Get a Card

If you live within Urbana’s City limits, you can get a free library card and along with it, access to the library’s amazing collection of books, movies, music, eBooks, magazines, audiobooks, and more.  Library cards for residents are valid for three years and include remote access to research databases, eBooks, and online magazines. Cardholders also may use their UFL card to borrow items from the Champaign Public Library.

To Get a Library CardeCardChildren’s Cards | Non-Residents
Non-Resident Property Owners 
Businesses and AgenciesReciprocal Borrowers | Responsibilities

To Get a Library Card

  • Come to Circulation Services with an officially printed, unexpired photo ID and proof of your current Urbana residence—such as a bill postmarked in the last 30 days.
  • Register for your library card from home—how convenient! Once you register, you'll have 90 days of access to our Databases and eBooks & More collections.
  • To complete your registration and get full access to all the Library's resources, bring your photo ID and proof of Urbana address to Circulation Services, and you’ll be on your way.
  • If you forget your proof of address, we can mail your library card to you.
  • Library card requirements


  • eCards are provided to Urbana residents to try out our eResources. Once your eCard expires, you'll need to come to the Library and convert the card to a regular Library card to continue access to eResources and get full access to all the Library's resources. eCard patrons who live within the Library’s taxing district may convert their eCard to a full-use library card at any time by making a Curbside Pickup appointment or coming to the Circulation Desk, where you will need to show a photo ID and proof of current Urbana address (such as a utility bill).
  • Click here to get an eCard. Be sure to make note of the user name and numerical password (PIN) you enter along with the temporary barcode issued when the form is submitted. You will need this information to access the Library's eResources.
  • Once you register, you'll have 90 days of access to our Databases and eBooks & More collections.
  • If you already have a card from The Urbana Free Library, you do not need to register for an eCard. Use your current barcode and numerical password (PIN) to access eResources.

Children’s Cards

Children of any age who live within Urbana's City limits can apply for a free library card, but a parent or guardian must present his or her own photo ID and verification of address and co-sign the card of any child up to age 14.


If you live in the Urbana School District but outside the City limits, it means you do not pay the tax that supports the library. You are eligible to get a non-resident library card, but you must pay a tax-substitute fee. This fee, calculated by the yearly amount of library tax your property would owe if it were within the City limits, allows all members of your household to receive their own library cards. For more information about non-resident cards and fees, call Circulation Services at 217-367-4057.

Non-resident library cards are issued for one year and have the same borrowing privileges as resident cards.

Students who live in non-resident areas and who attend Urbana School District #116 schools are eligible to receive a free library card. Call Circulation Services at 217-367-4057 for more information about non-resident student cards.

Non-Resident Property Owners

If you do not live in Urbana but own property within the City limits, you also are eligible for a free library card. One card may be issued per parcel of property to the person whose name appears on the current tax bill. Please bring this tax bill with you when you apply for your library card.

Non-resident property owner cards are issued for three years and carry all the privileges of resident cards.

Businesses and Agencies

A business or agency that occupies property within the City limits of Urbana is eligible for a free library card as well. These cards carry all the privileges of resident cards, including remote access to our research databases. Now your employees and you can log in without ever leaving your desks! To apply for a business/agency card, print a copy of our guidelines for Library Cards for Businesses and Agencies or call 217-367-4057.

Library cards issued to Urbana businesses and agencies are valid for three years.

Reciprocal Borrowers

If you live in Illinois and have a valid card at your home library, you can register as a reciprocal borrower at The Urbana Free Library. Just bring your current library card and a photo ID to Circulation Services. Please apply when your home library is open so we can call your library to complete your registration.

Reciprocal cards are valid until your home library card expires.


  • You must apply for, carry, and use your own library card.
  • You are responsible for all use of your card.
  • If you lose your library card, please contact Circulation Services immediately at 217-367-4057.