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Library Cards

Your free Library card opens a world of resources to you, from books and magazines to downloadable content and computer time at one of our nine libraries.

Application Info

Get a new card, renew/replace an existing one, or update your account info

Types of Cards

Features, benefits, and requirements of our different cards

Library Card FAQ

Info about borrowing, renewing cards, expiration, etc.

Check Out Policies FAQ

Info about limits, renewals, holds, etc.
Library Card

Once you have your card, you can begin using library databasesreserving computer time, and checking out books and managing your library record online via the LINKcat catalog.


Application Information

Madison Public Library offers three types of Library Cards: two for individuals (Full Use & Easy Access) and one for local organizations.

Visit us In-Person or Apply Online

You can apply for a card or manage your Library account in-person at any of our physical locations or use the links below to apply for a new card, renew an existing Library card, update information on an existing card, or replace a lost Library card.

Please note: Do not apply online if you are unable to receive your library card in the mail. You can still apply in person at any Madison Public Library location.


  • Both cards give you access to public computers, Wisconsin's Digital Library, and online resources. Use the application link below for both types of cards.
  • Our Easy Access Card requires that you provide an acceptable address (see No Proof of Current Address info) and allows you to check out up to 3 physical items at a time.
  • Our Full Use Card requires that you provide proof of current address and allows you to check out up to 100 physical items at a time (including up to 5 video games).
  • Parents/guardians may instead request an Easy Access Card for a child, which limits the card to only checking out up to 3 physical items at a time.


  • Gives your organization access to Wisconsin's Digital Library, our online resources, and the ability to check out up to 100 physical items at a time (including up to 5 video games).
  • Requires you to submit a letter from the head of your organization naming the authorized users of the card.

Types of Library Cards

Card Benefits


Easy Access

Full Use


Access to public computers at Madison Public Libraries

Access Wisconsin's Digital Library (home to more than 71,000 eBooks, Audiobooks, and stream-able videos)

Access online resources including newspapers, online magazines, research databases, and even more eBooks

Log in to LINKcat to place holds on and check out physical books, CDs, DVDs/Blu-ray Discs, etc.

Check out up to 3 items
Check out up to 100 items (including up to 5 video games)

Application Requirements


Easy Access

Full Use


Live in Madison area or SCLS county
Valid photo ID (Cardholder or Guarantor)

Acceptable forms of photo ID include State ID/driver’s license, school ID, work ID, passport, official DMV print-out, or military ID.

Proof of Current Address  
No Proof of Current Address

You'll still need to provide an address on the application. The address listed must be a home, apartment, temporary housing facility, or a partner agency such as The Salvation Army, The Beacon, or Dane County Job Center. P.O. Boxes and business addresses (unless they are a partner agency) are not acceptable.

Letter from head of organization

Card Responsibility


Easy Access

Full Use


Cardholder or Guarantor (parent, guardian, etc.)
Authorized users listed on application
Authorizing organization


Have a question? Contact our Circulation Department by phone (608-266-6357) or email.