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HPL Materials Lending Policy: Getting a Library Card

Getting a Library Card; Borrowing Library Materials

Getting a Library Card

How much does a library card cost?

A new Hartford Public Library card is FREE!
The cost of replacing a lost library card is $1.00 for adults and $.50 for children.

Who is eligible for a Hartford Public Library (HPL) card?

Current Hartford residents of any age, those who pay property taxes in Hartford, Hartford organizations, and out-of-state residents who work or study in Hartford are all eligible for an HPL card. See requirements below.

UConn students, staff, or faculty living in Hartford are encouraged to get a full-service Hartford Public Library card. Those living outside of Hartford can register their UConn ID to borrow print books and physical media, and to access public computers. Access to HPL's online databases and e-book collections require a full-service HPL card. 

Can I have a Hartford Public Library card if I live in another city or town in Connecticut?

In accordance with State of Connecticut residence and reciprocity regulations, if you live in Connecticut your hometown library card be used in any public library in the State. We will honor the expiration date of the issuing library if it is known. When an out-of-town card is used for the first time, you will be asked to provide photo identification and fill out an application. Your card will then be valid at Hartford Public Library.

What do I need to get a Hartford Public Library card?

Adult and Youth library card applications are available at any library branch. You can also apply for a card online. Online applicants will be issued a temporary E-Card, which you can use to access the Library's online resources. To receive a full-service card, please visit the library with the documents described below.

Adult applicants who live in Hartford must provide a photo ID and proof that you live or pay property taxes in Hartford. Acceptable IDs include:

  • CT Driver’s License
  • Connecticut State ID
  • Hartford Municipal ID card

If the above IDs are not available, or do not include a current address, you may provide two of the following forms of ID. One must be a photo ID and the other must include your current address:

  • Valid passport
  • School ID with photo
  • Employee ID with photo
  • Green Card
  • Current month utility bill
  • Mail postmarked within the past 30 days
  • Printed personal check
  • Lease or rent receipt (within past 60 days)
  • Tax bill or receipt
  • Valid car registration or car insurance
  • Dated and signed letter from your case manager stating you are staying at a homeless shelter

*If none of the above documents are available, HPL can mail you a postcard, which you can bring back to the library as proof of residency.

Adults who work in Hartford must bring a photo ID and another form of ID that confirms their Hartford employment. This could include a pay stub, or employer-issued ID.


For youth (between the ages of 0-14) to receive a library card, a parent or guardian must sign the application form attesting to the validity of the information and accepting responsibility for materials borrowed and materials lost or damaged.



How long is an HPL card valid?

Cards issued to Hartford residents can be renewed after three years. A photo ID and proof of Hartford residency are required to renew. Out of state residents can renew their card (with appropriate documentation) after one year.

Can I have more than one HPL card?

No. Only one card will be issued per person. Multiple cards to access services at the Library are not necessary.


If you are unable to provide photo ID or verify address, the Library will issue an E-Card, which provides access to the Internet and the Library’s online resources. E-Cards are issued at all Library locations or via the online application. E-cards cannot be used to borrow books or other materials. E-Cards must be renewed every two years.

What if I my card is lost or stolen?

Contact the library as soon as possible. You will be held responsible for any items borrowed and any fees charged against your card until it is reported stolen. Please report lost cards by phone or in person as soon as possible to avoid fraudulent use of your card.

The cost of replacing a library card is $1.00 for adults and $.50 for children.

What should I do if I move or if my name changes?

It is your responsibility to report changes of name and address. Please call or visit the Library to update your records.

How will the Library communicate with me about my account and events and programs at the Library?

Hartford Public Library provides a notification service for held items, overdue materials and other service-specific reasons. Notices are available via text or e-mail, whichever you choose when you apply for a card. It is the responsibility of the borrower to notify the Library if any contact information changes.

Note: If you receive notices by e-mail, please make sure that e-mails sent from are allowed through any filters you may have in place on your computer. If you do not receive a notice, you are still responsible for fees or fines associated with any outstanding borrowed items.

You may also receive notices from the Library occasionally about events and programs. You can choose not to receive this material if you prefer.


What Can I Do With my Library Card?

What can I do with my Library Card?

A Hartford Public Library card is an important tool. With your library card you will be able to:

  • Borrow books, audio-books, CDs, videos and DVDs
  • Borrow passes for museums and Hartford Stage productions
  • Quick and easy access to the library’s public computers
  • Borrow sewing machines, cake pans, fishing poles, and other “things”
  • Gain full access to the Library’s e-Resources and other web services
  • Renew items and check the status of your library account online
  • Place holds on items that are currently checked out
  • Gain access to the collections and services of every public library in Connecticut
  • Stream music, download ebooks and audiobooks
  • Take classes online