Get a Library Card

A library card is quick and easy to get and gives you free access to over 6 million books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and online resources to borrow or stream. You may obtain a library card by presenting a photo ID with your current local address in Massachusetts, OR a photo ID plus one document with your name and current local address printed on it. There is no waiting period for a library card and it is free.

To save time, you are welcome to fill out this form at home and bring it to one of the Cambridge Public Libraries with your ID and proof of address. For questions about proof of address, please call 617-349-4040.

Your Cambridge Public Library card:

  • Gives you access to the Cambridge Public Library’s collection of over 400,000 items. With your library card, you may borrow most books and audio books for up to 4 weeks, and most CDs, DVDs, and magazines for up to one week.
  • Gives you access to the collections of more than 40 public and academic libraries in the Minuteman Library Network. You may check out and return items at any MLN library.
  • Allows you to reserve and renew items in person, by phone, or online
  • Gives you access to public computers at any Cambridge Public Library location
  • Gets you passes for free or reduced admission to many area museums
  • Gives you access to our online services and databases, including resources such as Hoopla and Flipster

All people are welcome at the Cambridge Public Library. Your use of the Cambridge Public Library is private and confidential, as stated in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 78, Section 7. We do not share information about library patrons with any outside organization or government agency.

Put your Library Card on your Phone

Once you visit a library to get your new library card, you may then set up a Digital Library Card using the new MLN App. Set up the digital card one time, and from then on you are always logged in.

Online Registration for Temporary Library Cards

Minuteman Network has introduced a temporary e-library card that anyone without a Minuteman Library card can register for online, to give you immediate access to our digital titles and Minuteman databases. You may also place holds on material through the Minuteman catalog.

Why it’s beneficial:
If you want to access an Overdrive title or a Minuteman database in a hurry (or while we are closed), this will provide immediate access those collections and it allows holds to be placed on the rest of the collection. If you are visiting Cambridge for less than two months and therefore do not qualify for a regular library card, this would give you access to e-content.

Important details to note:
The online card option is not a way to fully register for a library card. When you come into the library to check out material or pick up any holds that you placed, you will still need to fill out an application, show a photo ID and proof of address. This Minuteman card will expire after 6 months, if you do not visit a library to get your physical library card.