Get a Library Card

All California Residents are eligible for a FREE Kern County Library card. Open the door to your imagination, gain access to resources, and discover what’s available to your community through the Kern County Library.

Apply online to begin the process of obtaining your Library card and to begin accessing materials immediately online.

Finalizing your application requires proof of identity, proof of residency, and a signed paper application which may be printed online or picked up at the Library (ENGLISH/SPANISH), and transforms your Kern County Library card into a full-access card, granting you access to physical material checkout. For minors 17 and under, a guardian must be present to finalize the application and bring proof of identity, proof of residency, and signed acknowledgement of financial responsibility. Kern County residents, ages 13 and over, apply online to begin the process of obtaining your Kern County Library card and to begin accessing materials online.

Proof of Identity

A current unexpired:

  • Driver’s License/ID
  • Military ID
  • Border Crossing Card
  • Mexican Matricula Consular Card
  • Passport
  • Prison ID
  • Resident Alien Card
Proof of California Residency

Recent in your name or family name:

  • Utility Bill issued in last 30 days with California Address
  • Checkbook imprinted with a California Address
  • California Issued:
    • Driver’s License/ID
    • Car Registration
    • Car Insurance
    • Mortgage/Rental/Lease Agreement
    • Temporary Driver’s License/ID
  • Following California Documents when presented with a recently deliver piece of mail
    • Employment ID
    • School ID
    • Assistance: WIC, Food Stamps
    • Check Cashing Card
Non-Residents of Kern County

All Non-Residents are required to visit a Kern County Library location with proof of identity to receive a library card.
Non-residents of California can get a library card to check out materials for an annual fee of $25.
For non-residents looking to apply for a card, you must use the additional application option to begin the process.

eLibrary, Database, and Computer-Use Card

If you wish to use the computers, and you are unable to get a full-access Kern County Library card, you can apply for a computer-use only card. A completed library card application and a photo ID (with your First and Last name) are required.

Having trouble? Access our additional application option.

Types of Library Cards

Access Types
Full Access Card
eLibrary Card

Digital Media:
Download or stream eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, music, comic books, and TV shows. Place holds on digital media items.

Research and Homework:
Access resources for auto repair, health, academic research, newspapers, general reference, peer-reviewed journals, and learning languages.
Public Computers:
Reserve and use public computers at library locations.
Physical Collections:
Check out printed books, CDs, Books on CD, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. Access interlibrary loan and Zip Books. Place holds on physical materials. 

Learn More About Your Kern County Library Card

With a Kern County Library Card, You Can...
  • Check out books, ebooks, eAudiobooks, CDs, & Movies.
  • Request items to be sent to your local library branch.
  • Use Library public computers.
  • Access Library databases from home, including full-text journals, auto repair manuals, job & employment resources, hobby & craft DIY resources, legal information & forms, small business information, and more.

The Kern County Library is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Library System. Your library card can be used at all of the member libraries: Coalinga-Huron District, Fresno County, Kings County, Madera County, Mariposa County, Merced County, Porterville Public, Tulare County, & Tulare Public.

Your Signature Means
  • You will be responsible for all items checked out on your library card.
  • You will pay for any lost, damaged, or late items charged on your card.
  • You and your card must be present to checkout.
  • You will not allow anyone else to use your card.
  • You will report the loss of your card immediately.
  • You will report any change in your address, phone number, or email address.
Borrowing Materials

A Kern County Library card can be used at any library in the San Joaquin Valley Library System to checkout materials.

  • A library card is for use only by the person to whom the card is issued.
  • The library card must be present. Checkouts will not be permitted if the library card is not present.
  • The library card holder is responsibile for all items checked out with the library card.
  • A printed receipt will be provided each time materials are checked out. The receipt will include the items checked out and their due dates.
  • A limit of 30 items may be checked out on the library card.
  • Due dates are determined by the type of materials, see chart below.
Type of Material Loan Period Checkout Fee
Most Books & Magazines 3 weeks No cost
Music CDs 3 weeks No cost
Audio Books 3 weeks No cost
DVDs & Blu-Rays 1 week $2  + tax (per title)
Rental Books Pay for the Days You Keep the Item 25¢ per day
Interlibrary Loan Varies; determined by lending library $5 (request fee) – Other fees may apply
Access Your Account

Access the My Account link, at the top of the Kern County Library website.

  • Use your Library Card number and PIN to log in.

From your account, you can:

  • View items you have checked out
  • Renew checked out items (some restrictions apply)
  • Manage Hold Requests
  • View and Pay any Library fees
  • Update your email address and PIN #
Library Notices & Request Email or SMS Text Notifications
  • The Library attempts to send courtesy notices for hold notifications and overdue materials.
  • In regards to your hold notification and the first overdue notice, you have the ability to choose how you will receive the notice either by email, phone, or US mail. All other notices will be sent via U.S. mail.
Notice When Sent How it is sent
Pre-Overdue Notice 3 days before item is due Email ONLY
Hold Notification 1 day after hold is received at requested location Email, Phone, SMS Text, or US Mail
First Overdue Notice 10 days overdue Email, Phone, SMS Text, or US Mail
Final Overdue Notice 30 days overdue US Mail ONLY
Lost Item Notice 50 days overdue US Mail ONLY
Reminder of Fees on Account Account owes $25 or more & 60 days from item due date US Mail ONLY

Request Email Notices

Update Your Contact Information

Item Was Returned or Never Checked Out

Make an Interlibrary Loan Request

Renewing Materials
  • Renew online, via Tele-messaging (automated system), or by contacting/visiting your local branch. (The online and automated system is available at any time.)
  • Your Library card and PIN number are required, if renewing online or with our automated system.
  • Your PIN by default is the last four digits of your phone number at registration.
  • The new date will be determined by the date of renewal, and not by the original due date of the item.
  • Most items can be renewed twice. After two renewals, the item must be returned.
  • Items already overdue can only be renewed by contacting the library directly.
  • Items that are request by someone else cannot be renewed, even if there appear to be other copies available.

Items already overdue can only be renewed by contacting the library directly.

  • During open hours:
    • By Phone or In Person at the library during library open hours
  • 24/7
    • Online (My Account)
      • Library card and PIN# required
      • View/Renew Items checked out and then select the items you wish to renew
      • Items unable to be renewed will be noted in red
    • Tele-Messaging: toll free (866) 290.8681
      • Library card and PIN# required
      • Choose the menu number for renewal. You can choose to either be prompted by title, to enter item barcode numbers, or to renew all items.
Return Checked Out Items

Library materials may be returned to any library in the San Joaquin Valley Library System, regardless of where they were checked out.

  • You are responsible for returning materials on or before the due date.
  • There are book drops located outside the library to return items during closed hours. Audio-Visual items should not be returned in the book drops, unless it is clearly marked for Audio-Visual materials (Not available at most locations).
  • If materials are returned after the due date, late fees will be charged to the account. These fees are assessed, per title, on a daily basis.
Late Fees & Lost/Damaged Items
  • The Library charges a late fee for each item that is returned overdue.
  • The fee is assessed on a daily basis according to the Kern County Library’s Fee Schedule.
  • Loss of or damage to your checked out materials will result in Lost or Damaged fees being assessed to your account, according to the Kern County Library’s Fee Schedule.
Payment of Library Fees

If you have fees due on your library card, you can pay them at any Kern County Library location.

  • Acceptable Forms of Payment In Person Phone Online Mail
    Cash X
    Check or Money Order X X
    Visa – MasterCard – Discover X X X

    Library accounts owing $25 or more can be referred to an outside agency for collection. If you are unable to pay the amount due on your account all at once, you may be able to setup payments to keep the account from going to collections.

    Payment Arrangements:

    • Monthly payment is required
    • Each payment must be at least 10% of the current balance

    If monthly payments are not made, the account will be sent to collections.


Library accounts owing $25 or more and delinquent 90 days from the item’s due date will be referred to an outside agency for collection.

Is your account in collections?

You can find out more information regarding your collection account by contacting:

  • Your local library branch
  • Kern County Library Collections staff: 661.868.0765
  • HP Sears: 888.269.7051 (Kern County’s Collection Agency)

Collection accounts can be paid (in part or in full) at the collection agency, at any Kern County Library location, online, or by mail.

Fee Schedule

(Fee Schedule – Printer-Friendly Version)

There shall be a fine each time library material becomes overdue; however, the maximum fine per transaction shall not exceed 70% of the replacement cost of the material. Accumulated charges totaling $2 or more will result in suspension of checkout privileges until the account is resolved. A handling fee of $35 per check shall be added to the account balance for each check returned by the bank. Accounts 90 days old will be assessed an additional $20 collection fee and referred to a collection agency. The agency may charge interest on accounts from the date of referral.

All materials except Videocasettes DVD & Reference $0.50 ea/day
Videocasettes & DVDs $1.00 ea/day
Reference Materials $5.00 ea/day
Expired Hold (not picked up within 10 days) $1.00 per item
Fee Name Fee cost
Microform Photocopies $0.50 per page
Color Photocopies & Color Laser Computer Printouts $1.00 per page
FAX (International) Sent/Received: $5.00 first page & $2.00 each additional pag
FAX (Domestic) Sent/Received: $1.00 per page
Research Fee (out of SJVLS area) $30.00/hr with 1/2 hour $15.00 minimum plus copy/fax charges
Rental Books $0.25 per day
Videocassettes & DVDs (7-day checkout) $2.00/each week per item
B&W Photocopies & Computer Printouts & Printer Paper $0.15 per page
Audio-Visual Listening/Viewing Equipment $1.00 per hour
Out of State Library Card $25.00 annually
Interlibrary Loans (ILL) (Outside of SJVLS area) $5.00 per item (plus any other charges from lending library)
Book Type Fee
Fiction Book – Adult $25.00/each
Juvenile (Fiction Book & Book/Casette or CD Kit) $16.00/each
Young Adult Fiction Book S$19.00/each
Juvenile Non-Fiction Book $24.00/each
Reference Materials replacement cost
Interlibrary Loan Materials charge set by lending library
Magazine $5.00/each
Trade Paperback – Non-Fiction $21.00/each
Trade Paperback – Fiction $15.00/each
Mass-market Paperbacks $8.00/each
Board Books $7.00/each
Pamphlets/Vertical File Material $4.00/each
Cassette Tape $11.00/each
Books-on-Tape & Books-on-CD $15.00/each disk/tape
Compact Disc $18.00/each
Videocassette $25.00/each
Audio-visual Cases $2.00/each
Uncatalogued Abridged Audio Books $8.00/each
DVDs $25.00/each set
Phonograph Record $10.00/each
Library Card $2.00

The cost for materials not returned will be the retail cost, if available in the library database. When the retail price is not available, the following replacement costs will be applied. 
*Refunds for materials not returned are issued only within one year of the due date.

Damaged Materials Fee
Bindery Charge – Books up to 8″ $8.00
Bindery Charge – Books 8-9″ $10.00
Bindery Charge – Books 9-10″ $11.00
Bindery Charge – Books 10-12″ $13.00
Bindery Charge – Books 12-14″ $17.00
Text Books – all sizes $9.00
Periodicals up to 10″ in height $14.00
Periodicals over 10″ & including 12″ in height $18.00
Periodicals over 12″ & including 14″ in height $23.00
Damaged Pages $1.00/page up to replacement

For materials damaged beyond repair, see Materials Not Returned.

Approved by the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Resolution No. 2011-157, June 21, 2011

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