Library Card Information

A library card is FREE for all Delaware residents or people who own property in Delaware. (People who work in Wilmington, but live out-of-state, may also get a FREE library card at the Wilmington Public Library. You must be able to show proof of your employment.) In some limited, special circumstances, the fee for a non-resident may be waived. (For more information on non-resident cards, please see below.)


1.) Go to any public library in Delaware to get a library card application.
(Your card is good at all of the public libraries in Delaware – we have a shared library catalog and patron database.)

2.) Fill out a Library Card Application and turn it into your local library.
**Must be 18 or older for an adult card.
**Anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian come in with them to fill out the forms and show proper identification. The parent or guardian is responsible for all activities and fines/fees on the card.

3.) Show an acceptable form of Photo ID:
The library must have current, accurate contact information for all library patrons. Required ID is an official photo ID with the correct address (see list below).

  • Current Delaware Driver’s License
  • Current Delaware State ID

OR – You may bring in one form of current photo ID and one form of address verification.

  • Out of State Driver’s License
  • State ID from another state
  • Passport
  • Active Military ID
  • International License


  • Bill dated within 60 days (electric, cable, phone, trash, water, sewer, mortgage, bank statement.)
  • Checks imprinted with address
  • Car registration
  • If you are currently living in a shelter, you will need to bring letter from the shelter.
  • Lease
  • Pay stub with address
  • Voter registration

To encourage responsible use of the library, timely return of library materials, and payment of library fines and fees, the Wilmington Libraries will issue a card to new borrowers with restricted parameters for checking out materials and requesting materials for a period of SIX MONTHS from date of issue. This will enable the new borrower to develop good library habits and learn the policies and procedures of being a responsible library patron. New Borrower’s Cards will be issued to adults, minors, residents and non-residents.

The patron who checks out library materials is responsible for the return of those materials on time as well as for any cost associated with the damage or loss of library materials. Restricting the amount of materials that may be borrowed at one time will help new library patrons to develop good habits including timely return of materials and prompt payment of any costs associate with their library account.

The borrowing parameters for a New Borrower’s Card are:

  • Limit of 12 items CHECKED OUT AT ANY ONE TIME
    • Only 3 of those 12 may be DVDs
    • Only 3 of those 12 items may be books on cassette or CD
    • Only 3 of those 12 items may be music CDs
    • Only 3 of those 12 items may be VHS
    • Only 1 of those 12 items may be an MP3 Playaway or Walk-In Collection item
    • You may have 7 eBook/eAudio/eVideo checkouts in addition to your 12 physical items.
  • A limit of 5 items on hold request
  • After 6 months, your card will be changed to a permanent card if  you meet the following conditions:  Have zero balance of fines and no items overdue, lost, or claimed returned.  When your card is changed to permanent, you will be permitted to borrow up to 99 items, 10 of which can be DVDs.  You will need to show your current state ID or Driver’s license at the time we switch your card over to permanent.

If you are currently living in transitional housing, you can get a free Wilmington Public Library Card. You will need to provide a letter from your transitional housing’s administration. These cards will need to be renewed with a letter every 90 days.

  • Limit of 2 items checked out at any one time.
  • Limit of 2 items on hold request.
  • No AV-materials may be checked out.

The Transitional Library can be renewed if the card is in good standing with no fines due and no currently lost items and proof of the temporary address is provided.

Library cards are free for anyone living in Delaware. Non-residents of Delaware can obtain a Wilmington Public Library card for a fee of $40.00 per year.

The Wilmington Public Library also offers a $10.00 – 30 day card. This temporary card has the following limitations:

  • Checkouts are limited to TWO items at a time.
  • Due date for all items is ONE WEEK.
  • Any fines incurred will block computer use and any further checkouts.
  • NO HOLDS may be placed on items.

All borrowers are responsible for:

  • Material charged to their card
  • Presenting a library card each time material is borrowed
  • Reporting a lost or stolen card immediately to the library. The borrower is responsible for any item charged to their card until the loss is reported to the library. Do not lend your card to others.
  • If you provide your library card and PIN number to others so that they can use the internet, it can cause you to lose internet privileges. Only the card holder may use the card to use a public computer.
  • Informing the library of a change of address, phone number, or e-mail immediately.
  • Paying all charges for overdue, lost, or damaged materials.
  • Providing photo identification when requesting their PIN.
  • Observing all library policies.

Parents or guardians are responsible for materials, fines, and fees charged to their child’s library card while the child is a minor in perpetuity.

  • Permanent Borrowers can check out up to 99 items.
  • 10 of those items may be DVDs
  • 10 of those items may be VHS
  • 5 of those items may be CDs
  • Borrowers will be required to renew their library card, in person, once a year. (See below for more details.)
  • You must be 18 to get an adult library card. Everyone under 18 will need a parent or guardian with them to get a library card.
  • Anyone under 18 will not be able to check out audio-visual materials, e.i., DVDs, CDs, Books on tape.
  • Fines over $5.01 will prohibit one from placing a hold, renewing items, using the Internet, or check out new items.
  • Lost cards cost $2.00 to replace.
  • Cards not used for over three years, if there are no fines on it may be purged from the system.
  • List of Fines and Fees.

  • Library cards need to be renewed every year. For security and accuracy, all library card renewals must be done in person.
  • After the initial 6 months “NEW BORROWER CARD,” time period expires, the library card will need to be renewed once every year from the date it was last renewed.
  • Please bring in proof of current address: Driver’s License or State ID. If you do not have either of these, please see the list of acceptable Photo ID required for new library cards above.
  • ALL fines and fees will need to be resolved at time of renewal.

  • Replacement cards cost $2.00 each
  • If you lose or have your card stolen, please report it immediately. (302) 571-7400.

If you moved please notify the library as soon as possible. (302) 571-7400. Your Card will work in all Delaware Libraries.
*** All information you provide to get a library card will be used by library staff for internal purposes only.