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Library Cards

Check-out desk at the Barkley Branch

Library cards are free of charge. With your library card you can:

How do I get a library card?

Apply for a temporary library card online here

Or get a full-access library card at any Bellingham Public Library location

You may print out the application to fill out and bring to the library.

Whatcom County Library System cards are valid at all Bellingham Public Library locations. Bellingham Public Library Cards are valid at any branch of the Whatcom County Library System. (Exception: remote access to subscription databases is limited to resources available at the library system that issued the card).

All borrowers are responsible for materials checked out on their cards. If a card is lost or stolen please call 360-778-7323 to report it to a staff person.

There is a $1 fee to replace a Bellingham Public Library card.

With your Bellingham Public Library card, you may be eligible to apply for a library card at any academic library in Whatcom County.  See Whatcom Libraries Cooperate - Library One Card for more information.

Youth cards:

Youth may get a library card beginning at birth.  A parent's or legal guardian's signature is required for applicants under 18. Address verification of the parent/guardian is necessary for a child to obtain a library card.  Examples of verification are:

The parent/guardian assumes responsibility for materials borrowed on the card. Young people are welcome to use the library's entire collection, subject only to the parent's guidance.

Nonresident borrowers:

Persons not eligible for library card may purchase a card by paying a fee of $52.00 per year. A reduced rate of $26.00 per year is available for senior citizens, ages 65 and older. The nonresident fee is adjusted each January to reflect the actual per capita cost of library service for residents. Payments are not accepted for less than a year and there is no rebate for any unused portion of the time. (See also section on "Visitor".) Nonresident borrowers and their immediate families residing at the same address are entitled to use the card for their personal use. The nonresident library card will automatically expire in one year.


A person living outside Whatcom County, wishing to use the library for a short term period may have limited borrowing privileges upon paying a fee of $5.00 per month.

Agency cards:

 An organization or agency may acquire a special library card under the current rules and regulations in effect for individuals.

a. The individual who is legally authorized to enter into contractual obligations for that agency will sign and be responsible for use of the card.

b. The card must be presented at the time of each loan, and the Library will assume the card-holder is authorized by the agency to borrow materials. No items will be loaned without presenting the card.

c. A maximum of two cards will be allowed per agency.

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