Free library cards are available to all residents or property owners in the City of Spokane or in the Spokane County Library District service area.

Your card can be used to borrow materials at all Spokane Public Library branches. Borrowed material may be returned to any branch.

Renewing your card

Library cards must be renewed on your birthday, and all outstanding fines and fees must be paid in full at that time. You can easily renew your card online. If you run into any trouble renewing online, visit a library branch location or call Customer Service at 509-444-5300 during regular business hours.

Lost cards

If you lose your card, please call us immediately at 509-444-5300 to avoid additional liability. There is no card replacement fee.


How to apply for a library card

Visit any Branch Location to apply for a card or apply online

Ask at the circulation desk for a library card application. You will need picture identification: current Washington State ID, current Washington state driver’s license, automobile registration, printed checks, or utility bill (dated within the past 30 days). You can also apply for a card online if you don’t have a card.  We will create a new card for you at the location you choose for pick up. Be sure to bring picture identification when you come to pick up the card because you will not be able to check out items until your card is verified.

If you already have a library card but it is not working please call us at 509.444.5300.

Spokane Public library will keep all records relating to your library registration confidential.



Suspended library privileges

Library privileges (borrowing, Internet use, etc.) are suspended if you owe $50.00 or more in outstanding charges or if you fail to pay for or return billed items.



Non-resident cards

The library offers a wide variety of services to non-residents. All in-library services and collections, telephone and in-library reference and information services, and all library programs are provided at no cost.

Through a reciprocal agreement with the Spokane County Library District (SCLD) residents of their service area may obtain a free non-resident Spokane Public Library card, and City of Spokane residents may obtain a free SCLD card. Remote subscription database access and interlibrary loans are not included with free reciprocal cards.

Other non-residents, including those outside the county, can purchase a card for $42 per year or $3.50 per month (per card). In addition to all in-library services, this fee includes full borrowing privileges, in-library internet access, and remote access to subscription databases. It does not include interlibrary loan. See our Fees & Services to Non-Residents Policy for more information.



Library card eligibility

See our Library Cards Policy for more information on card eligibility.



Personal Identification Number

Sign up for a PIN when you get your library card. This unique, 4-digit number of your choosing allows you to:

  • Check the status of your account
  • Renew any items which are eligible for renewal
  • Place holds on library materials
  • Use Internet stations in any library branch



Placing holds on material

You may place a hold on most library items (excluding magazines and reference materials). You can do this on-line with your library card and pin number or you may call the library to place a hold. Please note that items are not available immediately when you place a hold on them, even if the item is not already checked out. You will be notified by email when your hold becomes available. It will be held for 5 days from the day that notification is sent out. If you need something immediately, call the library and staff can check the shelf and set it aside for you.



Checkout periods

Books, Audiobooks on CD/Tape,
Music CDs, New books, Pamphlets,
Magazines, VHS, and Downloadable Audiobooks
3 weeks
All DVDs 1 week



Checkout levels

Note: There is a combined limit of 60 items at any given time.
DVDs – entertainment
(adult and juvenile)
10 items each
DVDs – educational
(adult and juvenile)
10 items each
Downloadable Audiobooks 15 total downloads
Audiobooks on CD,
(adult and juvenile)
40 items combined
Magazines 40 items
Music CDs,
(adult and juvenile)
40 items each
Adult & YA Books 40 items combined
Children’s books 40 items



Renewing items

You may renew most items three times if there are no outstanding requests for the item. Interlibrary loan items are not renewable. You may renew an item online with your library card and PIN or call 509.444.5300 to access our automated phone renewal system (make sure you have your card number and PIN ready). Library materials may be returned at any Spokane Public Library branch.



Overdue items

Fines are assessed from the second day past due on a per day, per item basis. As a courtesy we will attempt to notify you of your overdue items.

Your first overdue notice will only remind you what items you have kept overdue.

Your second notice will show the items plus the replacement costs and processing fees for them if not returned.

Once the item has been returned the replacement cost and processing fee will be subtracted and only the fines will remain on your account.



Fines & lost items

Note: Library cards are blocked after fines/fees reach $50.

Fines assessed

Books, Audiobooks on CD/Tape, Music CDs, New books, Pamphlets, Magazines, VHS, older DVDs, non-fiction and foreign DVDs 20 cents per day

Maximum fine per item

$10.00 per item for all materials except uncatalogued materials which have a $2.00 per item maximum fine.

Lost or unreturned items

For unreturned items, a non-refundable processing fee is added to the cost of the item(s). Library privileges are suspended until all billed items are paid for or returned. If you owe $75 or more, your account is assigned to a commercial collection agency. If this occurs, you are responsible for all fines and fees accrued to your account including the non-refundable processing fee; the normal collection agency fee;and the return of the overdue item(s) or the replacement cost of the item(s). If your account is referred to a collection agency, you receive notices directly from the agency. The charges may be paid at any Spokane Public Library. See our Uncollectible Patron Accounts Policy.



Damaged or incomplete items

You will be assessed charges for any library material you return with damages. Individual assessment is made for each item at the time of return and your account is charged repair or replacement costs depending upon the extent of the damage.

Materials with multiple parts or in cases must be returned complete. Charges will be waived if the missing part or case is returned promptly.