5. Applying for a Library Card

A. Resident Cards

Anyone age 18 or over who lives or owns property within the boundaries of East Windsor, Ewing, Hightstown, Hopewell Township, Lawrence, Robbinsville, or West Windsor townships may obtain a free library card, upon completion of an application, to include a social security number or active driver's license number, presentation of photographic identification*, and proof of residency.

The following will be accepted as proof of residency:

  • Valid New Jersey Driver's License or Non-driver Identification Card
  • Valid New Jersey Motor Vehicle registration
  • A current bank statement that verifies the name and address
  • Current rental lease, receipt or deed
  • A current utility bill addressed to the individual
  • Current school identification card and/or a current tuition bill
  • Dated letter from a social services agency

The following will not be accepted as proof of residency:

  • Post Office Box
  • General Delivery addresses
  • Business card

*Photographic proof of identity (i.e. driver's license) will only be accepted in paper, not electronic format. Proof of employment, proof of student status or use of a bill (i.e. tuition, school schedule, utility) will be accepted if presented in electronic form, as long as the proof is properly dated (i.e. a school schedule must indicate the current school year.)

B. Minor Resident Cards

Children under the age of 14 may obtain a library card with the permission of a parent or guardian, as indicated by the presentation of an application signed by a parent or guardian. It is required that the parent or guardian who is accepting responsibility for a minor's library card be in good standing with the library themselves. Patrons who are barred or who have library accounts that are suspended may not sign for a minor resident card until their own library account is resolved.

Issuance of a card under the provisions of this section entitles the signing parent or guardian the privilege of using their minor child's card on the same basis as the minor.* This privilege expires when the child reaches age 18. During the application process, a message will be placed on the minor child's record indicating that the authorizing parent or guardian may use the card and have access to the account.

*Patrons are reminded that only the authorizing individual(s) will be allowed this privilege; if both parents/guardians will wish to use the minor's card, both must sign the application. This provision is to preserve the confidentiality of the minor patron's library record, and is in accordance with the New Jersey Confidentiality of Library Records Law. This privilege only extends to the authorizing parent(s) or guardian(s) and not to other members of the family. (Verification of court appointed legal guardianship will be required when issuing a minor resident card for a guardian.)

Minor residents, ages 14-17 may obtain a card upon presentation of a valid, current student ID, without a parent or guardian signature.

Minor Resident Card holders may verbally authorize a parent or guardian to have access to library account information for the purposes of resolving fines and fees; however, verbal authorization of the disclosure of account details does not include use of the library card.

C. Non-Resident Cards

Any non-resident (defined as a person who does not live, own property, work or attend school within the boundaries of East Windsor, Ewing, Hightstown, Hopewell Township, Lawrence, Robbinsville or West Windsor townships) may purchase a library card for $75 per year. Senior citizens, 62 years or older, who live in Mercer County, but not in a participating municipality, may purchase a library card for $10 per year. A non-resident library card is issued upon completion of an application, presentation of current, valid photographic identification, proof of address and payment of the processing or annual fee. As a courtesy to our non-resident patrons who pay for their library privileges, the library will issue cards to a spouse or minor child(ren) living in the household. The library will not issue a free library card to any other adult living in the household.

D. Business Cards

Business cards are available to individuals who work or own a business in one of the member municipalities of the Mercer County Library System. Use of a business library card is limited specifically to the individual cardholder. Cards cannot be issued to a business entity for use by officers or employees of the business. Business cards are issued upon completion of an application, presentation of current, valid proof of employment, such as a recent pay stub, dated work identification or current letter of eligibility from an employer, and a valid photographic identification that includes an address. A printed business card may not be accepted to either initially activate a business card library account or to renew a business library card account. Business library card accounts are renewable annually at no cost, providing the patron can verify their current eligibility by providing the information specified in this paragraph.

E. Mercer County Employee Cards

Per the County of Mercer, employees of the County of Mercer, as well as the Mercer County Board of Social Services (MCBOSS) are entitled to Mercer County Employee Cards with MCLS, regardless of the physical location of their office (i.e. Trenton.)

F. Students

Students who do not reside in a member municipality, but attend public or private schools in a member municipality, or who temporarily reside in a member municipality in order to attend school may be issued a card, free of charge. A student card is issued upon completion of an application, and presentation of a current, valid student photographic identification, along with a current school year class schedule or current school year tuition bill. Student cards are issued for a period of one school year and are renewable after August 15 of each year.

G. Internet-Only Cards

Individuals who are not eligible for a free library card and do not wish to purchase a non-resident card, may purchase an internet-only card for a one-time fee of $2.00. The card is issued upon completion of an application, presentation of current, valid photographic identification, proof of address and payment of the processing fee. These cards will only allow the patron to use the public PC stations and not to check out library materials.

H. Guest Internet Passes

Individuals who are visiting the library and do not wish to register for a library card, but want to use our public PC stations, may obtain a guest pass. Registration will require some form of photographic identification, such as a driver's license or school identification card. Staff may use their discretion in issuing a guest internet pass in the event that the patron does not have a photographic ID.

I. Temporary Cards

Temporary cards may be issued to a person who has no permanent address, but does have a temporary address in a member municipality. Persons who have identifying letters from social service agencies in participating municipalities may also be issued temporary cards. Temporary cards must be re-verified after three months. Temporary cardholders may not place holds on more than two items or check out more than two items at one time.

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