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  • Your Library Card

    Your Santa Monica Public Library card is the gateway to borrowing/requesting library materials, accessing premium research databases, reserving library study rooms, and exploring the World Wide Web on the library's Internet stations. 

  • Getting a Library Card

    California residents may apply for a Santa Monica Public Library card at any of our five locations.

    1. Complete a Library Card Application (versión en español). Applications for children under age 12 must be signed by a parent or legal guardian and both the child and the parent/guardian must be present at the time of application.

    2. Present the required documents (expired or photocopied documents are not acceptable):

     One of the following valid forms of ID: 

    • California ID with current address 
    • Consular card with current address  
    • Middle school or high school photo ID   
    Alternatively, one of the following forms of valid photo ID plus separate proof of current California address:  

    Alternative valid forms of photo ID: 
    • California ID without current address 
    • Out-of-state Photo ID  
    • Government-issued Passport  
    • Government-issued Permanent US Resident Card (Green Card)  
    • Consular card without current address 
    • Military Photo ID  
    • College or university Photo ID 

    Valid proof of current California address:
    • Current auto registration  
    • Proof of current auto insurance  
    • Utility bill issued within the past 90 days 
    • Bank statement issued within the past 90 days  
    • Credit card bill issued within the past 90 days  
    • Rent receipt issued within the past 90 days  
    • A current lease issued within the last year  
    • Valid Voter registration card or pre-printed voter balloting materials   

    3. Enjoy the benefits of your library card.

    Types of Cards

    Category Age  Term Fine Limit Borrowing Limit Details
    Adult 19+ 2 year $5 50 Adult cards in good standing can be used to borrow/request materials, reserve study rooms at the Main Library or the Pico Branch, access library databases, and use Internet stations at any of our five locations for up to two hours daily. 
    Teen 12-18 2 year $5 50 This card is identical to the adult library card, but also offers access to the teen Internet stations and study rooms. Teen cards will automatically convert to adult cards within 30 days of the teen's 19th birthday.
    Juvenile 0-11 2 year $5 50 Children under 12 are eligible for a juvenile library card which also allows them to use the child Internet stations and study rooms. Completed Library Card Applications for children must be signed by a parent or legal guardian and both the child and the parent/guardian must be present at the time of application. Parents are asked to familiarize themselves with the Library Information for Parents Handout (version en español) which reviews issues concerning privacy and the child’s account. 

    Renewing Your Library Card

    Library cards are renewed biannually to ensure that the contact information on file is accurate and current. You will need to present a valid photo ID and proof of current address at one of our five locations.

    Members with outstanding fines or fees on their account are required to pay the balance in full in order to renew their library privileges.

    Who May Use Your Library Card

    Any person who has your card may use it to check out items from the library. Keep your card safe and be aware that you are responsible for everything that is checked out on your account. 

    Cards cannot be borrowed or shared amongst users for the purpose of using Internet stations.  

    Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Cards

    Notify the library by phone or in person as soon as you notice your card has been lost or stolen so that we can block your card from being used. Members are responsible for items checked out before the card has been reported lost or stolen. Replacements for lost cards are subject to a fee.

    Replacement Card Fees

    (Adult)Library Card One free replacement, then $2 per incident
    Teen Library Card One free replacement, then $2 per incident
    Juvenile Library Card Two free replacements, then $1 per incident

    NOTE: Stolen cards will be replaced at no charge when the member presents a valid police theft report documenting the event. Cards that are damaged or worn to the point that they can no longer be read will also be replaced at no charge.

    Privacy of Patron Records

    In keeping with the American Library Association's Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information About Library Users and State of California Government Code Section 6267, Santa Monica Public Library staff will not respond to any informal request by a third party for personally identifiable information about any library user.

    Personally identifiable information may be released only to a law enforcement agency after presentation of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction issued in proper form (a court issued subpoena or search warrant) and/or under the provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Under some circumstances librarians may be forbidden to disclose that certain records have been requested or obtained. 

    Except in cases of lost/stolen items or substantial unpaid fines, where we may use a collection agency, credit bureau, or law enforcement, client records will never be shared with private companies. 

    Library staff will collect only the information needed to contact library users, such as mailing address, email address, phone number, etc., in order to ensure the proper notification, lending, and return of library materials and the collection of fines. Records will be retained for the shortest length of time necessary to facilitate library operations. 

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