Get a Library Card

ELPL--One World, One Card
ELPL--One World, One Card

Getting a library card is easy.  Stop by the library anytime during open hours or start the process now by applying online, opens a new window!

To apply for a library card you will need a current ID with a local East Lansing address.

Library cards are free to:

  • Everyone who lives in and pays property taxes to the City of East Lansing.
  • Minors (under 18) who reside in East Lansing.
  • East Lansing property owners who are listed by name on the City Assessor's Property Search or can present a current tax bill.
  • All current City of East Lansing employees.
  • Non-resident students attending a school located in the City of East Lansing.
  • All current Michigan State University (MSU) students.
  • All current Lansing Community College (LCC) students.
  • Institutions within the City of East Lansing with a letter on the business/organization letterhead signed by the person fiscally responsible for the business/organization.
  • All non-resident property taxpayers, and their families, who reside at the taxpayer's address.
  • Residents of Haven House.

MSU/LCC Students

Students must provide a valid MSU/LCC student ID.


Non-residents are charged $30 per year ($18 for 6 months) for an individual card or $40 per year for a family membership.
Family membership allows each family member at the same address to receive a card.
Non-residents must also provide Driver's License or State ID and proof of address if address on ID is not current.

Minors (under 18)

All minors applying for library cards must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
If the minor resides in East Lansing the parent or guardian will be required to present the documentation listed to prove residency.
Non-resident minors attending a school located in the City of East Lansing can get a free library card by providing proof of enrollment.  Proof of enrollment can be satisfied by a current listing on the East Lansing Public School enrollment list or by bringing in a letter from the school principal on school letterhead.

Educator Card

Persons eligible for an Educator Card are certified public, private, charter, online and parochial school teachers (K-12) and preschool or daycare center instructors who live or work in the City of East Lansing.  The cost of an Educator Card is $10 per year and it expires annually (12 months after issue or renewal).

Qualified persons who purchase an Educator Card can:

  • Borrow materials for the classroom without using their personal library card.
  • Borrow up to 50 items.
  • Receive $25 in fine forgiveness per school year (August-July).  This amount does not carry over to the next school year.
  • Receive special consideration for one (1) lost/damaged item per school year.

Patrons applying for an Educator Card must list their school and personal address on the application form.

Teen Card (ages 12-17)

A patron age 12-17 may apply for a Teen Card without being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
The teen must attend an East Lansing School
A Teen Card can only check out a total of five (5) items and only two (2) DVDs from the Children's Area.
A Teen Card cannot request items through MeLCat.

ID and Address Requirements

Adults must have Driver's License or State ID or government issued picture ID and proof of address.
If address is not current on Michigan Driver's License or State ID, additional proof of address will be necessary.  Proof of address can be made with:
Listing as homeowner on City Assessor's Property Search (patron's name must be listed as owner or furnish proof of ownership).
Current lease or deed.
Most recent utility bill or bank statement (checks are not an acceptable alternative).
MSU students may use listing on MSU People Search or StuInfo to verify local address.

Residency Status

Please call the Circulation Department at 517-351-2420, ext. 0, to check if an address/property falls inside or outside the city tax area.
Some residences with East Lansing mailing addresses may actually be in Meridian or Bath townships and thus do not pay taxes to the City of East Lansing.

Expiration of Library Cards:

Resident adult and minor cards, MSU student cards, Non-resident East Lansing school student cards -- expire every five years on anniversary of receipt of card.
Non-resident adult, minor -- expire annually on anniversary of receipt of card.

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