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National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Find your element at DC Public Library! Bookworm, Creative, News Buff, Life-Long Learner, Professional, Life Navigator, Local Historian

Find your element at DC Public Library! Your library card opens up a world of opportunities that can help you find your creative voice, build your community, learn something new and so much more. During National Library Card Month, we invite you to sign up for a library card or renew your library card and explore what your neighborhood library has to offer. Read on to see all the different ways DC Public Library can help you feel in your element.

Sign Up for a DC Public Library Card


Person reading a book with the text "Bookworm"

Are you hooked to #BookTok? Does your calendar fill up with book club meetings? Does the staff at the local bookstore know you by name?  You might be in your element as a "Bookworm!" Your library card doesn't just give you access to books, it plugs you into D.C.'s incredible community of readers. 

Join a Book Club

A book club is a great way to build your library community as you read through hand-selected titles in your favorite genre or branch out to try something completely new! Browse the library's book clubs and sign-up today.

Browse Book Clubs

Attend an Author Talk

Read between the lines of some of your favorite creators and get your hands on some of the newest titles to hit the shelves at library author talks! DC Public Library hosts a variety of authors who write for all ages and genres. Click the button below to see upcoming talks at a library near you!

See Upcoming Author Talks

Take Your Reads on the Go

Have all of your eBooks, eAudiobooks and digital magazines right at your fingertips with the Libby App by Overdrive. Download the Libby App today to browse Overdrive and check out titles. 

Download the Libby App

Get Hand-Picked Recommendations

Not sure what to read next? Thinking about dipping your toe into a new genre? Want to go deep on a particular topic? Get hand-picked recommendations from library staff with Staff Picks! Each Staff Picks article is chock full of books we love for readers of all ages and interests.

Browse Staff Picks


Man playing guitar with the text "Creative"

Do you feel exhilarated when you get to hear live music? Is there a story you have been wanting to tell? Do you get satisfaction from seeing something that you made? You might be in your element as a creative! Your DC Public Library Card gives you access to all things artistic.

Music Afficionados

DC Public Library has great resources for music lovers! 

Unlimited Streaming Music

Stream unlimited music, commercial-free with your library card and Freegal! Freegal includes millions of songs from over 200 genres from popular labels, including Sony Music. 

Start Listening with Freegal

Get Loud at Library Concerts

DC Public Library is full of great live music featuring local groups! Groove to Go-Go music at MLK Library, enjoy a picnic at Northeast's Garden Concert Series and more.

See Upcoming Musical Performances

Sheet Music Library

Create your own music with sheet music! Check out everything from classical choral arrangements and symphonies to jazz music, musicals, pop and rock! 

Browse Music Scores

Immerse Yourself in Local Music Culture

DC Public Library is home to the DC Punk Archive and the Go-Go Archive. Visit the People's Archive at MLK Library to see the permanent exhibitions featuring highlights from this most special of collections and view digitized photos, concert posters, ticket stubs and even recorded performances on DigDC!

Learn More About The People's Archive

Artists and Makers

Take Online Craft Classes

Access unlimited craft classes where you can learn to paint, draw, sew, knit, bake, and design with Creativebug. Experience the joy of making with thousands of award-winning video classes taught by top designers and artists. 

Start Creating with Creativebug

Visit the Labs

The Labs at MLK Library is D.C.'s free creative space to learn, make and collaborate! Attend a Maker Talk and hear from incredible local artists, use Adobe Creative Suite on the creative computers, record your podcast in the Studio Lab, learn how to use a 3D printer and so much more. 

Learn More About the Labs

Immerse Yourself in Local Art and Culture

Public art installations and local history and culture exhibits can be found at the MLK Library and at libraries throughout the system, including permanent works and rotating displays of artwork from District government and private collections. 

See Current and Upcoming Exhibits


Meet with Writers at Your Neighborhood Library

Meet with your fellow writers at neighborhood libraries across D.C. Work on your memoir, get your work critiqued to get constructive feedback or draft the script you have been dreaming about!

See Upcoming Events for Writers

Take Online Writing Courses

Enroll in self-paced, non-credit personal and professional development classes are led by real instructors who will give you continuous feedback on your progress. Courses are available to help you learn how to craft novels, romance, mysteries and more.

Explore Universal Class

Stream The Great Courses

The Great Courses are engaging lecture series accessible via Kanopy created by college professors that go in-depth on a variety of topics, including literature and writing. Learn about how to grow as a writer and how to go about publishing your work.

Stream The Great Courses

News Buff

Woman reading a newspaper with the text "News Buff"

Are most of your phone notifications from news sites? Do you love analyzing current events with your friends? Do you feel like you have a parasocial relationship with your favorite journalists? You may be in your element as a News Fanatic! DC Public Library provides you with FREE access to current and historical newspapers so you can get your news fix day and night.

The Washington Post

Get your daily national and local news with unlimited access to The Washinton Post website and app. Simply visit The Washington Post website while visiting the library or authenticate your access using your library card and your Washington Post account from any device.

Access The Washington Post

New York Times

Enjoy unlimited access, both onsite and remote, to The New York Times website and app. For in library access, simply visit the New York Times site and click "Register." When outside of a library you can create an account and activate a 1-day pass. You can renew the pass each day though the library website.

Read The New York Times


Stay connected with the world with unlimited access to more than 7,000 publications from over 120 countries, in 60 different languages. Popular titles include The Economist, The Guardian, Newsweek, Der Tagesspiegel, El Razon and China Daily. There are no limits on downloads and they're yours to keep forever. Please note issues for The Economist are limited to a 7 day checkout period and can be checked out again once the 7 days is over.

Browse PressReader

Washington Business Journal

The Washington Business Journal provides comprehensive business coverage of Washington, D.C., and neighboring cities and counties in Virginia and Maryland.

Visit Washington Business Journal

Life-Long Learner

Life-Long Learner

Are you the first pick for trivia night in your friend group? Is your child at that wonderful age where they ask “why” about everything? Do you always look for opportunities to grow your skills? You may be in your element as a life-long learner! At DC Public Library, we know that learning doesn’t start and end with school, it is a delightful journey of discovery.

Pre-K and Elementary School Students

Your child starts learning the day they are born! From free books delivered right to your home through the Books from Birth program, to story times at your neighborhood library to homework help once they start school, DC Public Library has a variety of resources, services and events that can support you and your child as they grow.

Browse Services and Resources for Kids


Middle and High School Students

Entering Middle or High School? In addition to regular homework, you may need to tackle longer research projects, write papers and study for tests. But that doesn't mean that you have to stop reading for fun or exploring what you are passionate about! The Library is here for you to ensure you feel confident as a learner, both in school and in life.

Browse Services and Resources for Teens 

Adult Learners

The Library is here to help you as you think about your next steps, whether you are planning to go to college or are starting your career path! With your Library Card, you can find resources to help prepare for the GED, expand your skillset with online classes, learn about financial aid options for college and much more. 

Browse Services and Resources for Adults


Man working on a laptop with the text "Professional"

Do you have a dream of starting a small business? Are you thinking about starting a career in a new field? Are you always looking for the perfect place for coworking? You may be in your element as a Professional! DC Public Library has a variety of spaces, resources, events and services to support you in all the ways you work. 

Cowork at the Library

DC Public Library is your neighborhood coworking destination. From supporting your day-to-day work with flexible workspaces to growing your skillset to get that promotion to striking out on your own and starting your first business, the library has the spaces, services and resources for all the ways you work. 

Learn More About Coworking

Start or Build Your Business

DC Public Library offers a suite of online business resources to help you achieve all of your work-related goals, including:

  • Entrepreneurship | Do you own a small business or are you considering starting one? Learn about how to start a business and create a business plan with your library card. 
  • Business and Market Research | Analyze business trends, do a deep dive on your customer demographics, keep up with current events in the business world, keep abreast of new best practices in management and more with a variety of databases and news publications.

Access Business and Finance Resources

    Take Your Career to the Next Level

    Looking for a new job? Starting to think about a career change? Grow your skillset with online courses, explore new career paths, draft a stellar resume or prepare for your big interview!

    Access Job and Career Resources

    Attend Job Readiness Courses

    Sign up for job readiness courses, work with career coaches through the DC Workforce Investment Council and more at a library near you!

    Attend a Job Readiness Clinic

    Life Navigator

    Staff member helping a customer

    Do you like to be the friend in the know when someone needs a service? Do you feel best when you know where to turn when you have a big life change? You may be in your element as a Life Navigator. Your neighborhood library is your go-to place for a variety of services that can help you thrive.

    Apply For Your Passport

    The Passport Acceptance Office, located on the 2nd floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, is happy to help you apply for a new passport or renew your current one. 

    Learn More About the Passport Office

    Meet with a Peer Navigator

    The Peer Outreach Program at DC Public Library engages with library customers experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Meet with a DC Public Library Certified Peer Specialist if you need:

    • Help with an ID and other critical documents
    • Assistance with finding medical care
    • Ideas for housing or locating employment
    • Help with returning to the community after time in jail or prison
    • Support while experiencing homelessness

    Learn More About the Peer Navigators

    Get Legal Support

    In partnership with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program and Legal Counsel for the Elderly, DC Public Library is happy to provide legal assistance services.

    • Neighborhood Legal Services Program attorneys can help with debt collection protection, criminal records sealing, disability and other public benefits, student loans, unemployment, and wrongful placement on the child protection registry.
    • Legal Counsel for the Elderly's Self-Help Office Legal Associates aid seniors with a variety of brief services such as getting answers to legal questions, completing small claims complaints, writing consumer complaint letters, assisting with small estate probate paperwork, obtaining a DC Real ID, checking for public benefits, requesting DC services, assisting with legal forms, and much more. 

    View Upcoming Legal Clinics

    Prepare to Become a US Citizen

    Join us for a 13-week class to prepare you for the United States Naturalization Exam (which you must take to become a United States citizen), offered by the Adult Learning Department of the DC Public Library. This class is taught in English for those with intermediate English language proficiency.

    Learn More About Citizenship Classes

    Local Historian

    Local Historian

    Do you love browsing through old D.C. postcards at the flea market? Are you exploring the history of your family? Do you find yourself constantly stopping and reading the DC Neighborhood Heritage Trails? You may be in your element as a Local Historian! With the People's Archive you can discover the history of your city and yourself!

    Dive Into Local History

    Dig DC is your web portal for selected digitized and born-digital items from The People's Archive at DC Public Library. Collections include oral histories, selections from the DC Punk Archive, the Go-Go Archive, photo collections, publications like The Washington Blade and more.

    Visit DigDC

    Visit the People's Archive

    The People’s Archive is the DC Public Library’s local history center and has been collecting materials that document the social, cultural, and political life of the District since 1905. You can view highlights from the collection in the library's permanent exhibition Up From the Peoplelocated outside of The People's Archive on the 4th Floor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

    Learn More about The People's Archive


    Capture Your Story

    Archive your own history with the Memory Lab at the Labs at MLK Library. The lab provides equipment and step-by-step instructions for the personal archiving of documents, home movies and photographs.

    Learn More About The Memory Lab

    Explore Your Family's Story

    Explore the amazing history of you. Answers await everyone—whether professional or hobbyist, expert or novice, genealogist or historian—inside the more than 7,000 available databases. Here, you can unlock the story of you with sources like censuses, vital records, immigration records, family histories, military records, court and legal documents, directories, photos, maps and more.

    Learn More About Ancestry Library Edition

    Audiences: All Ages
    Type: Stories