Free library cards are available to all residents or property owners in the City of Spokane or in the Spokane County Library District service area.
Renewing your card
Library cards must be renewed on your birthday, and all outstanding fines and fees must be paid in full at that time. You can easily renew your card online. If you run into any trouble renewing online, visit a library branch location or call Customer Service at 509-444-5300 during regular business hours.
If you lose your card, please call us immediately at 509-444-5300 to avoid additional liability. There is no card replacement fee.
How to apply for a library card
Visit any Branch Location to apply for a card or apply online
Ask at the circulation desk for a library card application. You will need picture identification: current Washington State ID, current Washington state driver’s license, automobile registration, printed checks, or utility bill (dated within the past 30 days). You can also apply for a card online if you don’t have a card. We will create a new card for you at the location you choose for pick up. Be sure to bring picture identification when you come to pick up the card because you will not be able to check out items until your card is verified.
If you already have a library card but it is not working please call us at 509.444.5300.
Spokane Public library will keep all records relating to your library registration confidential.
Suspended library privileges
Library privileges (borrowing, Internet use, etc.) are suspended if you owe $50.00 or more in outstanding charges or if you fail to pay for or return billed items.
The library offers a wide variety of services to non-residents. All in-library services and collections, telephone and in-library reference and information services, and all library programs are provided at no cost.
Through a reciprocal agreement with the Spokane County Library District (SCLD) residents of their service area may obtain a free non-resident Spokane Public Library card, and City of Spokane residents may obtain a free SCLD card. Remote subscription database access and interlibrary loans are not included with free reciprocal cards.
Other non-residents, including those outside the county, can purchase a card for $42 per year or $3.50 per month (per card). In addition to all in-library services, this fee includes full borrowing privileges, in-library internet access, and remote access to subscription databases. It does not include interlibrary loan. See our Fees & Services to Non-Residents Policy for more information.
Library card eligibility
Personal Identification Number
Sign up for a PIN when you get your library card. This unique, 4-digit number of your choosing allows you to:
- Check the status of your account
- Renew any items which are eligible for renewal
- Place holds on library materials
- Use Internet stations in any library branch
Placing holds on material
- You may place a hold on up to 80 items at a time; and 20 RBDigital and OverDrive titles.
- Magazines and reference materials may not be put on hold.
- The best way to place a hold is online. Find what you want in the catalog and click on Request Item. Enter your library card number with no spaces and your PIN. Choose your pickup location. Click Request. For a list of your holds, go to My Account, then Holds. You may also call the library to place a hold.
- Items are not available immediately when you place a hold on them, even if the item is not already checked out. You will be notified by email when your hold becomes available. It will be held for 5 days from the day that notification is sent out.
|High Demand Items
When an item reaches 20 holds, it will automatically switch from
a 3-week checkout period to a 1-week checkout period
|Books, Audiobooks on CD/Tape, Music CDs, Pamphlets,
Magazines, VHS, and Downloadable Audiobooks
|All DVDs||1 week|
|Physical Items: Books, Magazines, CDs, DVDs||500 items|
|Library of Things||2 items|
|RBDigital eBooks and Audiobooks||20 titles|
|Overdrive/Libby eBooks||20 titles|
|Freegal music||5 songs/2 videos per week|
|Kanopy streaming films||8 films per month|
|hoopla streaming media||10 titles per month|
You may renew most items three times if there are no outstanding requests for the item. Interlibrary loan items are not renewable. You may renew an item online with your library card and PIN or call 509.444.5300 to access our automated phone renewal system (make sure you have your card number and PIN ready). Library materials may be returned at any Spokane Public Library branch.
Your first overdue notice will only remind you what items you have kept overdue.
Your second notice will show the items plus the replacement costs and processing fees for them if not returned.
Once the item has been returned the replacement cost and processing fee will be removed from your account.
Fines & lost items
No Late Fines
As of August 2019, the Spokane Public Library no longer charges fines for items returned late.
Lost, unreturned or damaged items
Items that are overdue by 14 days or more will be considered lost and you will be billed for the replacement cost and a processing fee. Your account will be blocked if it exceeds a balance owing $50 or more. If the balance is below $50 the account retains full privileges. If you return the items, the fee will be cleared from your account. Accounts will be referred to the library’s collections agency 21 days past the last billing notice if the total bill for the account is more than $75.
If lost items are returned after you have been referred to the collection agency, you will not have to pay the bill on those items but will be charged a non-refundable collection agency processing fee.
If the item is found within 90 days of payment you are eligible for a refund of the item cost (the processing fee is non-refundable as it covers staff time and materials). If the item is found after 90 days of payment it is yours to keep.
If your account is referred to a collection agency, you receive notices directly from the agency. The charges may be paid at any Spokane Public Library. See our Uncollectible Patron Accounts Policy.
Damaged or incomplete items
You will be assessed charges for any library material you return with damages. Individual assessment is made for each item at the time of return and your account is charged repair or replacement costs depending upon the extent of the damage.
Materials with multiple parts or in cases must be returned complete. Charges will be waived if the missing part or case is returned promptly.