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Library Cards

Check-out desk at the Barkley Branch

Library cards are free of charge if you live, work, own property or attend school in Whatcom County.

With your library card you can:

How do I apply?

Start your library card application online here

Apply in person at any Bellingham Public Library location

Applications are accepted in person at any of our locations. If you prefer, you may print out an application to complete in advance and bring with you.

Whatcom County Library System cards are valid at all Bellingham Public Library locations. Bellingham Public Library Cards are valid at any branch of the Whatcom County Library System. (Exception: remote access to subscription databases is limited to resources available at the library system that issued the card).

All borrowers are responsible for materials checked out on their cards. If a card is lost or stolen please call 360-778-7323 to report it to a staff person.

There is a $1 fee to replace a Bellingham Public Library card.

With your Bellingham Public Library card, you may be eligible to apply for a library card at any academic library in Whatcom County.  See Whatcom Libraries Cooperate - Library One Card for more information.

Youth cards:

Youth may get a library card beginning at birth.  A parent's or legal guardian's signature is required for applicants under 18, and the signing parent/guardian must be present. Identification and address verification of the parent/guardian is necessary for a child to obtain a library card.  Examples of verification are:

The parent/guardian assumes responsibility for materials borrowed on the card. Young people are welcome to use the library's entire collection, subject only to the parent's guidance.

Non-resident borrowers:

A non-resident is someone who does not live, work, own property or attend school in Whatcom County. A fee of $52.00 per year is charged for all non-resident library cards (a reduced rate of $26.00 per year is available for senior citizens ages 65 and older). Payments are not accepted for less than one year and there is no rebate for an unused portion of time. (See also section on "Visitor".) Non-resident borrowers and their immediate families, residing at the same address, are entitled to use the card for their personal use. The non-resident fee is reviewed each January and may be adjusted to reflect the actual per capita cost of library service for residents. The non-resident library card will automatically expire after one year, and may be renewed annually.


A person living outside Whatcom County, wishing to use the library for a short term period may have limited borrowing privileges upon paying a fee of $5.00 per month. An application can be submitted in person, with picture ID, at any of our locations.

Agency cards:

 An organization or agency may acquire a special library card under the current rules and regulations in effect for individuals.

a. The individual who is legally authorized to enter into contractual obligations for that agency will sign and be responsible for use of the card.

b. The card must be presented at the time of each loan, and the Library will assume the card-holder is authorized by the agency to borrow materials. No items will be loaned without presenting the card.

c. A maximum of two cards will be allowed per agency.

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