Get a Library Card

A Full Access library card is free for:

  • City of Chattanooga residents
  • City of Chattanooga employees
  • Nonresidents who own property inside the city limits
  • Nonresidents who own a business inside the city limits
  • All Hamilton County public school students
  • College students who live on campus within the City of Chattanooga
  • Active volunteers who donate 20 or more hours of service to the library each year ( Learn More )

Proof of ID for Library Cards

  • Driver’s License (temporary Tennessee license acceptable, learner’s permit also acceptable with additional photo ID)
  • Tennessee Department of Public Safety ID
  • Passport
  • Military, school, or employee ID
  • International Driver’s Permit

City of Chattanooga Residents

Apply Online for a Library Card

  • Once you receive your library card number via email, you can immediately check out all online resources, including e-books, e-audiobooks, and streaming services. You can also place holds to pick up physical items.
  • To get a physical card, just stop by any library location. Please note: your card number will be updated, so if you have used OverDrive or hoopla prior to picking one up, you will need to update your card number the next time you use either service.

City of Chattanooga Employees and Nonresidents Who Own Property or a Business Inside City Limits

Please visit a library location to apply in-person.

  • To protect your information, we ask that you bring your proof of ID and residence/business to one of our locations so we can assist you in-person.

Nonresidents Outside of Chattanooga: $50 per year

  • Each account may check out up to 100 items at a time with no yearly limits.
  • Access databases from library or home
  • Nonresidents can also qualify for a free card by becoming an active volunteer who donate 20 or more hours of service to the library each year

Hamilton County Students

Through a partnership with the Hamilton County Department of Education, all students currently enrolled in a Hamilton County public school can receive a free, full access library card

  • Full access library cards are issued through their public school library
  • Cards are good for a year and automatically renew each year during school registration
  • If you are a virtual student or currently do not have a school librarian, please email for instructions on how to get a student card.

Residents of Shelters

Residents of shelters or temporary housing facilities in Chattanooga may apply for a Temporary Resident card, upon showing a photo ID and a letter from the housing facility director that states the individual is currently residing in the facility and able to receive mail at that address. 

Temporary Resident Card

  • Only three items may be checked out at a time.
  • Card expires in three months and may be renewed for an additional three months with the receipt of another letter from the housing facility director.

Children (17 years and younger)

  • There is no age requirement for a library card. The child applicant must be present during application process, and the parent or guardian must sign the child’s application form.

How to Apply for a Library Card in Person

If you cannot register online, you can pick up an application for a library card through curbside pickup service or at any Chattanooga Public Library branch location when we reopen to the public. When you turn in your completed application, make sure to include your photo ID and proof of current residence. 

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

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