Looking for immediate access to the library?
Apply for a temporary account that provides limited access to library resources, like our research databases. This account is valid for only two weeks and does not include Libby/OverDrive, Kanopy or Hoopla. To upgrade to a full library account, visit any library location with a valid photo ID and proof of Colorado residency.
Get a temporary account
Regular Library Account
Residents of the City of Boulder and Boulder County can obtain a regular library account and card for free. This account provides full access to OverDrive ebooks, Kanopy digital movies, Hoopla, and allows placing holds in the physical collection. To receive a regular account, you will need to provide:
- Valid photo identification
- proof of Colorado residency (including your current mailing address)
Accepted documentation includes: driver’s license, postmarked mail addressed to you, car registration in your name or a copy of a current lease. If you are unsure, please call us.
Additional Account types
- Ages 60 and over, apply for a senior account.
- Ages 13-17, show valid photo ID or have a parent or guardian present to apply for a juvenile account.
- Ages 12 and under, a parent or guardian must be present to apply for a juvenile account.
- Educators, apply for educator library account, to use for educational purposes.
- Additional card types information
- Return or renew all materials borrowed on your card by the due date.
- Paying replacement fees for lost or damaged library items. Your account may be referred to a collection agency if materials become five weeks overdue.
- Immediately reporting a lost or stolen card.
- Reporting any changes to your address, phone number or email address to the library.
- Adhering to these responsibilities if you lend your card to someone else.
- Follow the Computer Use and Internet Access Policy when using a library computer.
As a security feature, all library accounts require a PIN. When created, your default PIN is set to the last four digits of the phone number on your library account. If you wish to reset your PIN, you can go to My Account Settings or use Reset My Pin to get a link sent to your email on file. You will use your PIN for authentication when accessing your account on our website and for some of our resources, like Libby.
Let us know if you run into trouble with your PIN and we’ll be happy to help.
Library staff can renew your card over the phone or at any location. Be sure to have your card handy if you call! To change the address on your card, you must present proof of the new address. Phone numbers and email addresses can be changed online or over the phone.
Lost or stolen library cards
If your card is lost or stolen, call 303-441-3100 or come to any location to report it. We require a photo ID to replace library cards.
Regular Library Account
Available to City of Boulder and Boulder County residents with valid photo identification and proof of address. This account is good for five years and allows:
- Check out materials at any of our library locations
- Online access to our streaming & downloadable media (ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, magazines) and databases
- Place holds on materials in our library catalog and through Prospector
This account provides limited access to some library resources and does not include OverDrive. It is valid for only two weeks. All online library card applications begin as temporary accounts. To upgrade your privileges and get your card, bring your photo ID and proof of Colorado residency to any library location.
For those who have a photo ID but no proof of Colorado residency documentation, have a General Delivery address or are temporarily residing at a local shelter. This account is good for three weeks and allows:
- Check out five items at any of our library locations
- Remote access to most of our streaming & downloadable media (ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, magazines) and databases
- Courtesy accounts are not permitted to check out Cultural Passes or B-Cycle fobs
- Courtesy accounts are not permitted to place holds through Prospector
All other borrowing policies apply.
Computer Access Account
Available to anyone with a photo ID (regardless of residency), this account allows for up to 90 minutes of computer use daily. Valid for one year.
Available to those under the age of 18. Ages 12 and under, must have a parent or guardian consent in person or sign their application. Ages 13-17, can show a valid photo ID or have a parent or guardian consent in person or sign their application. Children must be present in order to open an account.
Parents or guardians are responsible for library items and any lost or damaged item charges incurred by children under the age of 18. Juvenile accounts also grant access to the library’s computers and internet. Parents are expected to accompany children in need of supervision on library visits to ensure the safety and well-being of children. At all times, parents or caregivers are responsible for their child’s behavior, safety, and the material/information they access at the library.
Student 1 Account
All students attending a Boulder Valley School District school within Boulder City limits are permitted to check out five items and place five holds using their Student ID number in place of their library card number. These students have access to age-appropriate databases including Brainfuse’s Homework Help Now.
Boulder Valley School District students in Boulder City can check out 5 items and place 5 holds using their Student ID number. They have access to age-appropriate BPL databases, except for a few restricted ones. Students can use their library card with the SORA app for age-appropriate materials, and their Student ID for Overdrive. The following resources are not included in the Student 1 account: Hoopla, BPL’s Libby/Overdrive, Kanopy, Morningstar for Mutual Funds, Valueline for stocks and a few other databases. Students wanting access to these will need to register to get a regular account.
For more information about the Student 1 accounts, click here.
Available to educators working in the Boulder Valley School District, St. Vrain Valley School District, preschools, private schools and home schools in Boulder County. Teachers living in Boulder County are also eligible for this type of account. Please bring proof of employment (i.e. school ID, pay stub, letter from principal,etc.). This account is good for one year and allows:
- Holds on up to 25 books (no media)
- Checkout of up to 50 Boulder Public Library books (no media) for six weeks
- Access to Educator Resources
Most accounts allow the following number of items checked out at any one time. “Your Lucky Day” materials and Investikit are not renewable.
ebooks & audio
Note: the maximum number of items checked out on an account at one time is 99 items
See borrowing exceptions for Courtesy, Senior and Teacher accounts and Books-in-a-Bag kits.
As of March 1, 2019, the Boulder Public Library does not charge overdue fines on our materials or materials borrowed from other libraries in our shared catalog. All checked-out items do still have a due date and must be returned once the checkout period has expired and all renewals have been used.
When an item becomes one month overdue, a billing notice is sent to you stating the replacement fee. If the item is returned within one year, the replacement fee is waived.
Eligible Boulder Public Library items will automatically renew up to three times if there is not another patron waiting for the item with a pending hold. Items from other libraries will automatically renew as well, but follow the owning library’s renewal policy. Check on the renewal status of your items in person, by accessing your account online, or by telephoning 303-441-3100.
You can return any library items belonging to the Flatirons Library Consortium at any of our locations with a few exceptions:
- The Investikit must be returned to the branch where it was checked out from. The Investikit cannot be returned through the bookdrop.
Due Date & Overdue Notification
Knowing when your library items are due is your responsibility. To help you keep track of item due dates, the library sends the following notices:
- Three days advanced courtesy e-mail notice (this notice may include information about Auto-Renewed items).
- First overdue notice is sent after 7 days.
- Second overdue notice is sent after 14 days.
- A bill for material replacement is sent at 21 days.
Be aware that non-receipt of these notices does not release you from your responsibility to return materials on time. It is your responsibility to let us know when your mailing address, telephone number or e-mail address has changed. You must have a valid e-mail address in your library account to receive courtesy notices. If you do not provide us with an e-mail address, the one-week and two-week overdue notices will be provided to you by telephone. The bill for replacement charges (sent after items are three weeks overdue) is always mailed to you. To update your e-mail address, call 303-441-3100 or log on to your account. Library accounts with items that become five weeks overdue may be sent to a collection agency.
Paying Fees & Blocks on Your Card
You may pay any fees for lost or damaged materials at the Main Library, George Reynolds Branch, Meadows Branch, or online in your library account. Please note, we only accept in-person credit card payments at Main Library.
Any fees totaling more than $10.00 will block your borrowing and renewal privileges.
Your borrowing, renewal, and database access privileges are blocked if:
- you have 1 or more overdue library items that have holds, or
- you have 1 or more library items that are 15 days overdue, or
- more than $10.00 in fees owed (see payment information), or
- your account has expired.
Lost and Damaged Items
When library items become three weeks overdue, a billing notice is sent stating the replacement fee. This fee must be paid if the item has been lost. If the Library item is returned, late fees are charged and the replacement fee is waived from your account.
Replacement fee = Library’s cost of the item + $5.00 processing fee
Books in a Bag have a separate replacement fee structure.
The library is UNABLE to accept replacement items in exchange for any lost materials or refund the replacement fee should you locate the material at a later date.
The library charges to replace missing parts or to repair or replace damaged library items. Extreme heat or direct sunlight may harm audio-visual library items. You are responsible for paying replacement charges for any materials that are damaged while checked out on your library account.
The replacement fee for items with damaged or missing parts is $15.00 for items belonging to the library (see exceptions for Books in a Bag). The replacement fee will be waived if all parts are returned, though late fees may still apply. Ask a library staff member for specific replacement fees for damaged library materials.
The library assumes no liability for the use of audio-visual library items, including but not limited to CDs, DVDs, and videos or for the equipment on which these items are played.
If an audio-visual item that you have borrowed malfunctions or has sustained damage from the previous user, please notify a library staff member so it can be repaired or replaced.