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Get a Library Card

Rhode Island residents! Visit any of the 9 libraries which make up Community Libraries of Providence to get a library card. It’s free! Be ready to fill out a library card registration form, and bring personal ID with a current address, plus another verification of that address (e.g., car registration, utility bill, lease, checks). And if you've lost your card, come in with $1.00 and get another one!

*NOTE: Library cards expire every three years; just verify your contact information to renew.

After you read the details below, fill out our online registration form or print a form below and bring it to the library!

Full-access Card Policy

A. Full-service cards may be issued free of charge to those individuals meeting one of the following criteria. There is only one full-access card allowed per person:

  1. Individuals whose residence falls within an OSL member community (Requires proof of residency such as driver’s license, state ID card, utility bills, government correspondence).
    1. Part-time or non-permanent residents, such as military personnel, college students or summer home renters. (Temporary renters shall be treated like full-time renters, but the card expiration date should match length of stay.)
    2. Residents of other states who own property (land) in RI and therefore pay property taxes in that community, upon proof of ownership, i.e. current tax bill.
  2. A resident of a neighboring state whose community has a library certified according to their state requirements may purchase a full access card at the current annual fee from an OSL member library that will be good for one year. This card will be for an individual only and must be renewed each year.

* As of January 1, 2013, all cards issued under the "working in Rhode Island" rule to residents of neighboring out-of-state communities who are not OSL members will be switched to local use only.


For Rhode Island residents, you must present: (1) a current photo ID with current address: a driver’s license or state resident ID card (2) and another proof of current address: car registration, utility bill, lease, checks, other acceptable proof.

Children under 14 years of age need to come in with their parent or legal guardian, who will sign the registration form and present ID and proof of address. Young adults can sign up for themselves; they’ll need ID and address verification, too. A report card or letter from school usually provides this.

Other out-of-state residents can buy an Ocean State Libraries membership for $125.00 annually.

Temporary cards are available for visitors and people without a current fixed address. 
Temporary cards are issued for 2 months and limited to a maximum of 2 items; the card can be reissued every month as the user needs to. To get a temporary card, bring a current photo ID plus acceptable verification of the address in RI where the individual is currently residing or staying at night, such as: 

  • Currently dated letterhead or form from a social service agency (such as Crossroads) with the statement that the card applicant may use that address for the purpose of obtaining a library card.
  • Short-term rental agreement or a bill received in the past 30 days.
  • Addresses used only for the receipt of mail cannot be accepted.