Who can borrow library materials?
Only the person issued a library card may check out materials and use the Internet with that library card.
To borrow materials from the Detroit Public Library or Library on Wheels, a person must show proof of one of the following:
- Residence in Detroit
- Attend a Detroit school with a valid school ID
Any person who does not reside in the City of Detroit or attend a school in Detroit, may apply for a non-resident card to borrow materials from any DPL location for an annual fee of $100 per person or household.
A restricted card may be issued to persons who reside in Detroit but are unable to provide proper proof of residence. A restricted card is good for Internet use. Only two items (no media) may be checked out at any time. Address verification is required on restricted cards every three months.
Friends of DPL
Members of the Friends of DPL, who join or renew at the $150 level are entitled to a free non-resident card. Please contact the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation  office for details.
Any Detroit company may apply for a company card to borrow materials from the Main Library. Non-Detroit companies may apply for a non-resident company card to borrow materials from the Main Library for an annual fee of $100. Requests must be submitted on company letterhead to:
Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
DPL Employees and Volunteers
All Detroit Public Library employees have free borrowing privileges.
What can you borrow?
Library cardholders may borrow a total of 25 items at a time including
- Music scores
- Picture files
- English as a Second Language materials
- Music CDs
- Music or spoken word audio cassettes
- Videos (limit 6 videos, age appropriate ratings enforced)
- DVDs (limit 6 DVDs, age appropriate ratings enforced)
- Video games (limit 1)
- Downloadable e-Books (limit 4)
- Downloadable music, video, comics, audiobooks (limit 10 per month)
New applicants may borrow a total of 2 items at a time until they receive their permanent library card.
Can materials be renewed?
The usual borrowing period is 3 weeks, but some materials may have shorter borrowing periods. Library materials may be renewed in person or by phone. Popular items may only be renewed one time, providing there are no holds on the item. You will be prohibited from checking out materials if you have overdue items on your account.
Where can you return library materials?
With the exception of videos, DVDs, music CDs and cassettes, all library materials may be returned to any library location. 24-hour drop boxes are available at each branch location. Videos, DVDs, music CDs and cassettes must be returned to the originating library.
How do you obtain a library card?
All applicants may obtain an application at any Detroit Public Library location or download an application.
All applicants must present a completed application and either a valid Michigan driver's license, Michigan State identification card or current U.S. passport. Along with the U.S. passport, verification of residency is required. There is no charge for a resident library card, but there is a $1.00 fee for the replacement of a lost card.
Adult Library Card
An person 18 years of age or older is eligible to apply for an unrestricted adult library card.
Juvenile Library Card
Any person under age 18 is eligible to apply for a library card. Youth applications require the valid identification and signature of a parent or guardian. Please note that a library card entitles youth to use the Internet at the Detroit Public Library. Parents and guardians are responsible for monitoring their children's access to all library materials and online services.
How long is a library card valid?
New personal library cards are valid for 2 years from the date of your birthday. Non-resident and company cards expire annually.