Your Card

Click here to apply for a library cardComplete the application process by presenting a current photo ID in person at your local library. If your photo ID does not show your current address, you must present separate proof of address.

Library cards are free to all California residents and allow patrons to borrow materials from any of the five Berkeley Public Library facilities. 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.

Cards for Kids and Teens

The signature of the parent or legal guardian is required on applications for children 13 years or younger. The applicant, parent, or legal guardian must provide picture identification and address verification. Teens ages 14-17 may use the same process. However, if you are a teen aged 14-17 with both picture ID and address verification, you may independently obtain a library card without a parent’s signature.

Easy Access Card

An Easy Access Library card is available to California residents who have picture 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

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.

Borrowing Materials

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 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 none 21 2 automatic renewals
Book on CD/MP3 none 21 2 automatic renewals
Cornerstones Kit $1.00 (per day)  7 non-renewable
DVD/Blu-Ray none 21 2 automatic renewals
Laptop  $1.00 (per hour)  2 hours non-renewable
Link+  none  7 or 21 1 automatic renewal
Lucky Day  none 21 non-renewable
Magazine none 21 2 automatic renewals
Music CD/Vinyl none 21 2 automatic renewals
Tool $1.00-10.00 (per day, see schedule) 3 or 7 (per schedule) 1 renewal*

*Tools do not automatically renew.

Automatic Renewals

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.

Holds

Patrons with full-access cards may place up to 25 holds. Patrons with Easy Access cards may place up to 3 holds.

Replacement Fees

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. If items are not returned within 8 weeks after the due date, and $50.00 or more is owed, accounts are referred to a collection agency. If so, the account will be charged a $10.00 Collection Agency Fee. Full details of the replacement policy are here.

Tool Library

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 independntly 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.

  • Link+ 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. 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.

Circulation Notices

We send courtesy notices by email, phone, and mail. 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)
  • 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.

Mail notifications include:

  • Hold pickup and cancellation
  • Notice of overdue materials (14 days after due date)
  • Item replacement bills
  • Courtesy notices are not available for patrons who choose mail notification.

All replacement bills are mailed to patrons regardless of notification preference.

When email and phone notices are undeliverable after the first attempt to send, a print notice is generated and mailed.

The Library strives to ensure that notices are sent out in a timely manner. Notices are generated and sent daily Monday through Saturday. 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, telephone messages, and notices sent by post; therefore, the Library is not responsible for circulation notices that do not reach patrons in a timely manner. Please make sure that email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses are kept current. 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 this address in your contacts list or address book: notices@library.berkeley-public.org.  Do not send email to this address or reply to email notices you receive from the library.