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what can you do with a library card?

We have over a MILLION items for checkout. You can check out 25 items at a time and renew up to two times.

Visit our Browse page for resources for Books & More, eCollection, Databases A to Z, and more.

Visit our Learn page for resources on various topics such as Business & Entrepreneurship, Health & Wellness, Job & Career, and more.

So much more! Get started today!

don’t have a card yet?

A Library Card opens the door to our physical and online collections including over a million items in our 18 locations and over 50,000 e-books and e-audiobooks. You can also use it to reserve one of our public access computers.

apply online!

Apply online to receive a Library Card Number that you can use immediately to access our eCollection and public computers. This card number is good for 2 years. Visit any Memphis Public Library with your documentation requirements listed below to check out physical items. (Customers age 13 and up are invited to apply online.)

apply in person

Print the application, also available at the Library, and visit any Memphis Public Library with your documentation requirements to create your account.

Student Library Card Application (English)  /  (Spanish)


Library Cards require periodic confirmation of current address. This can be done in person at any Memphis Public Libraries location; however, due to COVID-19, you may submit your renewal request online. We will automatically extend the account for one year without requiring documentation.

don’t know your pin?

A PIN is required to access certain online services. If you have a library card, a PIN has already been set up for you and should have been provided when your account was created.

Here are some options if you do not know your PIN:

  • You can try the last 4 digits of your Library Card Number.
  • Automated Change PIN Request: You can change your PIN here.  Following this link will take you through the steps of changing your PIN. However, this option will only work if you have a valid email address associated with your account. 
  • Manual Change PIN Request: If you do not have a valid email address associated with your account, you can submit this PIN Request. We will look up and provide your PIN and add your email to your account so that you can use the “Forgot my PIN” option in the future.

Glasses on top of a book next to a smart phone.


Residents and property owners of Memphis, Bartlett and unincorporated Shelby County are entitled to a free card.

Documentation Requirements
Standard library cards require identification showing current address.

Acceptable identification includes valid Tennessee Driver’s License or state ID showing current address.

Or it can include any two of the following, one showing current address:

  • Voter Registration Card
  • Current Utility Bill
  • Printed Check
  • Check Stub
  • Lease, etc.

If 17 or younger, parent or guardian must show acceptable identification and sign the application. To protect customer privacy, and in accordance with the Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 10-8-102, all information related to this account will be given ONLY to the person to whom the card is issued, or in the case of a minor, to the responsible party.

Outside of Service Area
Those who live outside the Memphis Public Library service area, including nearby counties in TN, AR and MS, may pay an annual fee of $50 to obtain a Memphis Public Library library card. Out of Service Area cards must be obtained in person.

Replacement Cards
Replacement Cards are free.

Account Renewals
Library Cards must be renewed every two years for those within our service area.  Those outside of the service area must renew their account each year.  Please visit any Memphis Public Library with the same documentation requirements listed above. (In order to further help our customers and community during these unprecedented times, library cards that were set to expire over the next few months have had their privileges extended. However, if your card has already expired, please submit an online request and we will update it for one year.)