Apply for a Library Card

Library cards are free to all residents of Georgia. Persons who attend school, own property or are employed in Georgia are eligible for a free PINES card. Patrons of both PINES and non-participating Georgia public libraries may receive a PINES card. PINES cards are valid for 2 years. Property owners who do not reside in Georgia may be required to show proof of ownership, such as a tax bill or deed. Persons employed in Georgia or attending school in Georgia may be required to show proof of employment or enrollment.

Out-of-state cards are available to persons living outside Georgia who do not meet the above criteria for a $25 annual fee, payable at the time the card is issued.

Signing a PINES card application indicates acceptance of responsibility for lost or damaged materials. There is no minimum age for a child to receive a PINES card. A parent or legal guardian may register a child. Parent or guardian must show proper ID to register a child. A parent or guardian must sign the application for all children under 18.

Proper identification must be presented to register.

An applicant for a new card is required to provide proper ID, which includes current local address.

Acceptable ID for a PINES card:

  • Photo ID showing current local address, OR
  • Photo ID which does not include current local address and one item from the list of acceptable address verification documents, OR
  • TWO (2) items from the list of acceptable address verification documents..

Acceptable Photo ID includes:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid passport
  • Valid US Military ID
  • Valid matricula consular
  • Valid Georgia Weapons Carry License

Acceptable Address Verification Documents (must show applicant’s name and current address)::

  • Valid Georgia voter registration card
  • Recent utility bill (e.g., gas, electric, cable, internet, water/sewer, waste management)
  • Recent tax receipt or other piece of mail that shows the user’s name and present address
  • Recent pay stub
  • Current lease/rental agreement
  • County tax assessor records
  • Official base assignment documentation (for current military and family members)

Check out library materials

A patron must present a card in good standing to borrow materials. A patron’s card will be blocked to additional borrowing if the patron owes $10 or more in unpaid fines and/or fees. Books, audios, DVDs and CDs check out for two weeks with two possible renewals.

Library cards are required for all transaction, with some exceptions. Patrons are given two physical copies of the library card on registration (wallet-size and keychain-size). Digital copies of the library card can be used from the PINES app.

If a library card is not available at check-out (as in the exceptions linked above), patrons will be required to present a photo ID in order to complete a transaction on their PINES account. Library staff may ask to confirm some personal details to ensure the correct PINES account has been accessed.

Renew library materials

Two renewals are allowed on most items. Renewals may be accomplished by visiting an ARLS branch in person, by calling any ARLS branch, or by signing in to PINES online. Library card number must be given for phone renewals. Items which are on hold for another user can not be renewed.

Place or pick up holds

ARLS patrons may place holds on most books and audiovisual materials owned by Athens Regional Library System branches, as well as on certain additional types of materials within the PINES consortium. Items which are placed on hold will be delivered via courier from the owning library to the patron’s desired pickup library.

There is no fee for placing holds in PINES. Holds may be placed by accessing the PINES catalog online or via the PINES app. Library staff can also assist with placing holds on materials on request.

Overdue fines

To encourage the prompt return of material, the library has established a schedule of fines for those patrons who fail to return library materials by the date due.

  • Overdue Books and Audiobooks: $0.20/day
  • Overdue DVDs and Music CDs: $0.20/day
  • Overdue Georgia State Park Pass or Historic Sites Pass: $3.00/day
  • Overdue Zoo Atlanta DVD: $3.00/day
  • Overdue Go Fish Education Center Pass: $3.00/day
  • Overdue Interlibrary Loan: $1.00/day

Please come to the Circulation Desk to pay your fines.

Lost / damaged materials

When an item is declared “lost,” the cardholder’s account will be charged for the price of the item as listed in the PINES database plus a processing fee as designated by the owning library. The processing fee for materials owned by the Athens Regional Library System is $10.00 per item. The full replacement cost may be assessed if one or more parts of a multipart item are lost or missing. The Athens Regional Library System will not accept a replacement copy in lieu of payment for a lost or damaged item.

Charges for Damaged Library Materials

  • Barcode removed: $10.00
  • Booklet, DVD, CD, or part of kit /set missing: Supervisor or Branch Manager will assess usability. If remaining item is not useable without booklet, etc. the replacement price will be charged.
  • Chewed cover or pages: $ .50/page; replacement price if book cannot be read.
  • Crayon, Ink, Pencil Marks in book: $ .50/page; replacement price if page cannot be read.
  • Dust Jacket missing: $1.00
  • DVD or CD case missing / damaged: Replacement price
  • Gum stuck to pages: Supervisor or Branch Manager will assess usability. If not usable, replacement price will be charged.
  • Missing pages: Supervisor or Branch Manager will assess usability. If not usable, replacement price will be charged.
  • Torn page: $ .50/page; replacement price if page cannot be read.
  • Lost GA State Park Pass: $50
  • Lost Historic Sites Pass: $50
  • Lost Zoo Atlanta DVD: $30
  • Lost Go Fish Education Center Pass: $50


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