Library Cards & Borrowing

Explore the world with your library card! With a library account, you can check out books and movies, use Internet computers, and download e-books, audio books, and music!

You can also login to your account online to place holds while searching the catalog, renew materials, and change your PIN.


How do I get my library card?

If you are an Anchorage resident, fill out this registration form and then bring photo ID to the front desk at any APL location to verify your account and get your card. You will also need to bring a postmarked piece of mail that confirms your address. Mail must be addressed to you, in the envelope and postmarked within the past 2 weeks (i.e. this month’s utility bill).

Youth Cards

Youth can get a limited library card without a parent present, which gives them access to online resources and up to 3 items checked out at a time. For a card with full privileges, the parent/guardian needs to come to the library to present their ID, Anchorage mail (if they don’t already have a verified card themselves) and to authorize the full checkout limit for the child. The child does not need to accompany the parent to return the registration card.

Other Card Types

Alaska non-ALC library member: free card, 3-item limit.
Non-Resident: $50 yearly, full borrowing privileges at APL.
Out of  State Visitor: free for 3 months, 3-item limit.

Partner library members: Patrons, other than University, State Library and Museum patrons, may not have duplicate accounts. Patrons must sign up with their home library, but will have access to most resources available at other libraries. Patrons with blocked or barred accounts must contact their home library for resolution.

Anchorage School District Library Card Partnership

During registration with Anchorage School District, caregivers have the chance to get their student a library card. If they choose yes, then their student's directory information (name, address, phone number, etc) is transferred over to the public library and we create an account for them.  These card numbers can be obtained from your school librarian or any APL location and use the last four digits of the card number as a PIN. They are limited to three items for check out, but do allow access to most of our digital resources. If the student wishes to check out more than 3 items, they must come in with their guardian and open a traditional library card account. A student may have two accounts with us, one with their ASD card number and one traditional APL account. These accounts are renewed or purged every year based upon ASD registration.

How do I renew my library card?

Library card privileges expire every three years. Privileges can be renewed in person or by calling 343-2975 option 4.

How do I replace my library card?

If your library card is lost or stolen, please let library staff know as soon as possible to prevent unauthorized use. Bring your photo ID to the front desk at any APL location and library staff will cancel the card and issue a replacement. The lost card will be replaced free of charge. Once a replacement card has been issued, the previous library card is no longer valid.

What's a PIN and how do I get one?

Your PIN is your password to access your library account online. To get your PIN, go to any library information desk or call 343-2975, select #4 OR click below to change your PIN. Once you login with your library card and PIN at My Account, you may renew items, change your PIN, and place holds.


Borrowing Time Limits

Anchorage residents may check out up to 50 items at a time including:

  • Books — 21 days
  • Magazines — max 5 for 7 days (no renewals)
  • DVDs — max 10 for 7 days
  • CDs/Audio Books — max 10 for 21 days
  • Book Club Bags and Library in a Box Kits  max 2 for 42 days (no renewals)
  • Youth Bags and Kits — max 1 each* for 21 days
  • Holds — up to 10 holds at a time
  • Partner library limits will vary by location.

*Item limits may be raised during COVID-19 emergency.

You can renew most items up to two times. Magazines, Book Club Bags and items with holds can not be renewed.

Are there fines or fees?

The Library has eliminated overdue fines for Anchorage Public Library materials.

Due Dates
Every item checked out still has a due date. Cardholders are responsible for honoring the due date by returning or renewing the item. Remember someone else may be waiting for that item. Please bring it back on time.

APL Items Only
The No-Fines policy applies only to items belonging to the Anchorage Public Library. Late fines may still be charged for items from partner libraries and Interlibrary loan items. Fines and fees vary by library.

Overdue Items Only
Fines are different than fees. The No-Fines policy applies only to overdue items. Fees for damaged or lost items will still be charged to cardholder accounts. (See the Lost / Damaged Materials policy for more information.)

Blocked Accounts
Once your card reaches a total of $25 in late fines (from other libraries) or fees (replacement/damage) your library account will be blocked. When that happens, you will not be able to check out more items or access certain streaming or digital content until the overdue item is returned and/or your late fines from other libraries are paid.

If you have fees for lost or damaged items from the Anchorage Public Library or late fines from a partner library, you can pay through your online account, at a library self-check machine, or in person.

To pay your fine online:

  1.    Logon to My Account with your library card and PIN numbers.
  2.    Select your Fines Tab to view amount. 
  3.    Click 'pay with debit or credit card' blue button. Provide an email address to be emailed a receipt.
  4.    Complete the payment form and click submit.  


  1. Accounts in Collections will NOT be able to pay online. Please see a staff member.
  2. Fees for lost or damaged items from partner libraries must be paid online or directly to the owning library. APL staff can not process in person payments for lost materials from partner libraries.