Library Card and Borrowing Policy

Any Denver or Colorado resident may obtain a free library card by visiting a Denver Public Library location. Customers may also register online to expedite their application and receive limited access to library resources.

Photo identification and verification of address is required to receive a permanent library card. To ensure equal access to library resources, each customer is limited to one Denver Public Library account with the exception of educators who may apply for an Educator Card to support instruction. A parent or guardian must accompany any child under the age of 13 to the library and show their picture ID and verification of address for the child to receive a permanent library card. Picture identification is required to replace a lost or stolen library card. Parents/legal guardians must sign a new application and provide picture ID to replace the card of children under 13.

Special Types of Cards

Denver Public Library requires a library card for computer access. Short term visitors to Colorado and those wanting only computer access must register for a Computer User Card. Customers must show valid picture ID at the time of registration. Computer user cards do not carry check out privileges.

The Library offers group/business cards which may be used by anyone in the group/business for their business purposes. The application and card are signed by the highest ranking official of the group/business who assumes sole responsibility for all activity on the account. Group/business cards must be renewed every 4 years.

Colorado residents unable to provide proof of Colorado address, visitors staying in Colorado for at least 1 month, and unaccompanied juveniles may be issued a Provisional Card.


A library card should be used only by the person/business to which it has been issued. The library card or valid government or school-issued picture ID must be presented by the cardholder to access their record. Staff may request picture ID at any time to access and ensure account accuracy. In compliance with Colorado statute, the Library may not give information about an individual’s library record to anyone but the cardholder. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Borrower Responsibilities and Privileges

Denver Public Library cardholders may borrow circulating materials, including books, DVDs, Blu-ray, CDs and magazines. The Denver Public Library is not responsible for any damage caused to playback equipment by DVDs, Blu-ray, CDs or other audiovisual materials.

Always verify that each media case contains all discs before checking out and before returning library movies, music and audiobooks. Incomplete items may not be accepted for return.

The Library participates in the Colorado Library Card Program. Denver Public Library cardholders may register for a card and borrow materials at any participating library in Colorado. Materials borrowed from other Colorado libraries may be returned to any Denver Public Library Branch.

The individual to whom the card is issued is responsible for the following:

  • The return, in good condition, of all materials borrowed
  • Payment of fees incurred for any damaged or lost materials
  • Reporting a lost or stolen card immediately
  • All charges on the card until it is reported lost or stolen
  • Reporting promptly any changes in name, address or phone number
  • All charges on the card as the result of lending the card or library materials to another individual

Parents or guardians of a library cardholder agree to be responsible for the above and to teach their child Library rules and guidelines to help in the use of their card.

In order to safeguard the collection and make materials available to as many people as possible, the library blocks cards for long overdue materials and sets limits on the number of materials a person may check out. Borrowing privileges may be suspended until long overdue items are returned and fees for any lost or damaged items are paid. Cardholders may be referred to a collection agency for recovery of unreturned materials and assessed an additional collection fee.

Adopted by the Denver Public Library Commission, May 16, 2013.

Amended by the Denver Public Library Commission, October 18, 2018.