Library Card Policy

The Anne Arundel County Public Library is dedicated to the free access to the universe of information for all the people it serves.

A library card opens the door to all the services the Library offers to enrich, educate, and inspire a life expanded.


  1. Eligibility. Free library cards are offered to:
    1. All full- and part-year residents of Maryland
    2. Anyone employed by a Maryland-based organization or business
    3. Students of any Maryland university, college, school, or learning institution
    4. All federal employees working in Maryland
    5. All military service members on active duty in Maryland and their families
  2. Application. To obtain a library card, a person submits a library card application, either online or in person, and establishes identity and residential address.
    1. To establish identity, a person may present any one of the following credentials. The credential must be current (unexpired) and have a permanently affixed photograph of the person.
      1. U.S. or foreign state driver’s license
      2. Government- or employer-issued identification card
      3. Student identification card
      4. Passport or consular identification card
    2. To establish residential address, a person may present any one of the following items (electronic versions are acceptable):
      1. An identity credential showing a residential address
      2. Current lease or rental agreement
      3. Voter registration
      4. Utility, telephone, credit card, or bank statement
      5. Vehicle registration card or title
      6. Pay stub issued within the past 30 days
      7. First-class mail postmarked within the past 30 days
    3. Branch Managers and Circulation Supervisors have the discretion to accept alternate forms of identity and residential address verification from persons who are unable to present valid credentials due to hardship or other circumstances. Branch Managers may delegate this authority.
  3. Types of Library Cards. Library cards are issued with varying borrowing privileges, conditions, and expiration dates based on liability for fines and fees.
    1. Patron Cards
      1. May borrow any circulating item and access all electronic resources.
      2. Issued to all persons
      3. Card holder is responsible for all fines and fees. If the card holder is a minor, the card holder’s parent or adult guardian is responsible for all fines and fees.
      4. Expire after 24 months of inactivity.
    2. Limited DVD Cards
      1. May borrow access all electronic resources any circulating item except for DVDs rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of American and “TV-MA” by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board.
      2. Issued to persons who are less than 17 years of age upon request of the parent or guardian
      3. Limited DVD Cards are converted automatically to Patron Cards when the person reaches 17 years of age
      4. Expire after 24 months of inactivity.
    3. Virtual Cards
      1. May borrow and access electronic resources only.
      2. Fines and fees do not accrue to Virtual Cards.
      3. Cards expire and will be removed from the database after 60 days, if they are not converted to a Patron or Limited DVD Card.
    4. Educator Cards
      1. May borrow circulating items for extended periods and access electronic resources to support curriculum needs.
      2. Issued to educators teaching in Anne Arundel County.
      3. Card holder is responsible for all lost or damaged items.
      4. Additional credential requirements, conditions, and expiration date are set in the Educator’s Library Card Policy
    5. Student Access to Improved Learning Cards (SAIL Cards)
      1. Available to students of educational institutions who have entered into a partnership with the Library to support student success through access to library resources. This partnership must be formalized by a letter of agreement between the educational institution’s chief administrator and the Library Chief Executive Officer.
      2. May access all electronic resources and borrow up to three circulating items, except for entertainment DVDs, 7-day Express items, eReaders, Playaway Views, Playaway Launch Pads, Londontown and Garden Family Passes, and  Interlibrary Loan items.
      3. Fines and fees do not accrue, but borrowing privileges may be suspended if borrowed items become lost.
      4. Expire  annually unless renewed per the terms of the controlling letter of agreement.