Need a temporary library card? If you live in incorporated Northbrook, you can apply for a temporary library card that allows you to access our eResources and digital downloads for up to a month. You can come in to convert it to a permanent card at any time during the month. Get a temporary library card by email.

Take advantage of all that the library has to offer. Get a library card today by applying at the Welcome desk on the first floor. We offer the following types of cards:

Learn more about managing your card.

Incorporated Village of Northbrook

Residents of incorporated Northbrook are entitled to a free library card, which is valid for 3 years.  

Bring current, unexpired identification that includes your full name and reflects your address within the village. Acceptable identification includes:

  • Driver’s License
  • Non-driving state ID card
  • Corporate issued ID card
  • Passport
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Armed forces ID
  • Government-issued ID with photo (example: prison-issued)
  • Mortgage statement
  • Rental lease
  • Property deed
  • Voter registration card
  • Home insurance policy
  • Vehicle insurance policy or card
  • Credit/debit card with photo
  • Mail postmarked within 30 days
  • Current telephone, gas, electric, or cable bill, or other service provider billing statement

Need to renew your card?

If you are a resident of incorporated Northbrook, your library card will be valid for 3 years. After that, you can renew your card by showing any of the forms of ID mentioned in the list above. 

Lost Card?

Lost or damaged cards may be replaced for no charge with proof of identification.

Reciprocal Borrowing

Your card will be honored at many libraries across the state. Just sign up at that library as a reciprocal borrower.

Unincorporated Areas

If you live in unincorporated Northbrook, you may purchase a card. When you purchase a card, you have access to everything that someone living in incorporated Northbrook does.

Cards may be purchased for either 6 months or 1 year. We calculate the fee by looking at your current second installment property tax bill or your rental lease (see below for more information).

Each person who lives in the household is eligible for an individual card once the non-resident fee is paid, and should apply for a card separately if the person is an adult over 18 years of age.

Not sure if you live in incorporated Northbrook?

Enter your address in the Village of Northbrook's Community Information Portal. Look in the section labeled, "Is this address in incorporated Northbrook?"

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Property Owners

Bring a current property tax bill, a current Photo ID, and proof of address.

  • If you can't locate your current property tax bill and don't know your Property Index Number (PIN), please contact an assessor at the Northfield Township Office.
  • If you live in Mission Hills, your garage may have a separate PIN for the garage, which also needs to have the “non-resident” card fee calculated.


  • Bring your rental lease, a current Photo ID, and proof of address (if not listed on your ID).
  • The card fee is calculated at 15% of one month’s rental fee.

Business Cards

Business in incorporated Northbrook

We issue free library cards to any business or company within the incorporated area of Northbrook. Cards are valid for 1 year and renewable annually.

  • The owner, president, or other designated person from your company may apply for the card at the Circulation Desk.
  • Show proof of the business location with printed letterhead, a business card, or the current real estate tax bill.
  • One card is issued per business or company.
  • The company name and the name of the designated responsible person (selected by the company president or owner) will be entered in our records. This may be done in person or in a letter on letterhead.
  • The company is responsible for all materials checked out on the card

Business in unincorporated Northbrook

A company or business with an address in unincorporated Northbrook may purchase a library card, which is valid for 6 months or 1 year.

  • The owner, president, or designated responsible person from the company may apply at the Circulation Desk.
  • Bring the second installment of the company’s current real estate tax bill if the building is owned by the business.
  • Bring a copy of the lease agreement if the property is leased. The non-resident card fee will be 15% of the monthly rental fee.

Teacher Cards

We issue library cards to any teacher or instructional support staff, with the permission of the school principal, who teaches in a school located in Northbrook. Contact your school librarian for a teacher card application.

  • The teacher library cards are valid only at the Northbrook Public Library for one year.
  • Cards allow you to check out materials and place holds on materials for classroom use. It will also grant you access to the Library’s eResources.
  • Teacher cards may not be used for Interlibrary Loan or borrowing from other libraries.
  • The principal of the school (Hickory Point, Shabonee, Wood Oaks, Greenbriar, Meadowbrook, Westmoor, Northbrook Jr High, Maple, Wescott, Field, St. Norbert, Sager Solomon Schechter) will provide the Northbrook Public Library with a list of teachers eligible for a Northbrook Teacher Library card.
  • Schools will be responsible for any lost materials if materials cannot be retrieved from the teachers.
  • You must have your library card in hand or a driver’s license when checking out books. You may come in and select their books or they may request a book bag on a specific subject or from a specific list of books
  • Museum Passes cannot be issued on a Teacher Card

The teacher card is for teaching materials only and is not for personal use. If you have a library card from a reciprocal library we would be happy to register you as a reciprocal borrower to use your personal card for checking out personal items at our Library.

Au Pairs

An au pair is a caregiver from overseas who lives with an American family.

  • To apply for a library card, please bring a letter from your Au Pair agency, such as Cultural Care Au Pair, or from your host family.
  • The letter should state the Au Pair’s name and temporary address, length of employment, and name and address of the family.
  • A parent or guardian of the host family must come in with the patron if the au pair is under 18 years of age.
  • The host family is ultimately responsible for items checked out to the account.

Senior Facilities, Nursing Homes, and patrons who are confined to their homes or who have limited mobility

We deliver materials to residents of local retirement and nursing homes. Arrangements can also be made for home delivery and registering or renewing a library card on an individual basis for Northbrook residents. Contact the Fiction & Media Department at 847-272-2830 and ask for the Outreach Coordinator. 

Reciprocal Borrowers

If you live in a town that participates in RAILS Library System, or if you have a Chicago Public Library card, you may be eligible to apply for a Reciprocal Borrower account. Please bring in your home library card, a current photo ID, and proof of address (if it is not on your ID). Your account with your home library must be in good standing. Your account will be valid for the same amount of time as your home library card, or valid for 3 years if your home library card does not have an expiration date. 

Cards for Kids Program

Pre-K – Grade 12 students living in unincorporated Northbrook who qualify for free and reduced lunch at school may be eligible to receive a library card at no cost. The library card is for the student only. Benefits do not apply to family members. 

If you have questions about applying for a library card through the Cards for Kids program, please call us at 847-272-6224 or email us at

Cards for U.S. Veterans Program

U.S. Veterans may receive a library card free of charge for their primary residence if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have a service-connected disability of at least 70% 
  • Are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence, and 
  • Live in unincorporated Northbrook 

This card is applicable to anyone in the veteran’s household.

To apply, present information from Cook County that indicates their residence is exempt from paying property taxes. If you are renting you should bring documentation of at least 70% disability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (PTAX-342). If you have questions about applying for a library card through the Cards for U.S. Veterans program, please call us at 847-272-6224 or email us at