Your Library Account

Get a temporary online library account

A regular library account and card is available for free to City of Boulder and Boulder County residents. You can open a library account at any library location or apply online.

  • Valid photo identification and proof of Colorado residency (including current mailing address) is required to register. If you applied online, bring your photo ID and proof of Colorado residency when you come in to unlock your full borrowing potential.
  • 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.
  • Live outside of City of Boulder or Boulder County?

Documentation may include: 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.

Learn more about fines and charges.

Cardholder responsibilities are:

  • Returning all materials borrowed on your card by the due date or paying late fees.
  • Paying replacement fees for library items lost or damaged in your care. 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.

Account Renewal

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:

Live outside of the City of Boulder or County?

You may get a free limited-use library card. However, some materials and services (Hoopla & Inter-Library Loans) are available only to Boulder County residents.

Temporary Online Account

This account provides limited at home 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.

Courtesy Account

For those who have a photo ID but no proof 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 checkout Cultural Passes or B-Cycle fobs
  • Courtesy accounts are not permitted to place holds through Prospector

All other borrowing policies apply.

Juvenile’s Account

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 also have access to age-appropriate BPL databases including Brainfuse’s Homework Help Now. The following databases are not available to Student 1 accounts: Hoopla, the full catalog on Libby/Overdrive, Kanopy, Morningstar for Mutual Funds, Valueline for stocks and a few other databases that have “set limits” that are used for adults. Students would need to create a regular access card if they are interested in using these resources. However, they can use their library card with Overdrive using the SORA app. The SORA app specifically displays only age-appropriate content, not the full catalog of BPL materials. The Student selects BVSD, inputs their student ID number in the SORA app, and then has access to the library’s Overdrive subscription. 

For more information about the Student 1 accounts, click here.

Computer Access Account

Available to anyone with a photo ID (regardless of residency), this account allows for up to four hours of computers use daily. Valid for one year.

Educator Account

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 15 books (no media)
  • Checkout of up to 50 Boulder Public Library books (no media) for six weeks
  • Access to Educator Resources

Educator accounts are exempt from late fees on Boulder Public Library books. However, lost or damaged item charges and collection agency fees still apply.

Most accounts allow the following number of items checked out at any one time. “Your Lucky Day” materials and Investikit are not renewable.

Material Type Limit Loan Period Renewal
Books 99 3 weeks Yes
Audio Books 15 3 weeks Yes
Music CDs 10 3 weeks Yes
DVDs 10 1 week Yes
Magazines 10 1 week No
ebooks & audio
4 2 weeks No
Books-in-a-Bag 1 6 weeks No
Investikit 1 3 weeks No

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.

Late Fees

As of March 1, 2019, the Boulder Public Library does not charge overdue fines on our materials or materials borrowed from other libraries in the Flatirons Library Consortium. 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.

Returning Items
You can return any library items belonging to the Flatirons Library Consortium at the 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 in order 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 with cash, personal check or credit card at any library location. Note that 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 by the previous user, please notify a library staff member so it can be repaired or replaced.