How do I get a library card?

If you are a resident of Cape Elizabeth (or you own property in Cape Elizabeth,) just bring a photo ID and something that shows your Cape Elizabeth address, such as a utility bill or other official piece of mail. You will be asked to fill out and sign an application for a library card, which will include your contact information and signature.

Library staff will create a library account for you and give you a plastic library card, which you will need to bring with you when you want to borrow library materials. Your library card will also allow you to access your library account online, as well as request items from our library or other libraries from home.

Thomas Memorial Library CardWhat if I don’t live in Cape Elizabeth?

If you do not live in Cape Elizabeth, you may get a Thomas Memorial Library card if you pay an annual nonresident fee, which approximates the amount that Cape Elizabeth taxpayers pay for library services through property taxes. Currently, that amount is $75.00 per year.

  • If you own property in Cape Elizabeth, but do not live in town, you do not have to pay the nonresident fee in order to get a library card.
  • If you are an employee of the Town of Cape Elizabeth or the School Department but do not live in Cape Elizabeth, you are entitled to a free Thomas Memorial Library card.

The TML card

Your Thomas Memorial Library card comes with one wallet-sized card and two key tags.  All three cards have the same barcode number, which is your library account number.  If you ever want anyone else to access your account–to pick up holds, pay fines, or renew materials–they must have one of these cards with your account number on it.  We provide the multi-part cards to make it easier for family members to share each other’s cards so that you may easily conduct library business on behalf of spouses, children, or other family members.

A note to parents

Children may get their own library card when they turn 5 years old.  Parents should be aware that state privacy laws prohibit staff from revealing account details to anyone other than the library cardholder.  This means that if your child has his or her own card, we cannot reveal to you what he or she has borrowed.  If you present us with your child’s library card, however, staff regard this as consent of the cardholder to access his or her library record, and you may then conduct library business on behalf of your child.  For more information on our Confidential Policy, please click here.

A reminder about holds

Holds are tied to a particular library account.  Although it might seem reasonable to, for example, check out a hold for a spouse using your own card because that’s the card you have with you at the time, because a hold is attached to a specific barcode number, this is not possible.  It might also seem reasonable that staff could cancel the hold for your spouse and instead check the item out to you.  If there are other holds on an item, or that item belongs to another library, canceling the hold will cause the item to either be put on hold for someone else, or sent back to the owning library.

All this is to say that we ask you to please, always be sure to have a family member’s card with you if you need to pick up a hold for him or her!