How to Get a Library Card

Who can get a card?

Any resident of Topeka or Shawnee County is eligible to receive a library card.

The library has a reciprocal borrowing agreement with member libraries of the
Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS). Any resident of the other 13 northeast Kansas counties of NEKLS is eligible to receive a library card (Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Nemaha, Osage, Wyandotte).

Non-residents and their immediate family members who pay taxes on real property located within Topeka and Shawnee County (excluding Silver Lake and Rossville townships), are entitled to a library card. A current tax receipt is required for verification for these non-residents.

Other conditions make applicants eligible for a temporary card, at no cost. These include:

  • Students of any educational institution within the TSCPL taxing district.
  • Legislators and their immediate family members.

Non-residents may receive full borrowing privileges for themselves and their immediate family members by purchasing a non-resident card. The annual fee for a non-resident card is $85. Non-residents must make payment for their card(s) at the main library only.

Please contact the Circulation Department with any questions concerning library card eligibility.

How to get a library card

Application for a library card may be made online (below) or at the main library or at any Bookmobile location.

What do I need to bring?

Applicants must show identification indicating current name and address. If the available identification shows the current name, but not the current address, then the borrower will be limited to two print items; and the card will be mailed. After receiving the card in the mail, the applicant will be granted full borrowing privileges. Children, under 18 years of age, must have the signature or indicate the name of a parent(s), guardian(s), or other responsible adult(s) over 18.

Acceptable Forms of Identification
  • Driver’s license
  • Non-driving state identification card
  • Corporate issued ID card
  • Passport
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Armed forces identification
  • Government issued ID with photo (example: prison issued)
  • Mortgage
  • Rental lease
  • Property deed
  • Voter registration card
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Home insurance policy
  • Vehicle insurance policy or card
  • Credit/debit card with photo

(Expired forms, listed above, with photo are accepted.)

Will my card expire?

Borrower accounts are deleted after three years with no use. As long as the account remains in use, the borrower information will remain on file. However, the library does require an annual address check to verify that we have current account information.

What if I lose my card?

If you should lose your library card, please notify the Circulation Department as quickly as possible. By reporting the card as missing we can mark the card as lost to prevent unauthorized use. A replacement card will be issued free of charge.

How to register online?

Register for a library card. Your card must be activated before library materials may be checked out. You must bring ID with current address to the main library or any bookmobile stop within 5 days to receive your library card.


Please call the Circulation Department with any questions about obtaining or using your library card.