I want to read while in Califorinia
July 6, 2009 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Will be living between Joshua Tree and LA county for 3 months...how do I get a library card?

I read like a fiend, and so I have several library cards in places I often stay...but this has not come up before for me...
how do I get a card and the privilege to check out books in, say, LA county, for just a few months?
posted by Jesus Malverde to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
Most places, just go into the closest library in the system, and apply for one. Usually, cards are issued on the spot (although some systems require a utility bill or drivers license to verify the address). Given that requirement, some people think you must LIVE in that jurisdiction to be eligible, but that's generally not true. (I have current cards for six different NoCal library systems.)

A user's note -- I find most California libraries to be excellent, but the first I ever visited, an LA County library in Highland Park, was in terrible shape. However, that was the only one.
posted by Rash at 9:57 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I live just outside Joshua Tree and it's a long way to LA County from here. Are you sure you you won't be in San Bernardino County or Riverside County?
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:03 AM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: sorry to be unclear on location, i'll be in beaumont...zip 92223
posted by Jesus Malverde at 10:16 AM on July 6, 2009

That's Riverside County and you'll be very close to San Bernardino County (Yucaipa is just down the road) as well, so you'll have access to 2 library systems.
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:41 AM on July 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks for these answerers, my concern is, as Rash alluded to, why would they give a non-resident a card? Is there perhaps a monetary deposit? I don't see how they can just let anyone with an ID and a passport take books...I won't have local ID of any kind.. perhaps some personal mail, but nothing 'official'.
thanks again...
sorry to be so obtuse...
posted by Jesus Malverde at 10:47 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: Here's the answer to your question from the Riverside County Library System's FAQ page. And on the front page of their website it says "Your library card from either the Riverside County Library System, San Bernardino County Library, Moreno Valley Public Library, or Murrieta Public Library
can be used at all these libraries."
posted by MsMolly at 11:03 AM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks MsMolly...this is what I see:

Any resident of California can obtain a Riverside County Library System card. Cards can be obtained at any of the thirty-three libraries or two bookmobiles in the Riverside County Library System.

To get a card, you will need to show either a valid California Driver License with a current address, or two forms of identification, one showing who you are and the other indicating your current mailing address in California. Parents or legal guardians must sign for children's cards. Non-residents of California can obtain a library card for a $10 annual fee.

as I am not, and hopefully never will be, a resident of California, am I correct in assuming that with ONLY one ID from a different state, a passport, and ten bucks will get me what I'm wanting?
posted by Jesus Malverde at 11:10 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: Our winter neighbors are Canadians and also library users (San Bernardino Coutny) and I just called them in Saskatchewan. She told me she was allowed a library card with only a Saskatchewan drivers license as ID.

Here's the SB County info
posted by buggzzee23 at 11:12 AM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: well, then...wow...
seems definitive.
i sincerely appreciate every answer here, as all were helpful.
as I am busy packing and so forth this got moved to the back burner, but I know I'd go mad there w/o library access...reading keeps my personal demons largely at bay...
so again, thanks...y'all rock me like a hurricane :)
posted by Jesus Malverde at 11:19 AM on July 6, 2009

Any resident of California can have an Los Angeles Public Library card. Here's their policy. Basically, a passport plus anything with an address from a company.

If you don't have a driver's license or ID card, then present two of the following, one of which must be a photo ID and one of which must have your current address: Passport, school ID card, other government issued photo ID, employee ID card, printed personal check, credit card statement, rental or property tax receipt, or business mail with current postmark.

Business mail could be anything a business sends you, perhaps? Could you order something on, say, Amazon and have it delivered to you, and then bring that in? Or could you have something useful anyway, like a copy of your birth certificate, sent to you from your home state? Those would both be postmarked.

The San Bernadino County Library application (PDF) asks for just a passport plus any mail.

• Photo ID without current mailing address any of above PLUS mail addressed
to applicant or parent/responsible person

One reason to join the Los Angeles Public Library, if you get the chance, is access to the Oxford English Dictionary from their website.
posted by mdonley at 11:24 AM on July 6, 2009

If you have any friends with letterhead envelopes, have them mail one sealed and stamped to your new address a few days before you move in. It should arrive nicely validated while you're unpacking.
posted by Decimask at 1:46 PM on July 6, 2009

Response by poster: thanks again for the help...I'll report back when all is said and done...
posted by Jesus Malverde at 4:00 PM on July 6, 2009

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