- We have reopened Readers' Registration in the George IV Bridge builiding to new and existing readers who arrive for their pre-booked reading room session
- We are issuing cards to new readers, and renewing or replacing cards for existing card holders
- We are only issuing cards on the day of your pre-booked visit, to minimise the number of people in the building at any one time
- To maintain social distancing, we are unable to issue new readers with library cards in the Maps Reading Room at present. We will issue a temporary pass when you arrive for your first pre-booked Maps Reading Room session
- Remember to bring evidence of identity with you.
For information about booking a session, preording material, and health and safety measures, visit the reopening page.
Anyone can join the National Library of Scotland.
A library card is valid for three years.
On this page
Join in person
You can join the Library in person and obtain your library card at Readers' Registration in the George IV Bridge building or at the Maps Reading Room. Please bring evidence of identity and address with you to allow us to issue your card.
Once you have pre-registered, you will receive a library card number and you can:
- Order Library material in advance of your visit through Library Search
- Access many of our eResources including digitised books, newspapers and more (requires residence in Scotland)
After pre-registering, you need to visit us to collect your library card. Please bring evidence of identity and address with you to Readers' Registration in the George IV Bridge Building.
Renewing your card
We can replace your library card if you lose it. There is a £5.00 for a replacement but we do not charge if your card has been stolen or if you change your name.
If your card is stolen, you should report the theft to the police and then provide us with a police report form or a crime number.
Change of address
If you have a library card, please tell us of any change of address and provide proof of this change — for example, a driving licence.
Your existing card will remain valid, but we will amend our records to show your new address.
Terms and conditions of use
Please read the Library's terms and conditions, which cover use of the reading rooms and your membership details.
Note that the National Library is not a lending library. You have to consult our material in the reading rooms or, where available, online.
Undergraduate and college students
Undergraduates and college students are welcome to use the Library: see our guide on resources for students.
Children under 16 and school students
Please see our access requirements for children under 16 and school students.