Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to get a Chicago Public Library card?
- Current photo ID w/Chicago address
- No current ID? Bring two of the following: a piece of mail, utility bill, personal check or voter registration card, with one of them verifying your Chicago address, and you are good to go
What if I had a library card and lost it or haven’t used it in a long time?
- If your card is lost, stop by a CPL location to get a replacement card for $1.
- If it’s been a long time since you’ve used your card and you’re unsure of its status, you can check online under “My CPL” or by stopping by a CPL location.
Where can I use my library card?
- At all 70+ locations and online at chipublib.org
Where is the library located?
- There are 70+ locations throughout Chicago.
- CLICK HERE to find a branch near you.
What are the library’s hours?
- CLICK HERE for a list of branches. Select your location for its specific hours.
How long can I check things out?
- Books – 3 weeks
- Music – 3 weeks
- Movies – 1 week
- Museum Passes – 1 week
- CLICK HERE for more info on our borrowing policies.
Do I have to drop things off where I check them out?
- Most materials with the exception museum passes can be dropped off at any Chicago Public Library location in person or through a bookdrop.
If I don’t live in Chicago, can I still get a Chicago Public Library card?
- CLICK HERE for a list of libraries participating in the Illinois reciprocal program. If your library is on this list then you can get a CPL card. All you’ll need is your local library card and current ID.
What can I do on the CPL website?
- Browse the entire library catalog including popular books, ebooks and audiobooks, music, movies and more.
- Download available digital media including eBooks, audiobooks, videos and music.
- Browse the many events, workshops, and performances offered at the library
- Place materials on hold and have them transferred to your preferred branch. You will be notified via email or phone when it’s ready to pick up.
- Access your online account
- Check your card status
- Update your preferred library
- Update your personal information
- View holds and their delivery status
- Check the due date of borrowed materials
- Renew materials online
- CLICK HERE to get started.
How do I download digital media online?
- You’ll first need to download, install, and activate free software to your personal computer. CLICK HERE for the quick start guide.
- To access the digital media collection, just login to your overdrive account using your CPL card.