Long Beach expands acceptable ID requirements for library cards

Hoping to improve access to library cards, the city is expanding the number of acceptable forms of identification required to obtain one.

In addition to a California Driver’s License or identification card that shows a home address, the Long Beach Public Library will now also accept a driver’s license or ID card from any state, a U.S. Passport, military identification, U.S. permanent resident card, work or student visa, foreign consulate ID card or foreign passport. Residents who are not able to provide a qualifying picture ID and proof of mailing address may still register for alternative library card options, such as limited-use and computer-use only cards.

The changes go into effect Tuesday, May 3.

A library card allows people to check out up to 50 items at a time and provides access to other library amenities like resources in the digital library, public computers and printing services, Chromebook and Mifi hotspot borrowing and participation in the library’s ZipBooks program.

“The revised policy is significant progress toward addressing equity in library service delivery and eliminating barriers that some Long Beach residents may face when trying to make full use of all our programs and services,” Library Services Director Christine Hertzel said in a written statement.

In a similar effort to eliminate barriers that Long Beach residents may face when it comes to accessing public services, the library recently joined a three-year pilot program that gives residents free entry to over 200 California state parks through the California State Library Parks Pass program. A full-service library card also gives residents the ability to check out one Parks Pass at a time for seven days to receive free vehicle day-use entry to any participating state park.

To apply with the new changes starting May 3, community members can download a library card application online and return it to any one of the 13 library locations across the city, or pre-register online and complete their application in person. The online application is available in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog.

“The Library is excited to introduce these changes and we look forward to reviewing other ways we might expand access to all Long Beach communities,” said Hertzel.

Long Beach residents can now access a day-pass to California state parks using their library card

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Laura Anaya-Morga is a general assignment reporter for the Long Beach Post.
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