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Library cards and checkout rules

There are lots of ways to utilize the offerings and services of the Bryan + College Station Public Library System, but most of them do require that you have a library card. So, how do you get a library card? We’ve got the answers to that question and so many more right here.

The simple answer is: Apply for a Virtual E-Card online, or fill out a paper application and bring it to the library to get a physical library card.

Find your voice at the Library!!! Get a library card today!

Open each accordion for all of the details about library cards

Library cards

Library cards

How much does a library card cost?

  • Brazos County resident: Free
  • Out-of county resident: $24.00/year
  • Replacement cards: $3

Out-of-county cards are available for residents of Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Milam, Robertson, and Washington county residents. One card will be issued per family.

What do I need in order to obtain a library card?

You must show a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and proof of your current address. Students currently enrolled at Blinn College or Texas A&M University are eligible for a free library card. A photo ID and proof of residence in Brazos County is required at the time of registration.

Is one library card used for all library branches?

Yes. Only one library card is required for use in the system. It is valid at the Clara B. Mounce Public LibraryLarry J. Ringer Library, and Carnegie History Center.

What is a Virtual E-card? Do I need one?

The Bryan + College Station Public Library System offers a temporary Virtual E-card for residents of Brazos County who cannot make it into the library to obtain a library card and do not currently have a BCSPLS card. Your Virtual E-card provides access to all of the library’s online resources, including e-books, digital streaming media, digital audio books and more.

If you already have a physical library card, you do not need to apply for a Virtual E-card. Your physical library card allows you to access our online digital resources.

Once you register for your Virtual E-card, your digital access is immediate and you can start using our online resources. You will receive an acknowledgement email confirming your barcode number and helpful resources to get you going within two business days.

The Virtual E-card is only valid for one year. For continued access to the library’s digital collections, please visit your local library branch or renew your Virtual E-card online.

How do I renew my library card online?

The Bryan + College Station Public Library System offers online library card renewals. If you have an existing physical library card or Virtual E-card, you can renew without coming into the library buildings. All Bryan + College Station Public Library System cards expire and have to be renewed annually to make sure we have your correct information.

To renew online, your account must be in good standing with no fines.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your library card number
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Proof of Identification – (You’ll upload an image of your photo ID.)
  • Proof of Address – (If your photo ID does not reflect your current address, you’ll need to upload secondary documentation in picture format, like a utility bill or some other valid proof of address.)

Can I get a card for my children?

Yes. Children applying for library cards must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with acceptable identification.

TexShare cards

TexShare cards

The library system participates in the TexShare card program. The TexShare card is a statewide library card that lets you borrow books and other physical materials from more than 500 libraries across the state.

How do I get a TexShare card?

Patrons with valid physical library cards may receive a TexShare card from Clara B. Mounce or Larry J. Ringer libraries. They can then take the card to any other participating TexShare library, use that library’s resources and check out materials from that library.

You must be at least 18 years old and bring in your valid Bryan + College Station library card and photo ID. TexShare cards are given the same expiration date as your Bryan + College Station library card.

I don’t live in the Brazos Valley. Can I get a Bryan + College Station library card by using my TexShare card from my home library?

Yes. Patrons who have received a TexShare card from a participating library may apply for a Bryan + College Station library card. You will receive the same card as our patrons, but with some restrictions.

  • Cards will only be issued to patrons 18 years or older.
  • TexShare borrowers are limited to 5 items checked out at one time.
  • Your account must be clear before you can check out items (no fines, no overdue books, etc.).
  • No interlibrary loans.

To obtain a Bryan + College Station library card, you must present a valid TexShare card along with your photo ID.

Checkout rules

Checkout rules

Do I need a physical library card to check out physical library materials?

Yes. A physical library card must be presented to borrow physical materials. An alternative to carrying your physical card is use a digital wallet to save your card, such as Apple Wallet, Google Wallet or the Stocard app in the App or Google Play stores.

How many items can I check out?

You can check out as many items as you wish. There is a limit of seven DVD/Blu-ray checkouts per card at one time. Backpack checkouts, as a part of the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, are limited to one backpack per library card.

What are the loan periods and fines for items?

ItemLoan PeriodFines/Day
Books3 weeks$.25
Magazines1 week$.25
CDs3 weeks$.25
Audiobooks3 weeks$.25
DVDs/Videos1 week$1.00

Can I check out items from the Carnegie History Center?

No. The Carnegie collection is available for in-house research only.

What if the library system does not own a particular item I want?

Many books not available in the Bryan+College Station Library System may be able to be obtained through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Are there fees if I lose or damage library materials?

Yes. Charges for lost or irreparably damaged items include the replacement cost of the item plus a $5 non-refundable service charge.

Can I reserve an item if it is currently checked out?

Yes. You may place holds/reserves on library materials that are listed in our catalog. You may request items in person at the Reference Desk, by accessing your account online, by phone or by using the public access computers at the library.

Can I keep the items out longer than the listed check-out period?

Library materials may be renewed once, provided they are not on hold. Renewals may be made by phone, in the online catalog or in person. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items generally cannot be renewed.

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