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Need some fresh reading material? Here's how to get an eCard from North Texas libraries

At least two public libraries offer cards free of charge to all Texas residents. Sign up for yours today.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I am an avid reader. I track my books in Goodreads. I always have a to-be-read pile. And I constantly an updating a list of recommended titles in my Notes. 

With physical locations closed for libraries and bookstores, added financial stress for many people because of COVID-19, and the number of kids (and some adults) with more time on their hands, I wanted to share some resources for accessing more books without spending a dime.

Full disclosure: I was paid zero dollars by all of the services I'm about to mention.

For those tired of the books you have at home, but also trying to find ways to save, public libraries are still a great option.

Many libraries are offering eCard sign-ups, which gives residents access to e-books, audiobooks and more digital resources. 

If you already have a library card for your local library, no need to apply for an eCard. You should already have access to online and digital resources.

For those eager to check out library books digitally, two apps that work well:

  • Overdrive, which works on numerous different devices, including tablets and Kindles
  • Libby, also by Overdrive, but specifically designed for smartphones
  • Hoopla, if you're more interested in movies, music and audiobooks, this is the app for you!

Just check the details from your local library as their services may vary somewhat.

These libraries are open to all Texas residents

At least two libraries in the state offer cards to any Texas resident.

Houston Public Library

Any Texas resident can get a HPL card here

Adult cards are permanent with proper ID. In order to check out physical materials, you must pick up a card at a HPL branch, but electronic materials are available immediately.

Children may apply for a temporary card while schools are closed. These temporary eCards will work until at least August 1.

Mesquite Public Library

More about Mesquite library cards

Any Texas resident can apply for an eCard to gain access to Mesquite's online resources. Residents must be 14 years or older. The cards are good for three years and may be renewed online. 

Form to apply

You can apply for a library card for physical items in person once libraries reopen.

These libraries give cards to local resident, neighboring jurisdictions

Arlington Public Library

Get an Arlington temporary online card

Available to Arlington residents, as well as people from Mansfield, Pantego and Kennedale

Carrollton Public Library

Register for a Carrollton library card

Available to Carrollton residents as well as all Denton County residents

Frisco Public Library

Frisco library card registration

Also open to residents of Allen, McKinney, Plano and The Colony

Others can get a card for $50 per year

Lewisville Public Library

Get a temporary Lewisville library card

Temporary cards are valid until August 1.

They are available for all Denton County residents ages 13 and older.

McKinney Public Library

How to get a McKinney library card

Available free of charge for all Collin County residents

eCard will be valid for 1 month pending further COVID-19 assessments

Plano Public Library

How to get a Plano Library card

Available for residents of Plano, Allen, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Richardson, The Colony, and Wylie

Available to others for $50 annually

These libraries are open to local residents

Dallas Public Library

One quick email will get you a Dallas Public library card.

This is available for Dallas residents, City of Dallas employees, and anyone who attends or teaches at a public or charter school in the city.

Fort Worth Public Library

Apply for an ecard from the Fort Worth Public Library.

Available to Fort Worth residents and property owners who are 17 years or older.

Garland Public Library

Get a 60-day temporary card with Garland

Expired cards have been renewed through May 9

Irving Public Library

Irving residents can apply for a 90 day temporary card

Grand Prairie Public Library

Grand Prairie residents can sign up to receive a library card by email

Denton Public Library

Register for a Denton library card 

Any Denton residents, 18 years or older, can get a temporary 60 day eCard

Allen Public Library

Information on how you can get an Allen library card

Temporary library cards are available for two months.

More ways to entertain your kids: