Get a Library Card

Please note: due to COVID-19, our building is temporarily closed to the public. Some of the information
below may not apply.
Click here for current information on obtaining a library card.

Obtain a Library Card

You can preregister for a library card by clicking here or in person at the Library. Please note that if you preregister online, you must still come to the Library’s Circulation Desk with a photo ID and proof of residency to finalize your registration and pick up your physical card. Tell the staff member who assists you that you preregistered online.

First-time borrowers can check out two items. Once the first item is returned, the borrowing limit increases to 40 items. Some exceptions apply.

You must have a library card to borrow materials and use the computers, so bring it with you every time you visit. Replacement cards are available for a small fee.

Residency Requirements

Anyone living at a permanent address in Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, or Washington counties can sign up for a library card for free. Residents of Virginia and North Carolina who live in a 60-mile radius of Johnson City are also eligible. You can also sign up if you’re enrolled at a local college or employed by Washington County.

If you’re staying at a temporary residence, you can receive a courtesy card with limited capacity.

Post office boxes can be used for mailing addresses but not as proof of residency.  A person using a post office box as a mailing address must also provide written or electronic proof of a physical address.

Johnson City Public Library also issues cards to individuals outside of the service areas listed above for $25.00 a year.  Applicants must provide required documentation.

Proof of Residency

To get your library card, you must establish proof of residency by bringing a driver’s license or other valid form of photo identification to the Library. If the address printed on the identification is not current, please bring proof of your current address. Call (423) 434-4450 if you have questions about acceptable proof of address.

Acceptable items include:

  • Utility receipt
  • Official rent receipt / copy of current lease
  • Voter registration card
  • Email or physical receipts with name and address
  • Insurance card with current date
  • Other forms of proof may be considered.

Library Card For School-Age Kids

We offer library cards for students in grades 5-12 called JC24U cards. This means school-age kids can obtain a library card without having to sign up under a guardian’s account. With these special cards, students can check out two items (printed material only—no DVDs, CDs, or books on CD). They will also have access to the Library’s computer lab and databases, as well as R.E.A.D.S. for ebooks and audiobooks. To get a JC24U card, students must present a current school photo ID, report card, or class schedule at the Circulation Desk.

JC24U cards are specifically for school-age kids whose guardians don’t have library cards. Students 17 and under are still eligible for a regular library card under a legal guardian’s account. Those 18 and older can still sign up for a library card independently by presenting a photo ID with their current address.

More Information

For further information on library card policies, read our Circulation Policy or call Celeste Peck at (423) 434-4472.