Get a Library Card

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The South San Francisco Public Library is pleased to offer you a free library card.

Apply for a Library Account Online 

Effective Tuesday, March 17, the library is suspending normal walk-in services to minimize in-person contact due to COVID-19. During this time, library services will be accessible online. Please click here to get a card online. Your account includes access to e-books and e-audiobooks, streaming video, newspapers and magazines, and more. 

Once the libraries open again to the public, you will need the following to receive your physical library card:

  • Adults: Current ID and proof of residential address in California are required to obtain a library card. 
  • Minors 15-17: School ID plus parent or guardian signature on a library card application is required to obtain a card
  • Minors 0-14: Both minor and parent/legal guardian must be present at the time of application. The parent/legal guardian must have identification as required for adults, or have a current PLS library card with the same address and phone number as the minor child.

Library cards expire after three years, with the exception that library cards issued to residents living in temporary housing expire after three months. A Spanish library card application is also available.

Teacher Cards

The South San Francisco Public Library offers Teacher Library Cards to teachers in our community. If you are a teacher, home school educator or day care provider living or working in our service area, and you have a personal library card in good standing, you are eligible for a Teacher Card.

To obtain an application, visit the South San Francisco Public Library or download the application here.


  • No fines on material used in the classroom. Check out up to fifty items.
  • Classroom and personal use material on separate library records.
  • Request longer loan periods on selected materials used in the classroom.
  • For use at any branch of the South San Francisco Public Library.


  • Your Teacher Card may only be used for classroom materials and is not for personal use. 
  • Materials from other Peninsula Library System libraries will not check out to your Teacher Card.
  • Please be aware that you are responsible for any lost or damaged material checked out to your Teacher Card.

How to Qualify:

  • Please complete the application and bring it, along with your personal library card, to any branch of the South San Francisco Public Library. 
  • Your personal library card must be in good standing, meaning your card is current, you do not owe fines over $15.00, and you have no billed items.

Senior Cards

The library is proud to offer fine-free cards to seniors. To qualify, you must be age 62 or older and a resident of South San Francisco. Please note that not all Peninsula Library System libraries offer this courtesy and if you have overdue books from these libraries, you may still be fined.  

Loan Periods and Renewals

The loan period is three weeks for most library materials. DVD's and Blu-rays are usually loaned for one week but exceptions apply for non-fiction and multi-disc items.

Cardholders have access to eBooks and digital magazines through our digital collections. Click here for more information.

Materials from any of the 34 public or community college libraries in San Mateo County may be requested online by logging into your library account and placing a hold.

Most materials may be renewed five times, providing there are no holds on the materials. You may renew online by logging into your library account, or by phone using TELECIRC at (650) at 638-0399.

Most library materials may be returned at any of the 34 public or community college libraries in San Mateo County. An after hours book drop is available for the return of items when the library is closed. Effective Tuesday, March 17, the library is suspending normal walk-in services to minimize in-person contact due to COVID-19. During this time, book drops at SSF Libraries are closed. Items should be kept by patrons until normal services resume, no fines will be charged.

Overdue Notices

A courtesy telephone, email or postcard reminder is given when materials are either seven or fourteen days overdue, depending on the loan period. A bill is sent for the replacement of library materials when materials are 30 days overdue. At 65 days overdue library accounts are sent to collections.

Library Fines and Fees

  • Children: No overdue fines.
  • Adults: Adult materials: 25¢/day per item; $8 maximum per item. Children's materials: 15¢/day per item; $3.90 maximum per item. 
  • Seniors over age 62 who are residents of South San Francisco: No overdue fines on South San Francisco materials only.

Inter-library loan non-refundable fee is payable at time of request. The fee is $3.00 per item for South San Francisco residents and $5.00 per item for non-residents.

Reserves/holds are FREE. If we don't have an item you're looking for, but another Peninsula Library System library does, you can have it sent to any other library in our system at no charge.

Lost or damaged items are billed at the cost of the item plus a $5 processing fee.

Fines and fees can be paid online or in the library. Cash, check or credit card is accepted, with the exception of American Express. For a full listing of library fines and fees, please see the City's Master Fee Schedule.

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