Become A Member
Adult Residents of Albany
Adult Resident Card
With an Adult Card, you can check out up to 200 items at a time and access our public computers, our downloadable books and magazines, and our research databases. If you apply online, you must bring proof that you live/pay property taxes in Albany or Rensselaer County when you pick up your card.
Adults may provide only one piece of identification if it is one of the following valid government issues IDs with an Albany or Rensselaer Country address:
- Current driver’s license
- Current photo learner’s permit
- Current non-driver’s identification
If the above documentation is not available, any 2 of the following forms of identification are acceptable, provided one item shows a photo and name and/or signature and the other item shows the applicant’s current address*^:
- Current passport
- New York State Benefit card
- Current college or university photo ID card
- Current employee photo ID card
- Current Armed Services ID card
- Alien Registration photo ID card
- Professional, vocational, or union photo ID
- Medicare/Medicaid card
- Birth certificate
- New York State motor vehicle registration
- New York State motor vehicle insurance card
- Current rent bill or lease agreement
- Check or checkbook
- Tax bill or receipt**
- Statement from a shelter or rehabilitation center**
- Bank statement**
- Cable, phone, or utility bill**
- Any piece of mail delivered by the US Post Office**
*Note: PO Boxes are not accepted as mailing addresses. Proof of residence is required.
^Note: Electronic versions of bills, bank statements, etc., are acceptable (i.e. on a smartphone).
**Note: Any of these must be dated within the last 3 months, as indicated by the postmark or date of printed e-bill.
Online Access Only (eCards)
Adult residents of the city of Albany may also apply online or in person at any of our seven neighborhood branches for our new eCard, a card that grants you access to just our digital content and our public computers. The benefits of an eCard include no late fees and no checkout lines–just quality content you can access remotely or via Wi-Fi at any Albany Public Library branch.
With an eCard, you have access to:
- digital audiobooks
- digital magazines
- streaming video
- research databases
- public computers
Please note that the eCard is valid only at APL locations. If you apply online, we will mail your eCard to your street address. If you already have an Albany Public Library card, you do not need an eCard. Your current card number can be used for all our digital content.
Youth Residents of Albany
Youth Resident Card
With a Youth Card, you can check out up to 200 items at a time (some restrictions apply) and access our public computers, our downloadable books and magazines, and our research databases. Albany Public Library Youth Cards are able to be used at any neighborhood branch and any public library in Albany or Rensselaer County. Youth cards accrue Fines and Fees just like Adult Resident Cards.
What is required to get a Youth Card:
Any youth under the age of sixteen must have a parent/legal guardian present to get a Youth Card. The parent/legal guardian must provide his or her own photo ID and address verification (just like applying for the Adult Resident Card). If the parent/legal guardian already has a library card, then that card must be in good standing.
Youths 16-17 years of age:
Any youth ages 16-17 may get a library card without a parent present if they provide their own photo identification and valid street address verification. Business mail is still required, but may be in the parent’s name. Youths 16-17 years of age must provide a parent/legal guardian’s signature on the borrower application.
MyCard gives the children of Albany access to books, computers and services at Albany Public Library—all on their own! No parent or guardian signature is required. MyCard holders may borrow up to 3 items at a time and access our public computers, our downloadable books and magazines, and our research databases. There are no late fees if items get returned after their due dates, but there will be replacement fees for any lost items.
MyCards are for kids and teens (under age 18) in the city of Albany. MyCard is valid only at Albany Public Library locations. If a child already has an Albany Public Library card, they can choose to keep it, or replace it with the new MyCard.
Persons living outside Albany or Rensselaer counties may register for a non-resident library card for a fee of $50.00 per year. Non-resident cards must be registered for in person at one of our neighborhood branches. This non-refundable fee must be paid in full at registration. College students residing in Albany and Rensselaer counties are exempt from this fee, but will need to re-register for their card annually. Non-resident cardholders may borrow up to 200 items at a time and access our public computers, our downloadable books and magazines, and our research databases.
Temporary residents of the City of Albany may apply for a temporary library card by providing a signed letter on agency letterhead from their sponsoring agency verifying that they are currently residing at that address. Temporary cards must be registered for in person at one of our neighborhood branches. Temporary cards expire every 30 days and need to be renewed with current proof of address. With a Temporary Card, you can check out up to 3 items at a time and access our public computers, our downloadable books and magazines, and our research databases.
Library Card Ownership & Replacement
Replacement library cards are $1.00, payable upon issue of the replacement card. Photo identification is required for card replacement. Library cards may only be used by the individual who registered for the card and library membership may not be transferred to any other users.
Please see Cardholder Rights & Responsibilities for complete membership details and regulations.