Library Card Basics

How to Get a Library Card Online or in Person

Pulaski or Perry County residents can get a free library card online by completing an online application or in person at any CALS library. If you live in North Little Rock you can get a free library card from North Little Rock’s Laman Library; you may also apply for a card at CALS for an annual fee as North Little Rock is not in the CALS service area.

You must be 13 years old or older to apply online for a library card. Parents or guardians may submit an online application for children who are 12 years old or younger. Your library card will be mailed to your home address, and you must come in to a CALS location presenting photo identification to complete the application process. A parent or legal guardian should accompany minors who apply to get a library card online but do not have photo identification.

Apply for a Library Card

Options for Nonresidents

Beginning March 1, 2020 CALS will charge an annual non-resident fee for any patron who does not reside or pay taxes in our service area. That fee will be based on the average property tax payment per parcel across the service area. For 2020 this fee will be $54.

Patrons who have a current CALS-Area Employment, North Little Rock, or Gateway card will receive six months free use of our collection and will not be required to pay the annual non-resident fee until September 1, 2020. The non-resident fee will not be charged automatically, you must notify CALS that you wish to pay the non-resident fee. Note that Family cards for non-residents will be converted into individual non-resident cards on September 1, 2020. Families may still use non-resident cards to check out materials for the entire family, but will only a single barcode on the account will remain active; CALS will be contacting non-resident Family card holders to determine which barcode should remain active.

See Board Policy #401 for full details.

Types of Library Cards

Individual Card

  • Available to individuals 14 years of age and older who meet ID requirements.
  • Children younger than 14 years of age with parent/guardian permission (signature) on their application can be issued regular individual accounts.
  • Library cards may only be used at check out by the account holder. The rights and responsibilities of the card are not transferable, except in instances where informed written consent has been given.

Child’s Provisional Card

  • A child’s provisional card will be offered for children who need or would like to obtain a library account without a parent/guardian’s signature.
  • Child must be able to give their full name and all other required account information.
  • 5 item check out limit.

Corporate Library Cards

Companies, service agencies, churches, and other organizations operating within the Central Arkansas Library System service area may apply for corporate library cards.

To apply, complete a corporate library card application and submit a request on the organization’s letterhead, signed by the director or other authority figure. Library cards will be issued in the organization’s name, in care of the president or director, and sent to the given address. The company or organization is responsible for all charges incurred through the use of their library cards.

Family Card

  • Individuals who are 18+ may create a family account. If they do not currently have a CALS card, they must be eligible for one with full borrowing privileges. If they already have a CALS card, their account must be in good standing.
  • One patron account with multiple barcodes. Barcodes not linked to specific titles that are checked out.
  • Limited to 10 authorized users. Additional users added at manager’s discretion.
  • Authorized users must reside in same household as primary account holder and need not be present at time of application.
  • The person who establishes the account is the primary account holder and is responsible for any fines/fees incurred.
  • Primary account holder’s signed written consent grants access to authorized users.
  • Authorized users, along with their assigned barcode, will be listed in the consent field of the record.
  • Card may be edited / renewed only by the primary account holder. Confirm permission for all authorized users as part of renewal process.
  • Check-out limits and fine limits for the entire account will be the same as for an Individual account.
  • New cards will be mailed as a group. If primary card holder is an existing patron, the cards may be given to the patron at the time of application.
  • Patrons may have a family card and an individual library card.
  • Any person listed on the account may check out books, pick up holds, and renew materials.

Loan Policies

Item Limits

New library patrons who have not yet received their library cards in the mail may check out 1 item at a time until the card is received. Patrons who have received their library cards may check out and have in their possession multiple items up to the following limits:

  • Books – maximum 200 items
  • Audio books on CD – maximum 25 items
  • Music CDs – maximum 15 items
  • DVDs – maximum 15 items
  • Downloadable books (ebooks and audiobooks from OverDrive) – maximum 10 items
  • Music downloads – maximum 5 per week

Patrons with temporary addresses and Child Provisional cards may have 5 items checked out at any one time. Patrons with No Address cards may have one (1) item checked out at a time.

In order to prevent one patron from checking out every copy of a title from the system, each patron is allowed to check out only one copy of a title per library card.

NOTE: 1) If the patron belongs to a book club or group, each individual in the club or group must check out their own copy of the book unless the patron is checking out a book club discussion kit. 2) CALS is unable to accommodate teachers who wish to check out multiple copies of a book so that all of their class can read it together.

Checkout Periods

  • 7-Day: New release (high demand) DVDS, telescopes
  • 14-Day: Newer materials, DVDs, fishing poles, circulating magazines.
  • 28-Day: All other items.
  • Extended (vacation) loans. (Items with Holds cannot be extended.) Extended loan periods, or vacation loans, may be granted at the discretion of a branch manager or department head. To be taken into consideration are: number of items the patron asks to check out; length of extension requested; popularity/demand for items requested
  • Non-circulating (Reference): Special loans of reference materials may be made with the permission of the Head of Reference or Branch Managers.
  • Interlibrary Loan Materials: The due date for ILL materials is the later of 14 days from checkout or the date due written on the white ILL band.

Discretionary limits may be set by branch managers and Head of YS regarding seasonal/special titles; Caldecott, Newbery, and King award winners; and any group of items “in demand” (e.g., science project or holiday titles)

Fines for Overdue Materials

Adult Books and Audio/Visual Items: 10¢ per day; $5 maximum fine per item
DVD Binge Boxes: 50¢ per day; $25 maximum fine per item
Juvenile Books: 10¢ per day; $3 maximum fine per item
Interlibrary Loan: $1 per day; $60 maximum per item
Book Club Kits: $1 per day; $60 maximum per kit
Laptops: (in-library use only) $10 per hour
Telescopes: $5 per day

Materials returned more than 12 months after the due date will no longer be eligible for payment of the maximum overdue charge but will be assessed the full replacement cost for the item.

Material Replacement Costs

Adult Fiction: $30
Adult Nonfiction: $40
Adult Paperback: $15
Juvenile Hardback: $25
Juvenile Paperback: $15
All Audio/Visual materials: Full replacement cost + $7.50 processing fee
DVD Binge Boxes: Full replacement cost + $20 processing fee
Book Kits: $100
Telescopes: $500
RFID tag lost or damaged: 50¢

In cases of damaged binding, patrons may, at the discretion of the branch/department manager, pay a bindery fee of $10 in lieu of the full replacement cost.

A/V Container Replacement Costs

Full re-casing and processing: $7.50
DVD/CD case: $1.50 (single disc, including individual Binge Box DVD cases)
Any additional trays in the DVD case: $.50
DVD cover art: $1 (includes individual Binge Box DVD covers)
CD Book Albums: $5
CD Sleeves: 50¢
RFID Tag Lost or Damaged: 50¢ (CD Audiobook) or $1 (DVD/Music CD)
Pamplet or booklet from any A/V items: $5
Binge Box (box replacement): $20

Regular replacement charges apply for books accompanying audios and videos, such as children’s read-along.

Other Regulations for Cardholders

Cardholder History Confidentiality and Proxy Use

In accordance with changes in the Arkansas Library Confidentiality Act 757 of the General Assembly, which amended Arkansas Code 13-2-704, Central Arkansas Library System patrons aged 18 and older can appoint a designee for the purpose of picking up items placed on hold by the cardholder, or for viewing and paying the cardholder’s library book fines. Changes in the law took effect July 31, 2009.

Current cardholders should visit their local branch to complete a form to add the information to their library record. New applicants can make this designation on the library card registration form.

Suspension of Cardholder Privileges

Any patron who owes more than $50.00 will have his or her borrowing privileges suspended until his or her record is cleared.

Materials returned more than 12 months after the latest due date will no longer be eligible for payment of the maximum overdue fine, but will be assessed the full replacement cost for the item.

Replacement Cost Refunds and Substitutions Policy

The total replacement charge per item will be refunded if the item is returned in good condition within 6 months of when the item was paid for. You must present your receipt in order to receive the refund. Replacement charges will only be refunded by check mailed to the address listed in your library account.

Replacement of lost material with another copy of the same item may be permitted at the discretion of the branch manager or department head. A processing fee of $7.50 will be charged. This option is not available for Easy Children’s Books.

Interlibrary Loan

Replacement cost is determined by the lending library.

Return Policy

All CALS materials may be returned to any branch in the Central Arkansas Library System.

Requesting Books

You may request all circulating items located at all CALS branches. You may also request items that are currently being used by another patron. There is no charge for this service. Items will be sent to the library of your choice when they become available and will be held for seven days. Items not picked up within this time will result in a $1 library book fine on each item.

Privacy Policy

The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) does not rent, sell or otherwise distribute mailing addresses, e-mail addresses or other contact information provided by patrons. Information taken from patron library card applications, online services and other sources will only be used to send notices about that individual’s library account and about programs and services offered by CALS.