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Handing Patron a Library Card

Get a Library Card

Cambridge Public Library

Getting a library card is free and easy! Any resident of Massachusetts over the age of 5 can get a Cambridge Public Library card. When you have a library card, you can borrow books, movies, magazines, music, STEAM kits and many other items for free.

To learn more about our borrowing periods, renewals, and fine free program, go to Borrowing Policies

How to Start

  1. Start by applying for a digital library card here.
  2. Visit any of the seven Cambridge Public Library locations with your photo identification and proof of address. (Children between the ages of 5 and 14 do not need to show identification or proof of address.) 
  3. Your new card will be ready within minutes.


To get a Cambridge Public Library card, you must: 

  • Live, work, go to school or own property in Massachusetts (for at least 2 months); 
  • Be at least 5 years old; and 
  • Register in person at any Cambridge Public Library location. 

If you don’t meet these requirements, you can still apply for a digital card through the Minuteman Library Network. This gives you instant access to digital books and audiobooks and some databases. 

View ID Requirements below.

ID Requirements

If you are over the age of 18:

Please bring your Massachusetts Driver’s License or Massachusetts State ID. 

If you don’t have one of these, please bring one other form of photo identification: 

  • Passport 
  • Alien Resident Card 
  • University, School or Military ID 
  • EBT card
  • Senior/TAP ID issued by the MBTA 

AND one of the following:

  • Utility bill or tax bill (dated within the last 60 days)* 
  • Lease agreement*
  • Imprinted bank check or deposit slip
  • Official school schedule with applicant’s name and address typed on it*
  • Official letter verifying residency and mailing address dated within last 30 days from a social service provider, temporary employer that provides housing, or a short-term residence
  • A postmarked piece of mail or package 

*Electronic versions are acceptable. 

If you are between the ages of 14 and 18:

Please show a school ID, health card, class schedule* or graded homework.  

*Electronic versions are acceptable.  

If you are under 14: 

You do not need to show photo identification or proof of address.


About Your Library Card

All Cambridge Public Library cards come with the same borrowing privileges: any patron can borrow up to 150 items at one time. (See Borrowing Policies to find out how long you can keep an item and how to request more time.)  

All Cambridge Public Library card accounts are individual and private. You are the only one who can use your library card. Cambridge Public Library staff will not share any of your account information (including what you have borrowed) with anyone unless you are there in person and give your permission. 

Put your Cambridge Public Library card on your smartphone! Download the free Minuteman Library Network app, type in your library card number and PIN and use the library from your phone.

Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

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