1. Any adult who lives, owns property, works, or attends school in Ashe, Watauga, or Wilkes County and can show documentation of the same along with a photo ID is eligible for a free library card. Residents of counties (including TN and VA) contiguous to ARL qualify for free library cards under the same terms. A newly-issued library card is valid for three years. When a card has expired, verification of eligibility may be required in order to update the card.

2. NON-RESIDENTS: Adults who do not live, own property, work, or attend school in the above listed counties are eligible to purchase a non-resident card. Proof of address and a photo ID is required. A non-resident card is good for one year and costs $10 annually.


Any child under the age of 18 may have a card in his/her own name. A custodial parent, legal guardian or adult family member must provide his/her photo ID and address documentation to register the minor for a library account for which that adult takes full legal and financial responsibility. The responsible adult must have a library account in good standing and must be accompanied by the child at the time of registration. The adult and juvenile accounts will be grouped and notices for items on the child’s card go to the responsible adult’s address. Juvenile cards are valid for 3 years. When a card has expired, verification of eligibility may be required in order to update the card.


NC Cardinal patrons with existing accounts in good standing have full borrowing privileges and may check out with the card from their home library. If such a patron wants an ARL card, the above-listed requirements apply.


Library cards should be treated with care. Patrons are held financially responsible for material checked out on their library cards or on cards for accounts for which they are responsible. Patrons are also financially responsible for items checked out on their cards when loaned to other people. A lost card should be reported immediately.

NC Cardinal

NC Cardinal is a consortium of Libraries across North Carolina. Cardholders in any of the Cardinal Libraries can use the other Cardinal Libraries with their card. Resources are also shared among the participating Libraries.

Cardinal Map

Your Library card enables you to check out books, books on CD, audio CD’s, DVD’s, Kindle readers, and wireless hotspots. You can also request that items be sent to your home library from any of the Cardinal Libraries, or be put on a waiting list if the item is checked out. Your Library card also enables you to check out E-Books using Overdrive.

Circulation Policy (including fines and fees)

Confidentiality of Patron Records Policy