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Using the Library: getting your Library CardOpen the door to a world of information and enjoyment. Your Tacoma Public Library Card gives you borrowing privileges at the downtown Main Library and at all neighborhood libraries throughout Tacoma. Your library card provides remote access to  full-text articles from hundreds of magazines, newspapers and journals; business resources; homework assistance; unique local history resources and lots more.

You can get a Library card at any Tacoma Public Library location and, in most instances, check out Library materials immediately. For your convenience, you can also apply online for a Library card.   

Tacoma Public Library Cards are available free to:

  • All persons residing within the city limits of Tacoma
  • All property owners or residents living in unincorporated Pierce County or residents of a military base within Pierce County.
  • Residents of cities or towns annexed to, or contracting with, Pierce County Library System (Go here for more details on the pilot reciprocal agreement between the Tacoma Public Library and Pierce County Library).
  • Persons showing evidence of paying property tax to the City of Tacoma. A current Property Tax Statement is required.
  • Businesses with an Annual Business License from the City of Tacoma. A Business and Occupation Tax License due the current year from the City of Tacoma is required to apply for or renew this card. 
  • Students and full-time employees of Tacoma School District #10 who live outside the city of Tacoma. This card has a check out limit of 25 items. No movies (DVD or videocassette) may be checked out on this card. Enrollment / employment will be verified with the school district.
  • Employees of the City of Tacoma (employee must provide current payroll statement). Employees of the Tacoma /Pierce County Health Department and the Metropolitan Parks District are not included.
  • Most (but not all) King County Library District cardholders. Please call Telephone Reference at (253) 292-2001 for additional information.
  • Persons living in a temporary residence or transitional housing (for example: persons residing in a mission or in rehabilitation). This card is active for three months only. The card must be mailed to the cardholder to verify the address. This card has a loan limit of three items at any time.

Tacoma Public Library Cards are available for a fee to anyone not included in the above.

  • Persons not incuded in the above ( this includes residents of the cities of Fircrest, Roy, Carbonado, and Ruston) are required to pay a non-resident fee that represents the per-capita expenditure of the City of Tacoma for library services to city residents. This fee is adjusted annually. Please ask at the check-out desk for current information, or contact our Telephone Reference at (253) 292-2001.

Some municipalities adjacent to Tacoma rebate all or part of the cost of a Tacoma Public Library card to their residents. Please check with your local municipal office to see if they participate in this program.

Tacoma Public Library cards for children.

  • Children under the age of 14 must have either a parent or legal guardian sign for the child's card. The parent or legal guardian must present their current photo identification (see below).
  • Persons ages 14 - 17 who have current acceptable photo identification (see below) may obtain a Limited Tacoma Public Library card without a signer.

To apply For a Tacoma Public Library Card you need to have acceptable identification.

Before a Tacoma Public Library card can be issued to anyone, acceptable current photo identification with birth date and proof of residency must be provided. The following types of identification are acceptable:

  • A current state, international or foreign driver's license with photograph
  • Current State Identification Card from the Department of Licensing
  • State Learner's Permit issued by Department of Licensing
  • Passport (USA or foreign)
  • Passport Card (U.S)
  • U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Identification Card
  • U.S Military identification
  • Mexican Consular Identification Card (Matricula Consular)

Materials that verify current local residency:

  • Current acceptable photo identification (see above)
  • Pre-printed personal checks from applicant's bank
  • A utility bill (paper or electronic form) from the current month in the patron's name

Persons who have acceptable personal identification, but who are unable to provide verification of current residency, may have the library card mailed to them to verify residency. However, no library materials can be checked out until the Tacoma Public Library card is received.


Last Updated 07.08.2013
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Tacoma Public Library · 1102 Tacoma Ave. South · Tacoma, Washington 98402 · 253.292.2001
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