eCards

eCards

If you are a Massachusetts resident and don't already have a Boston Public Library card, you can register for one online.

Registering and Renewing Your eCard

  • An eCard is a Boston Public Library card that you can sign up for online, opens a new window and which provides access to all online resources, including OverDrive and Hoopla. eCards are available to anyone who lives, resides part-time to attend school, owns property, or works in Massachusetts.

  • Register for an eCard, opens a new window if you meet any of the following criteria:

    • Your primary residence is in Massachusetts.
    • You are living in Massachusetts for most of the year while attending school in-state.
    • You commute to a Massachusetts employer on a sustained and regular basis. (Your primary place of work.) Learn more.
    • You own property (real estate) in Massachusetts. Learn more.

    Other Restrictions
    If you are a short-term resident staying in Massachusetts you are not eligible for an eCard. However, you can visit any of our locations and apply for a research card in-person at the Central Library in Copley Square.

    If you have any other card with the BPL, you are not eligible for an eCard (and don’t need one!)

    Children under 13 years of age are ineligible for an eCard due to COPPA restrictions.

    If you have any questions about eligibility, please email websupport@bpl.org.

  • No. Your physical library card provides all the benefits of eCards plus access to the physical collection, including museum passes.

  • Requesting and borrowing physical materials, including museum passes, requires a physical card. eCards can be upgraded to physical cards at any BPL location.

  • Our mission is to serve residents of Massachusetts, but we recognize that people who own a residence in the state pay real estate taxes here. If your name is listed on the deed of a residence in Massachusetts, either as an owner or a current trustee of a residence held in trust, you likely qualify for this exception.

    If the residence you have in mind doesn't list you on the deed, but is owned by other family members, you likely do not qualify.

    If you're still unsure whether you qualify as a property owner, email us at websupport@bpl.org.

  • Our mission is to serve residents of Massachusetts, but we recognize that people who live in neighboring states may pay Massachusetts income tax because they work for an employer in Massachusetts. If your primary place of work is in Massachusetts, that usually means this exception applies to you.

    If you only travel to Massachusetts to attend meetings, work with clients, volunteer, or temporarily work at a location in the state, you are unlikely to qualify.

    If you're still unsure whether you qualify as a commuter, email us at websupport@bpl.org.

  • We're unable to accept eCard registrations and renewals submitted from outside the country due to security and licensing concerns. Please submit the form when you've returned from your trip.

    Please note that many of our online resources also may not be available for use outside the United States due to vendor licensing restrictions.

  • Only eligible individual users may register for eCards. Organizations may not register for eCards.

    Library cards for corporations, businesses, libraries, and other organizations must be obtained in person at any of our locations.

    Institutional cards provide borrowing and interlibrary loan privileges, but do not allow remote access to electronic resources, due to vendor licensing restrictions.

  • All eCards can be upgraded by visiting any BPL location. Bring photo ID and proof of your Massachusetts address. A Massachusetts driver’s license or ID meets both requirements.

    After you upgrade, you should still be able to see your active holds, checkouts, and other digital activity when you log in with your new library card credentials.

    However, if we need to create a whole new borrower record for you, we may need to transfer your activity to the new account. You can email us at overdrive@bpl.org to transfer your holds and checkouts in OverDrive to your new card. Please send the old and new library card numbers.

Managing Your eCard Account

  • You can renew your eCard 10 days before it expires or later. Just complete the registration form, opens a new window again using the same email address that's in your account. We'll find the expired account and send you an email confirmation of your renewal.

    You cannot renew physical library cards online.

  • You should still be able to see your active holds, checkouts, and other digital activity when you log in with your new library card credentials.

    However, if we need to create a whole new borrower record for you though, we may need to transfer your activity to the new account. You can email us at overdrive@bpl.org to transfer your holds and checkouts in OverDrive to your new card. Please send the old and new library card numbers.

  • All eCards can be upgraded by visiting any BPL location. Bring photo ID and proof of your Massachusetts address. A Massachusetts driver’s license or ID meets both requirements.

    After you upgrade, you should still be able to see your active holds, checkouts, and other digital activity when you log in with your new library card credentials.

    However, if we need to create a whole new borrower record for you, we may need to transfer your activity to the new account. You can email us at overdrive@bpl.org to transfer your holds and checkouts in OverDrive to your new card. Please send the old and new library card numbers.

  • Resubmit the registration form, opens a new window with the same email address you used before. We'll email you a reminder of your eCard number.

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