Library Cards

To protect your privacy, we ask that you provide your library card or photo identification before we release information about what is checked out on your card. If you prefer, you may access your password protected library record from our online catalog or the Ida App.

Eligible items checked out to you automatically renew. Two days before the due date, items will be renewed and you will be notified of the new, extended due date. If the item has already been renewed twice or another cardholder has a hold on the item, it will not renew. 

Materials can be renewed prior to two days before the due date in person, by phone or online:

  • Online: Go to My Account. Log in using your library card number and (PIN). From this screen you may renew your items.
  • On the Ida App: Download the Ida - An Idaho Library App to view the checkouts in your account. From your list of checkouts, you may renew eligible items.
  • Telephone: Call (208) 972-8980 anytime to use the automated telephone renewal system. The system will provide you with an account summary, allow you to list titles you've borrowed, list titles ready for pick up, list titles you have requested, and renew your items. You will need your library card number and PIN, and the item barcode number of materials to be renewed.
  • Interlibrary Loans: May be renewed if approved by the lending library. To request a renewal for these items, call (208) 972-8223 or email bplill@cityofboise.org before the due date.

Customer accounts are blocked from renewing items if:

  • There are outstanding fines and fees of $10.00 or more on the account.
  • The library card has been reported lost, stolen or is expired.
  • There is information in the account that requires updating. 

If your account is blocked or your items are overdue, please visit or call one of our locations during regular business hours for assistance. 

Log into your account in the online catalog to place a hold on an item that is checked out or at another library location. Each account is allowed up to 15 regular holds, including titles waiting to be filled and those waiting for pick up. OverDrive titles are limited to 10 holds. You will be notified by email, phone, or text when your item is ready for pickup. To be notified by email, update your library card information with your email address under "Contact Information and Preferences" when you log in to Your Account using the online catalog

No! As a member of the Lynx Library Consortium, you can pick up your items at any of the following locations. Simply select the intended pick-up location when you place your item on hold. 

Let us know immediately. The cardholder is responsible for items checked out before the card is reported missing. Replacement fee for a lost card is $2.00. 

If an item is damaged, bring the damaged item to the library with your library card. We will assess the damage and ask you to pay accordingly. If the damage is severe or the item is lost, you will need to pay the price of the item. Boise Public Library does not accept personally purchased replacement copies in lieu of payment of fines or fees. 

You can update your account information in the online catalog under My Bookshelf then Profile, or work with any of our staff.

  1. Log into My Account
  2. Click on "Contact Information and Preferences"
  3. Update your email address or change your PIN (Personal Identification Number)

You must come into a library location to update your name, address or phone number. Please note: 

  • If you have a change in residence, you will need to show proof of your current address.
  • If you move outside of Boise City limits, you may need to change your library registration to your local library district. 

See the policy manual or contact a library branch location for more information. 

Boise Comic Arts Festival

Boise Comic Arts Festival is a three-day comics celebration that includes presentations, performances, panel discussions, workshops, cosplay contests, gaming and an Artist's Alley with vendors, exhibitors, local and national comic creators and a Librarians and Educators Day. 

BCAF is FREE to attend!

Yes! Guest announcements will begin in early summer. The Library's Facebook page and BCAF page are the best places to stay informed on guest creators.

Yes! Several in fact. Details will be available this summer.

Anyone interested in volunteering at BCAF should contact Renee Addington

Please contact event coordinator Josh Shapel.

Registration for table space opened Friday, January 19 and closed, Monday, April 1. 


Contact event coordinator Josh Shapel.

BCAF - Teen Comics Mentorship

The Teen Comics Mentorship Program was created to support and inspire teens interested in pursuing a career in comic arts. The program provides information, training, and opportunities to aspiring creators and culminates with the mentees tabling at the Boise Comic Arts Festival (BCAF) on Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25. 

Throughout the summer there will be 3-4 required training sessions that will help prepare mentees to table at the festival and will cover topics such as budgeting, how to get artwork printed, how to setup and manage table space, how to market oneself as an artist, and more. 

At the festival, mentees are responsible for running their own table space. They will represent themselves as artists, and there will be nothing designating them as a participant in the mentorship program. 

Each mentee will be provided with a stipend to help cover the costs of printing artwork and preparing their table space. 

Mentees will be expected to attend additional educational and networking opportunities at BCAF, including panels, workshops, and portfolio reviews. 

There may be other networking and professional development opportunities for participants during the summer as well. 

Mentees will be expected to attend all trainings, and table at BCAF on Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25.

Participants will also be expected to spend time outside of the formal training sessions working on their art in preparation for the festival. 

We are looking for candidates who are interested in exploring a career in the comic arts and are passionate about creating and drawing, as well as interested in gaining experience tabling at a festival. Candidates will be self-motivated and will work independently to prepare themselves and their artwork for BCAF.

The mentorship will not provide formal instruction on art or drawing. The goal is to eliminate entry barriers for mentees' first event and connect them to other artists and professionals. 

This opportunity is open to Boise residents 15 -18 years of age.

Between 3 - 5 applicants will be invited to participate in the program. 

The application window is from February 1 - March 11. Applications will not be accepted after March 11. 

The application window is now closed. 

All applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by staff. Selected candidates will then be invited to participate in an in-person interview, after which final candidates will be determined. 

All applicants will receive an email informing them of their application status by Monday, March 18. Those not selected to proceed to the in-person interview round will receive feedback on their application and suggestions on how to improve their application for next year. 

The candidates accepted into the program will be informed by mid-April. 

Each mentee should plan to have 6-8 finalized art pieces ready in time for the festival but are welcome to prepare more.

Mentees will share an 8-foot table with a BCAF guest creator, so will have a 4-foot space to set up. 

The exact dollar amount has not yet been determined, but it will be large enough to cover basic printing and booth set up costs.

The provided stipend should cover everything a participant needs. However, in the past, participants have chosen to spend their own money on extra things such as a specialized banner for their booth or extra high-quality prints of artwork they want to highlight. 

Any money earned from sales at the festival is the mentees' to keep.

For any questions about the application process or program, please contact Josh Shapel

Request an Item

We now have one request form for items that aren't in the catalog. Library staff will review each request and determine the best method to fill it. 

Because of the way OverDrive works, we are not able to place holds on eBooks or eAudiobooks. Please visit OverDrive or check your Libby app for new digital additions. 

We've experienced a dramatic increase in purchase and interlibrary loan requests. Unfortunately, we've had to limit requests in order to keep up with demand. 

There are many reasons why we might not be able to fulfill a request. These are the most common: 

  • The item is out of print and unavailable for purchase. (We don't purchase used or third-party vendor items from Amazon.)
  • The item is an international edition not published in the United States. (We don't purchase from international or third-party vendors through Amazon.) 
  • The item is not owned by any libraries in the United States, which means we're not able to borrow a copy through interlibrary loan. 
  • Libraries that own the item are unwilling to lend it out for interlibrary borrowing. 
  • The item is too expensive. This is often the case for eAudiobooks, for example.
  • The item falls outside our scope. As a public library, we don't add highly academic or technically specialized books to our collection. These sorts of materials are more suitable for an academic library. 
  • The item isn't available in the requested format. For example, many TV series, movies, and video games are released only online for streaming, not in a physical format. 
  • We do not purchase titles that are or appear to be AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated. 

Due to the high volume of requests, we are unable to respond to every individual request. 


OverDrive is the primary service that the Boise Public Library uses for eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital magazines. This company also has a mobile app called Libby, and is often used interchangeably with OverDrive. OverDrive is a third-party vendor that supplies access to digital materials to libraries across the country. It is, however, not a publisher - which means they still purchase their materials from publishers so we can make them available to you. 

The distinction between OverDrive and Libby is key to understanding how and where to access the materials. 

See also eBooks and eAudiobooks FAQs.

We have selected vendors which can provide us the materials our community wants as easily and affordably as possible, but no vendor can provide every title. For instance, Amazon's Audible titles aren't available through OverDrive.

When we purchase a physical book, we own it for as long as the pages and binding hold together, and we can circulate it an unlimited number of times. Digital books are different because we pay for access through a lease. When a lease is up, we must determine if our vendor continues to make the title available and then decide whether to repurchase it. This can lead to patchy coverage of a series.

The Library's copies of digital books are made available just like physical copies - we pay to offer one copy to one user at a time. However, the prices we pay for digital copies are exponentially higher than for physical copies, so we can't afford to buy as many copies. This means our digital books often have longer wait times than our physical books. 

Because we have a limited budget for materials, we must consider cost when we decide whether to buy additional copies. This means the more expensive a title is to purchase, the higher the number of holds needs to be before we purchase additional copies. 

The reason there are more titles available in Hoopla is because they offer a 'cost per checkout' model, rather than a 'cost per copy' model like other vendors. Users can browse their whole collection and then check out whichever title they want. Cost per checkout can range from $1 to $5 depending on the title and format, and eAudiobooks are consistently the most expensive. 

While we understand the desire to be able to check out any title, we are unable to budget for the variable rate and increased cost associated with more expensive titles. 

For example:

We compared the average cost per checkout in Hoopla vs OverDrive: 

  • Average cost per checkout in Hoopla - $1.79
  • Average cost per checkout in OverDrive - $0.85

Based on the average cost per checkout amounts, if we had paid Hoopla prices for our OverDrive check outs, we would have paid $690,095 more for the same number of checkouts. The higher cost would require increasing our budget for digital materials by 111% annually. 

Typically, the average cost of a digital format is at least twice the cost for a physical copy. Recently our average price for a Book on CD was $35 and an eAudiobook was $62 while the average price for a print book was $15.13 and an eBook was $28.50. 

A few more specific examples of new titles by popular authors - 

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver Cover

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

  • $133.23 for the eAudio for 26 checkouts - $45 for book on CD - 280% markup
  • $44.27 for the eBook for 26 checkouts - $18 for regular print; $21 for large print, $19.40 average cost for print - 127% markup.
  • 127% markup of eBook over print - print book 48 holds, eBook 181 holds
  • 280% markup of eAudio over Book on CD - Book on CD 2 holds, eAudio 178 holds
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese Cover

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

  • $109 for the eAudio for perpetual access - $63 for book on CD
  • $73 for the eBook - owned, not leased - $18 for print; $31.50 for large print, $20 average cost for print (22 regular print and 4 large print ordered)
  • 265% markup of eBook over print - print book 85 holds, eBook 191 holds
  • 73% markup of eAudio over Book on CD - Book on CD 1 hold, eAudio 150 holds

We believe that everyone should have the right to access eBooks and eAudiobooks easily and affordably. eBooks and eAudiobooks are more than just convenience; they bridge the gap between traditional and digital learning, making reading more broadly accessible. They also provide accessibility for people who need larger print or need to listen rather than read, since it is getting harder to purchase physical books in large print and on CD. While we are actively seeking ways to include more digital content for our users there are many barriers that we need to overcome. 

How You Can Help

By advocating for better access, you are championing the principles of equality, affordability, and community enrichment. Here are some ways you can educate yourself and advocate for your local library:

eBooks and eAudiobooks

OverDrive is the service Boise Public Library uses for eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital magazines. It can be access through a mobile app called "Libby" and the names are often used interchangeably. You can access Boise Public Library's full OverDrive collection on the Libby mobile app, or by accessing the OverDrive website on a web browser.

Visit the OverDrive website or download the app on iOS or Android. The first time you check something out, you'll be prompted to set up an account.

You'll need your 14-digit Boise Public Library card number and your 4-digit PIN to register.

If you don't have a library card, sign up today!

Find and select your device from the list of devices on OverDrive's Getting Started page. Each entry provides detailed instructions and helpful links by device.

OverDrive sees your new card number as a new account, and sometimes there is a hiccup when the accounts are merged. When they don't merge properly, you won't see holds you placed with your old card number. Reach out to library staff, and they will be able to help! 

Currently, you can borrow titles from public libraries throughout Idaho by adding each library in the Libby app. Once you have added libraries, you can browse their collections individually. You can also search for titles across all libraries using the "deep search" filter. 

To add partner libraries:

  1. Open the Libby app
  2. Tap on the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines)
  3. Scroll to find and then tap on "Add Library"
  4. Search 'Idaho' and then select one of the libraries in the list
  5. Click on "Sign in With My Card"
  6. Look for where your home library an card number are listed, then tap
  7. Follow the prompts to type in your library card number again (if you do not have this information, contact your home library to get it)
  8. Once your card is entered successfully, you can rename that partner library or click "next" to continue to view that network's collection
  9. Repeat steps to add additional libraries

Visit OverDrive's troubleshooting page. Here you can browse topics by device or type a keyword or two into the search box in the upper right corner. Don't forget - you're always welcome to reach out to library staff for support! 

Contact Us

Summer Reading

No! Anyone can participate in Boise Public Library's Summer Reading Program. We do, however, ask that you only participate in one program.

No! Any prize books you earn through the Summer Reading Program are yours to keep!

In an effort to track how successful our school outreach efforts are, we are beginning to track what school participants attend. This data is only used for internal library planning purposes.

For Boise Public Library's Summer Reading Program, all we ask is that you read every day! There is no required amount or time. 

The Activity Passports are full of activities to keep you learning beyond the Summer Reading Program! This year, we will be working together as a library system to earn a special community prize. If Summer Reading participants log 6,000 passport activities, the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department will plant a tree in the park closest to each of our 5 library branches. You can log your activities on Beanstack, or bring your passport to any Boise Public Library location to be logged.

No. You are welcome to track your reading using one of our paper trackers. However, when you come to claim your prizes, Boise Public Library staff will create a profile for you on Beanstack, in order to maintain accurate statistics.

Download Paper Trackers:

Badges Tracker | Pirate Tracker | Sasquatch Tracker

Absolutely! Summer Reading is family-friendly and built for all ages. 

Of course! E-Books, audiobooks, e-audio books, comic books, books without words, books without pictures, short books, long books...all books count in Summer Reading. 

Yay! Share away with the hashtag #BoiseReads. Don't forget to tag us on Facebook or Instagram: @boisepublib

We're here to help! Send us an email at askalibrarian@cityofboise.org, or call or visit one of our locations