How to Get a Library Card

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If you want to borrow books, music, movies, or other materials from the Memphis Public Library, you are going to need a library card. Getting the card is easy. Here's how:

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Usually less than 10 minutes

Here's How

  1. Determine residency eligibility. Free library cards are available to residents and property owners in Memphis, Bartlett, and unincorporated Shelby County. People living outside these areas may obtain a library card for $50 annually.
  2. Determine age eligibility. While people of all ages are eligible to receive a library card, anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent at the time of application. The parent will be required to sign the minor's application and to provide identification.
  3. Collect proof of identity and residency. You will be required to present identification showing your current address. Acceptable proof is a valid Tennessee driver's license or ID card or two of the following: current check stub, current utility bill, lease or mortgage statement, or pre-printed check.
  4. Fill out an application. The library card application form may be obtained online or at any public library.
  5. Submit the application and other required documents in person at any library.


  1. The Memphis Public Library offers a keychain library card. This miniature card slips right onto your keyring, like the loyalty cards issued by many stores.
  2. If you lose your library card, you can get a replacement for $1 at any library.
  3. In addition to books, your library card also entitles you to check out videos, DVDs, books on tape, and music CDs, though there is a fee to check out some items.

What You Need

  • Library card application
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residency

Guide to Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library is the main library in the Memphis Public Library system. It's not the only place to get a library card; A card can be obtained at any branch of the system. But the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library does provide a great introduction to the whole system and is centrally located in the city along Poplar Avenue between its intersection with Walnut Grove Road and Highland Street.

Teens will especially enjoy the Cloud901, the teen library center that opened in the fall of 2015. The center is filled with technology, gaming, video and sound production and much more. It's a great place for teens to learn in a 21st century kind of way and is the future of what libraries will become.

Don't forget that the public library can be a great place to catch up on the latest TV show craze without getting a subscription service; many videos are available to check out.

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