How can I obtain a library card?
Onondaga County Residents:
Adults need a valid photo ID that shows a current Onondaga County mailing address. Children applying for a library card should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There are 3 ways to get started:
- Just stop in to any NOPL location with the identification mentioned above to obtain your library card.
- Download and complete a library card application prior to coming in (saves time!).
- Start the application process online. Patrons who are at least 13 years old can begin their library card application online. When you register online, you will receive a temporary barcode number that you can use to request materials. Then come into any library and verify your current address with a photo ID to receive your permanent library card. After you have your permanent card you will be able to check out items and use online resources.
Common questions about Membership:
Policies and card holder responsibilities, fines and fees, returning materials, and renewals.
Family members may choose to share a card, but cards are issued to individuals only and the cardholder is responsible for all items checked out on the card. Some Onondaga County Public Libraries may restrict a card’s use to the individual to whom it is registered.
The card expires after 12 months. It can be used at any library within Onondaga County to place holds and check items out, as well as use databases and download eBooks, Audiobooks, and music. (Digital resources and access to them varies by library and may be restricted to cardholders at the purchasing library.)
- 3 weeks for most library items including books, audiobooks, non-fiction DVDs, and music CDs.
- 7 days for DVDs, holiday books, video games, and magazines.
- 7 days for NOPL Express books with 1 renewal.
- 3 days for Fast Flicks DVDs.
NOPL offers many unique items for checkout, visit nopl.org/unusual for a full list and policies.
Please Note: Other libraries’ loan periods may differ from NOPL’s. Please check your receipt at checkout or view your account online for due dates.
A total of 10 DVDs (3 can be Fast Flicks) and 2 video games may be checked out on a card at any given time. Limits may exist on checking out and holding other materials. Please contact your NOPL branch if you have any questions.
When returning items to a NOPL branch the following applies:
- 20 cents/day for overdue adult items.
- NO daily overdue charges for children and teen materials (excludes video games).
- Library cardholders are responsible for the cost or exact replacement of lost or damaged library materials. Call for details on items that are lost, damaged, or looking to be replaced.
Borrowers who owe more than $10 in fines or fees or who have long-overdue materials are blocked from further borrowing until charges are paid and/or materials returned.
The Onondaga County Public Library System has engaged an outside management service to collect fines and fees totaling $50 or more. A mandatory service charge of $10 is applied to each account submitted for collection.
All NOPL materials, with the exception of Fast Flicks DVDs, Interlibrary Loans, NOPL Express books, Unusual Items, and Video Games, may be returned to any library in Onondaga County. Each library branch has a 24-hour outdoor book return.
Materials owned by NOPL will be automatically renewed if they meet the following conditions*:
• Renewals are available on the item
• No one else has requested the item for qualifying items, you will be notified 3 days prior to the due date that they will be automatically renewed (no loss of borrowing time occurs).
* Fast Flicks DVDs, video games, and Interlibrary Loans do not have renewals.
Items owned by other libraries may be eligible for renewal unless another patron has placed a request for the item. Renew in person, by telephone, or through your catalog account. If you do not have a PIN please present your card at the Service Desk or call your NOPL branch for assistance.
Residents of counties outside of Onondaga may pay a modest $35 annual membership fee to borrow NOPL materials and access digital content. This charge helps to offset the cost of providing materials and services to those outside of our tax base. Our libraries are pleasant places where anyone can read a book or a magazine or a newspaper. We provide free computers and wireless Internet access, story times, programs of all kinds for children, teens and adults.
Out-of-County Borrowers FAQs:
Upon presentation of qualifying credentials, individuals who reside in Out-of-System areas may be eligible to have the fee waived: (1) an individual enrolled in any school, college, or university that is physically located in Onondaga County and provides verification in the form of a tuition bill, current and valid student ID, or letter of enrollment will have the fee waived for one year or (2) an individual who owns property in Onondaga County and provides an Onondaga County tax bill dated within the last twelve months will have the fee waived, and the expiration date extended to three years.
Yes. Many services remain free to visitors and residents of neighboring counties. Visit the library to read books, magazines and newspapers, use a computer, or access the Internet wirelessly on your laptop or mobile device; ask a librarian for help finding information; and attend library programs and events for children, teens and adults.
Yes, you can pay the fee online from home or on a public computer at the library using a major credit card or PayPal account. To pay in cash or by check, stop in at a NOPL library in Brewerton, Cicero or North Syracuse.
NOPL is a Special District Library, which means that we go directly to our taxpayers for a budget vote each year. 97% of NOPL’s funding comes from taxpayers who live in the Town of Cicero and the Town of Clay (except for residents of the Liverpool, Baldwinsville or Phoenix School Districts). System services, including delivery among the 32 libraries in the county and our automated catalog and circulation systems are supported by funding that comes from Onondaga County tax revenues and New York State. NOPL receives a small amount of funding directly from New York State (0.4%). The amount we receive is based on the population of our special library district. If you live in Oswego County, state funding to support your library use is going to the North Country Library System.
Per capita (per person) annual support from NOPL taxpayers in 2012 is $39.21. Overall, in Onondaga County, average per capita support for libraries is $53.19.
No. At one time the Central Square School District contributed a small amount to NOPL’s budget, but this support stopped in 2007.
Yes. Many libraries throughout the country charge non-resident fees. Fees are also common in New York State: Saratoga Springs, Auburn, Geneva, the Four County Library System (Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego), and libraries in the Ramapo Catskill, Upper Hudson, and Nassau County library systems. The Monroe County (Rochester) Library System charges a $45 annual fee and Buffalo-Erie County Library System charges $40 per year.