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Any person who lives in or pays property taxes in Rhode Island is eligible to receive an Ocean State Libraries (OSL) card from the public library of his/her choice free of charge. One card is allowed per resident. Use of an Ocean State Libraries card is non-transferrable, i.e., can only be used by the person whose name appears on the card.
Required Information on Library Card Applications
• Full Name (First, Middle initial, and Last)
• Mailing Address
• Phone or email or both
• Birth date
• Guardian Full name (if applicant is under 13)
When applying for an Ocean State Libraries card, an applicant must show proof that he/she lives or pays property taxes in the State of Rhode Island. To apply for a card, any applicant aged 13 and over may provide only one piece of identification if it is 1 of the following valid Rhode Island State IDs:
• Current Rhode Island driver's license (if address is not current, current address must be
written on the back as provided for on the license)
• Current Rhode Island State ID
• Current Photo learner's permit
Alternatively, if the above mentioned ID cannot be provided, one (1) form of photo identification may be presented along with any one (1) form of proof of residency (documents should be current):
Photo Identification - Must have name and photo
Proof of Residency - Must match name on photo I.D. presented and contain full Rhode Island address.
Young Adult Borrowers
Students ages 13 to 17 may provide proof of their enrollment in a public or private school in Rhode Island (class schedule, transcript, report card, etc.) in lieu of a photo ID if they do not otherwise have one. Proof of home address must still be provided if not stated on school enrollment documents. Minors ages 13-17 may also have their application signed by their parent or guardian*, who may provide identification/address validation on the minor’s behalf. Both the parent or guardian and the minor should be present to apply for a library card.
Children aged 0-12 must have their application signed by a parent or guardian*, who may provide the above identification/address validation on their child's behalf.
Both the parent or guardian and the child should be present to apply for a library card.
When registering for an Ocean State Libraries card, the cardholder accepts responsibility for all items on the card, all use made of the card and all charges made against it until the card is reported lost. Therefore, it is to the cardholder’s benefit to report the loss or theft of a library card immediately. The cost of replacing a lost or stolen library card is $1.00.
Report lost cards by phone, in person at any Library location, or by email sent to
Loan Periods / Borrowing Limits
The checkout period for books and books on CD is three weeks. DVDs, videos, periodicals, and music CDs may be checked out for one week.
You can request materials in person, by phone or via the internet. We will notify you by phone or email you when the item is available for pickup.
Renewing Your Borrowed Items
Items may be renewed in person, by phone, or via the internet. Only books and books on CD may be renewed for two additional 3-week period unless another patron has placed a hold on that item. No other items may be renewed.
In order to remind Library users that they have overdue items, three notices will be sent: (1) an overdue notice at 7 days; (2) a second overdue notice at 14 days past due; (3) and a billing notice at 30 days past due. Notices are sent via email or print depending upon your library card registration preferences.
Overdue Materials: Fine rates are as follows:
- DVD/VHS $1.00 per day/per item
- Interlibrary Loan $0.10 per day/per item
- All other items $0.10 per day/per item
Maximum Fines: To encourage the return of long-overdue materials, there is a maximum per-item fine.
- For each item $6.00 per item
Payment of Fines: The Library will accept the following forms of payment for fines accrued:
- Personal check made out to the Library on a check for the exact amount of the fines.
- Money order or cashier’s check
- Visa, MasterCard or Discover (online only)
- Returned checks will be assessed a $25 fee. Payments must be made by cash, money order or cashier’s check.
- Patrons will be blocked from borrowing materials if any of the following conditions exist:
- If their overdue fines are $5.00 or more
- If they have more than five (5) active claims returned
- If the Library has reason to believe that the user has changed address; when this is the case, the library user may be asked to present current address verification before being permitted to check out materials.
- If there is reasonable doubt of the person’s identity or permission to use the card.