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Materials Lending | Getting a Library Card: Getting a Library Card

Getting a Library Card; Borrowing Library Materials

Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some library policies and procedures may have been temporarily changed. 
Please contact the library at 860-695-6300 or if you have questions.


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 to borrow physical materials from our collections. An out-of-town account may not be used to borrow HPL's e-books or to access HPL's online databases. 

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

Hartford residents can apply for a card online. Online applicants will be issued a temporary E-Card, which may be used to access some of the Library's digital media collection. Once your application is processed, it will be sent to you in the mail. A physical card will allow you borrow physical items from the library and access all of our online content. Please note: Only Hartford residents will be issued a valid Hartford Public Library account. 

You can also apply for a card in person at any library branch. Bring in a photo ID and proof of your Hartford address. If your ID has your current address on it, that's all we need. If not, bring in a copy of your lease or mortgage, a recent utility bill, or recent piece of mail showing your name and address. Document must be dated within 30 days.

For youth (between the ages of 0-14) to receive a library card, a parent or guardian must complete 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.

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.


Downtown Library Closed Until Further Notice


12.31.23 - Downtown Library Closed Until Further Notice

Hartford Public Library is continuing to assess extensive water damage that occurred at its Downtown Library at 500 Main St. after a pipe burst over the Christmas weekend. At this time there is no estimate for how long the Downtown Library will be closed, or if the building can be reopened in portions. It is expected that many areas will be closed for an extended period of time. More information will be provided in the coming days and weeks when a full assessment has been completed. All programs, classes and events at the Downtown Library are currently postponed until further notice. ... Read More


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


Hartford Public Library 

Central Branch:  500 Main Street. Hartford, CT 06103 
Phone: 860-695-6300 | Text: 860-530-4376 | Email: | Chat:
For Branch locations and hours, click here