Library cards provide access to eBooks, online streaming media, online resources, internet access and more. Applicants must be present to receive a library card or renew an expired card. Library cards expire after 4 years. Easy Access cards expire after 1 year.
Easy Access Card
An Easy Access Library card is available to California residents who have a photo ID and who cannot currently provide address verification. Patrons with this type of card may use library Internet computers, in-house laptops, and have full access to all online databases and services. Easy Access cards also allow for the checkout of up to three physical items. Up to three holds may be placed with Easy Access cards. Easy Access cards expire after one year.
Cards for Kids and Teens
Permission from the parent or legal guardian is required on applications for children 13 years or younger. The applicant, parent, or legal guardian must provide photo ID and address verification. Teens ages 14-17 may use the same process. However, if you are a teen aged 14-17 with both photo ID and address verification, you may independently obtain a library card without parent’s permission.
Keep Your Card Current and Protected
- If your address changes, notify the Library immediately. You can always update your phone number and email in My Account.
- Renew your card for free at any of our libraries with a current photo ID.
- Notify us immediately if your card is lost or stolen. You are responsible for all items checked out on your card.
Patrons are allowed a maximum of 75 items overall with up to 4 Lucky Day items. Patrons with Easy Access cards are limited to 3 total items. Library materials can be returned to any Berkeley Public Library location.
Library accounts are blocked when fees exceed $10.00 or when there are three overdue items on the account.
|Materials||Overdue Fines||Loan Period in Days||Renewals|
|Book/Book on CD/MP3||none||21||2 automatic renewals|
|Chromebook & Hotspot||none||28||2 automatic renewals|
|DVD/Blu-Ray||none||21||2 automatic renewals|
|Kits (Binocular, Telescope)||none||7 or 21||non-renewable|
|Laptop (In-Library use)||none||2 hours||non-renewable|
|Link+||none||7 or 21||1 renewal*|
|Magazine||none||21||2 automatic renewals|
|Music CD/Vinyl||none||21||2 automatic renewals|
|State Parks Pass||none||14||non-renewable|
|Tool||$1.00-10.00 (per day, see schedule)||3 or 7 (per schedule)||1 renewal*|
*Link+ materials and Tools do not automatically renew.
Most physical items will automatically renew 5 days before their due date. The new circulation period will begin on the original due date. Items will not renew if a hold has been placed by another patron, or if the maximum allowable renewals have already been used.
Patrons with full-access cards may place up to 75 holds. Patrons with Easy Access cards may place up to 3 holds. Materials that are ready for pickup are held for 7 days. Link+ materials that are ready for pickup are held 10 days.
The Library charges a replacement fee for items that are returned damaged or not returned within six weeks of checkout or renewal. The patron is charged the price of the item. Accounts with billed items are blocked from further borrowing. Full details of the replacement policy are here.
Only residents or property owners of the city of Berkeley over the age of 18 are eligible to borrow tools from the Tool Lending Library. No more than 10 tools may be borrowed at any one time. To establish residence patrons must present a current lease/rental agreement (with patron's name listed as a tenant), or current tax bill (in patron's name) identifying ownership of property in Berkeley, or utility bill (in patron's name) dated within the last 30 days. More details are available on the Tool Lending Library web page.
Tools have a loan period of 3 or 7 days. Late fees vary by tool type as indicated in the Tool Fee Schedule. The majority of late fees are $1.00 per day.
Link+ is a cooperative project among dozens of academic and public libraries that allows for us to share materials. As part of a member library, you can independently and directly request materials not available in Berkeley Public Library and they will be delivered to one of our libraries. There is no charge to request or borrow Link+ materials.
Our Link+ information page includes links to the catalog, your Link+ account, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
- The Link+ catalog may be accessed directly, or by clicking on “Link+” when viewing local search results.
- Materials may be borrowed if they are listed as "available" in the Link+ catalog. (Some materials may not be available for request based on the lending libraries discretion)
- The materials usually arrive at one of our libraries in 2 to 6 days and will be held for 10 days.
- The loan period is 7 or 21 days, with the option of one renewal. Items can be renewed 3 days before their due date. Link+ items do not automatically renew. When there is a hold on the item at its lending library, it cannot be renewed.
- The fee for lost or damaged Link+ materials is $115.00.
We send courtesy notices by email, phone, or text. You may update your method of notification at any of our libraries or by accessing my account.
Email notifications include:
- Hold pick-up or cancellation
- Notice of overdue materials (14 days after due date)
- Item replacement bills
- Courtesy notices reminding you that items are due within 7 days for all materials except tools, which generate notices 3 days before the due date. Items that circulate for less than 3 days do not generate courtesy notices.
Phone notifications include:
- Hold pickup
- Notice of overdue materials (14 days after due date)
- Courtesy notices are not available for patrons who choose phone notification
Text notification includes:
- Hold pickup
The Library strives to ensure that notices are sent out in a timely manner. Notices are generated and sent daily Monday through Friday. Delivery and receipt of a circulation notice are not guaranteed. Factors not under the direct control of the library can hinder delivery of e-mail and telephone messages; therefore, the Library is not responsible for circulation notices that do not reach patrons in a timely manner. Account information may be updated at any Berkeley Public Library location.
Some email programs and system servers identify email from Berkeley Public Library as spam. To help ensure that you receive notices, place these addresses in your contacts list or address book: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not send email to this address or reply to email notices you receive from the library.