September 29, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Announces Chicago Public Library To Accept All State-Issued Id’s For Library Cards

The Policy Includes Acceptance of the Temporary Visitor Driver’s License; Providing Library Cards to More Chicago Residents

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the Chicago Public Library will now accept all forms of State ID to issue Library cards to residents, enabling more Chicagoans to take advantage of all the programs and resources that are available through Chicago’s 80 Library locations. New forms of ID accepted include a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License and all State-issued identification that include a photo, current name and address.

“Part of being an immigrant-friendly city means ensuring that all of our residents, regardless of citizenship status, feel welcome at all our Chicago Public Libraries,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “From presenting citizenship workshops to exposing residents to financial literacy, our libraries serve as great community anchors, and by accepting all forms of State ID, we enable more residents to obtain library cards and access information, resources and programs that will provide them with more opportunities to thrive.”

The policy change underscores the Library’s strategic goals to provide access for all, and strengthen communities. By accepting all State-issued IDs, the Library can allow Chicagoans who may not yet qualify for other forms of identification, including undocumented immigrants, the opportunity to obtain a Library card. The Library offers a wealth of resources to card holders including books, digital materials, Cyber Navigators, and a Maker Lab which houses 21st century technology and digital tools.

In addition, Chicago Public Library locations serve as community anchors where Chicagoans can come together for civic and community activities. This policy change, along with a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of New Americans and the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) to provide programs, services and resources to residents who are pursuing citizenship, is meant to better serve communities and provide a place for civic engagement. This supports Mayor Emanuel’s vision of Chicago as the most welcoming city in the country.

Recently, Mayor Emanuel, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced Cities for Citizenship – a major initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents to forge more inclusive and economically robust cities.

Since coming into office, Mayor Emanuel has been committed to making Chicago the nation’s most immigrant-friendly city by improving access to services, expanding new and existing immigrant businesses, creating more opportunities for undocumented youth to thrive, and welcoming and celebrating Chicago’s diverse immigrant communities.

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL recently received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and was ranked number one in the U.S. and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, visit or call the Chicago Public Library at 312. 747.4050.