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If you are a Hartford resident or pay property taxes in Hartford, you are eligible to receive a full service Hartford Public Library card free-of-charge. Use of a Hartford Public Library card is non-transferrable, i.e., it can only be used by you. The card must be renewed every two (2) years. Out-of-state residents and students who live, work and study in Hartford may apply for library cards that must be renewed every year.

You may only have one Hartford Public Library card in your name. 

Organizations that operate in Hartford are eligible to apply for a Hartford Public Library card free of charge renewable every year. A representative of the organization must sign for the card and be responsible for the timely return of all borrowed materials and the fees associated with lost or late materials.

All materials borrowed must be returned or renewed on or before the due date.  Materials can be returned to any one of the Library’s 10 facilities and to any public library throughout the State of Connecticut.

Fines are charged for items returned after their due date. Additional fees apply for lost items.

As a cardholder you are responsible for all materials borrowed on your card, all use of the card and all charges made against it, until the card is reported lost or stolen to the Library.

Applying for a Library Card - Adults

A Hartford Public Library card is an important tool.  With your library card you will be able to:

  • Borrow books, audio-books, CD’s, videos and DVD’s downtown and at all 9 branches.
  • Gain full access to the Library’s e-Resources and other web services.
  • Renew items and check the status of your library account online.
  • Gain access to the collections and services of every public library in Connecticut.

You can apply for a Hartford Public Library card at any Library location or online

PLEASE NOTE: When you apply for a card online you will be issued a temporary e-Card. This card will give you immediate access to the Library’s online resources only. To borrow books and other materials with your new card, you must complete the process by bringing photo identification and proof of residency to any Hartford Public Library location to complete the process. You will receive a full service card at that time.

Am I eligible for a Library card?

If you live, attend school or pay property taxes in Hartford you are eligible to receive a Hartford Public Library card free of charge. You must be age 15 or older to receive a full service card.

What will I need to apply for a Library card?

When applying for a Library card in person, you must show proof that you live, work, attend school or pay property taxes in Hartford.

Only one form of identification is necessary if it is one of these current and unexpired forms of identification:

  • Connecticut driver’s license
  • State of Connecticut ID card

If the identification types listed above are not available, you may provide any two of the following forms of identification - one must have a photo and the other your current address:

  • Valid passport
  • Check cashing courtesy card
  • School ID card with photo
  • Employee ID with photo
  • Green Card
  • Current month utility bill
  • Mail postmarked within the past 30 days
  • Printed personal check
  • Lease or rent receipt (within past 60 days)
  • Tax bill or receipt
  • Valid car registration or car insurance

PLEASE NOTE: Any rent receipts or statements from a homeless shelter used for verification of your identity must be dated no more than two months prior to your application.

Without a photo ID you are not eligible for a full service library card. If you have a photo ID but cannot verify your address, we can send a postcard for proof of address to your home/residence. When you receive the postcard, bring it back to the Library with your photo ID and we will issue you a new card.

Applying for a Library Card - Youth

For youth under the age of 15 to receive a library card, a parent or guardian must sign the application form attesting to the validity of the information and accepting responsibility for materials borrowed on the card.

A youth application form must be signed by a parent or guardian. If a parent/guardian is not present, the library card application must be taken home for completion and signature. 

Parents/guardians are responsible for the lost or damaged materials borrowed by their children.

Although parents or guardians may register their children for library cards without the children being present, the Library recommends that parents and guardians bring their children to the Library to participate in this important event in the lives of their children.

PLEASE NOTE: As protection against identity theft and to facilitate the renewal process, the Library will include your photo in your confidential record.  If you provide us with your e-mail address, the Library will keep you updated with the latest information on Library programs and services, special events, announcements and other note-worthy news.

E-Cards

If you are unable to provide photo ID or verify your address, you can receive an e-Card that provides access to the Internet and the Library’s online resources. You can apply for an e-Card at any Library location or online.  Without a full-service card, however, you will not be able to borrow books or other materials.  The e-Card must be renewed every two years.

Can I have a Hartford Public Library card if I live in another city or town in Connecticut?

In accordance with State of Connecticut residence and reciprocity regulations, if you live in another city or town in Connecticut you must obtain a card in the town where you live; it can be used in any public library in the State.  We will honor the expiration date of the issuing library if it is known. When an out-of-town card is used for the first time, you will be asked to provide photo identification and fill out an application.  Your card will then be valid at Hartford Public Library. 

If you live in another state, but work, live and/or study in Hartford, you may obtain a full service Hartford Public Library card with proper identification and verification of address.  The card can be used in any public library in the State.

Can I have more than one HPL card?

No. Only one card will be issued per person. Multiple cards to access services at the Library are not necessary.

What are the borrowing periods for books and other materials?

Books and audiobooks may be checked out for two weeks and renewed twice for two weeks per renewal – a total of six weeks with proper renewal. CDs may be checked out for two weeks and renewed twice for two weeks per renewal- a total of six weeks with proper renewal. Videos and DVDS may be checked out for three days and may be renewed once – a total of six days with proper renewal.

How often do I have to renew my card?

Your Hartford Public Library Card expires after two years and must be renewed to ensure uninterrupted access to Library materials and services.

To RenewPresent a current photo ID from the list above.  If the address is the same on the ID and matches with the information in our database, then no further verification of address is necessary.  If there is a change in the address, then further verification will be required by providing any of the supporting documentation listed above. 

PLEASE NOTE: As protection against identity theft and to facilitate the renewal process, the Library will include your photo in your confidential record.  If you provide us with your e-mail address, the Library will keep you updated with the latest information on Library programs and services, special events, announcements and other note-worthy news.

How many books may I check out at one time?

You may borrow up to twenty-five (25) books from the Library’s collection. There are no limits on borrowing audio books.  

How many videos/DVDs may I check out at a time?

With an adult full-service card you may borrow total of five (5) videos or five (5) DVDs or a combination of five (5) videos and DVDs from the primary media collection or from the youth media collection. With a full service youth card you may borrow only one video or DVD at a time.

How many CDs may I check out at a time?

An adult full-service library card allows the holder to borrow five (5) CDs from the media collection. A holder of a youth card may borrow one CD at a time

How do I place a renewal or hold?

You can call the Downtown library or any branch to renew your items or place a hold by telephone. Click here for a list of locations and telephone numbers. You can also text the Library with your request and you can also renew your items online or place a hold online. Books and CDs may be renewed twice; videos and DVD’s may be renewed once. If materials checked out in your name are overdue you may not be able to renew items online. NOTE: if another customer has placed a hold on an item it is not renewable.

What are the overdue charges on materials?

For each day that materials are overdue, charges are:

  • 10 cents (Adult books, CD's, audio books)
  • 1 cent (Children's books, CD's, audio books)
  • 1 dollar (Videos/DVD's)

Can I borrow new materials if I owe the Library for overdue materials?

Adults who incur $15 or more in fines, children who incur $5 or more in fines, and anyone who has been billed for an item that was not returned to the Library will not be able to borrow books and other materials until the outstanding bill is paid or the book/material is returned.

What can I do if the item I want is already checked out?

When a book, audio book or CD is already checked out you may place a hold on it by calling the Downtown Library or any branch or in person. Your Library card must be active in order to place the hold. The Library does not place hold on DVDs and videos.  

What if I my card is lost or stolen?

When you register for a Hartford Public Library card, you accept responsibility for all items on the card, all use of the card and all charges made against it until your card is reported lost or stolen.  The Library must have a record of your card having been reported lost or stolen, or it will not be considered lost or stolen.  Therefore it is to your benefit to report the loss or theft of your library card immediately to avoid fraudulent use of your card.

The cost of replacing a lost or stolen library card is $1.00 for adults and $.50 for children.  This fee is assessed at the time the card is reported lost. Please report lost cards by phone or in person at any Library location. 

What should I do if I move or if my name changes?

It is your responsibility to report changes of name and address. Please call or visit the Library in person to update your records.

How will the Library communicate with me about my account and events and programs at the Library?

Hartford Public Library provides a notification service for held items, overdue materials and other service-specific reasons.  Notices are available via print, telephone or e-mail & the method by which you receive them is chosen at the time you apply for a card.  It is the responsibility of the borrower to notify the Library if any contact information changes.

You may also receive notices from the Library occasionally about events and programs.  You can choose not to receive this material if you prefer.

Note: If you receive notices by e-mail, please make sure that e-mails sent from @hplct.org are allowed through any filters you may have in place on your computer. If you do not receive a notice, you are still responsible for fees or fines associated with any outstanding borrowed items

Revised June 2010
Adopted by the Library Board of Directors September 2010

Service Fees

INTERLIBRARY LOANS:

Articles: Free, if picked up at the Downtown Library or branch.
If mailed: $2.00 plus $.10 per page
If faxed: $2.00 plus $.10 per page.

Books: Free, and must be picked up at the Downtown Library or branch.

MAIL: Basic charge of $2.00 plus $.10 per page.

FAX:

Local calls: $2.00 charge and $.10 per page.
Long-distance calls: $4.00 charge and $.10 per page.
Out-of-state calls: $6.00 charge for and $.10 per page

We do not fax to foreign countries.
MICROFILM: There will be a microfilm data retrieval flat-charge of $6.00 per reel and $.10 per page.
If the copies are mailed or faxed additional handling charges apply.




Customers will be offered the option of having charges applied to their library card or be invoiced.

The usage of library cards as debit cards will be restricted to Hartford Public Library cardholders in good standing, i.e., under the $25 fee cap.