New York State Residents

All New York State residents, 18 years and older, are eligible to receive a NYS Resident Borrower's Card from the New York State Library.  NYS Resident Borrower's Card numbers begin with an "R".

With a NYS Resident Borrower's Card you can:

  • borrow up to 10 items at a time onsite from the State Library’s 20 million item collection
  • request materials in person, over the telephone (518-474-5355), via fax (518-474-5279), via email to or through Excelsior, the NYSL online catalog
  • remotely access, from work or home, the Library’s collection of NOVELNY online databases and thousands of magazine, journal and newspaper articles available in over 5,400 full-text NOVELNY online journals and newspapers. 

This program gives New York State residents, who are not eligible under other NYSL Borrower categories, onsite borrowing privileges; books and other materials will not be mailed to individuals under this program.  The NYS Resident Borrower’s Card does not provide individuals with free photocopies or interlibrary loan privileges.

Applicants must complete a NYSL NYS Resident Borrower's Card applicationPDF file (43 KB) and present one of the following forms of personal identification:

  • a current New York State driver license
  • a current photo-identification card issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
  • other current photo-identification card that contains the individual's name and current home address
  • other current photo-identification card that contains the individual's name and a recent piece of official mail (such as a utility or telephone bill) that shows the individual's name and current home address. 

New York State residents listing a post office box as a mailing address must also provide their resident address. A college dormitory is not considered a resident home address. Proof that a resident is 18 years or older may be required.

Photocopies or scans are acceptable when mailing, faxing or e-mailing your proof of residency or personal identification.

A NYSL Borrower's Card is issued for individual use and is non-transferable.  Please do not share your NYSL Borrower's Card number or PIN with others.

NYS Resident Borrower's Cards must be renewed every two years.

Last Updated: May 20, 2021