Do library cards have an expiration date?

Answer

Most library cards, except for limited cards, expire after 3 years. 

To renew a library card, come in to any branch with a photo ID. If your address has changed from what we have on file, please bring some proof of that address if it is not listed on your photo ID.

Why does my library card expire?

The Public Library is required legally to ensure that the patrons we serve live in the state of New Mexico. Our contracts with our electronic resource vendors, such as OverDrive/Libby and Hoopla, state that the services we pay for are intended for New Mexico state residents, whose tax dollars are used to pay for such services. As such, the Library's policy does require patrons to visit one of our 19 library branches and show their photo ID in order to apply for a library card, and to visit a branch at least once every three years with their photo ID to confirm that they still do live in New Mexico.

  • Last Updated Aug 25, 2023
  • Views 3327
  • Answered By Main Reference Library

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Comments (6)

  1. Putting an expiration date on a library card is unnecessary and ridiculous. Further, having no way to address this issue online is unacceptable. Why have a free service if you are going to make it difficult to access and potentially inaccessible to some members of the community?
    by D Baker on Nov 12, 2022
  2. Agreed! Library cards should never expire. It’s highly inconvenient for those that use Libby app at home and don’t want to leave the house.
    by N R on Mar 06, 2023
  3. Library cards should not expire! Having to return to a physical library to renew a card for online use is a disincentive for those with mobility and transportation issues.
    by Katrina on Aug 25, 2023
  4. To those wondering why library cards expire: The Public Library is required legally to ensure that the patrons we serve live in the state of New Mexico. Our contracts with our electronic resource vendors, such as OverDrive/Libby and Hoopla, state that the services we pay for are intended for New Mexico state residents, whose tax dollars are used to pay for such services. As such, the Library's policy does require patrons to visit one of our 19 library branches and show their photo ID in order to apply for a library card, and to visit a branch at least once every three years with their photo ID to confirm that they still do live in New Mexico.
    by Digital Services Librarian on Aug 25, 2023
  5. I understand needing to follow the state policies. But in this age of Zoom calls, can't we do an online video call to show our ID to confirm we still live in NM?
    by ML on Sep 22, 2023
  6. I'm a librarian in another State, but I thought I'd chime in. To the comment that mentioned Zoom calls ... I don't think you're conceptualizing the actual logistics involved. For examples, let's say you're in a county that has 100,000 registered library card users. If cards expire every 3 years, that means on any given day, about 91 cards are expiring. Do you think the library has the staff to try and schedule, let alone execute, 91 Zoom calls every single day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? And that's just one tiny task that is far less than 1% of the daily workload of a library worker. Is it really too much to ask that, once every three years, a person actually visit the library whose resources they are using? Is that really what our world has come to?
    by P Locey on Feb 26, 2024