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In 2016, The Atlantic posed this question: Is the Library Card Dying? Five years later, the answer is a resounding No! and we can prove it with the list of links below. Check it out!

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, an annual opportunity to celebrate and promote the power of a library card. The Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library is not a lending library, which means that our print materials do not circulate. None of the books in our collection can be checked-out, and no library card is required to use our services or ask for reference assistance via our Virtual Reference Desk. However, we do subscribe to a large and growing number of Lexis ebook titles. The public can access more than 100 titles on any internet-connected device for free, from home, office, or coffee shop. Request an account via the link on our Digital Collections page.  

For additional legal resources, visit the Texas State Law Library online. A world of legal databases and ebooks is available to any Texas resident. We’ve written about the amazing benefits of registering for a digital library card from the TSLL in previous blog posts. Learn more here.

This blog post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of our local community partner, the Harris County Public Library. The Hainsworth Law Library is not part of the HCPL system, but we do partner with HCPL to provide access to a modest collection of books, including children’s books, which can be checked out (when we re-open to the public) by signing up for a HCPL library card.  

Houston Public Library is the other public library system in our area, and you can find information about signning up for an HPL MY Link library card on their website.

Any Texas resident can also sign up for a TexShare card if you meet certain qualifications. (For instance, you must possess a Harris County Public Library card for 90 days and remain in good standing to register for TexShare privileges. For Houston Public Library, the required period is 6 months.) To access “a Library as Big as Texas,” look for a participating member library in your area using the Find-A-Library page. With more than 1,000 libraries and branches across the state, you are sure to find a participating library near you!

Lastly, if you wish to expand your access to libraries beyond the borders of the Lone Star State, you may, for a fee, register as a non-resident user at any of the libraries on THIS LIST.

To boost the power and possibilities of any and all the library cards you use, don’t forget to download Library Extension, a browser extension that lets you instantly see book and e-book availability from your local library as you browse titles on websites like Amazon and Abe Books.

Lastly, for library card collectors and fans, these sites are worth a visit: