The Indianapolis Public Library has been named a "Top Innovator" in 2017 by the Urban Libraries Council for its online registration tool that eliminates the face-to-face requirement to obtain a library account. IndyPL is one of 20 urban libraries nationwide to be recognized for innovation and transformation in the communities they serve.
IndyPL's online registration was conceived from the need to adapt to changing library user patterns. In 2016, 11.5 million patrons visited the Library online, compared to 3.8 million who walked through Library doors. The requirement to prove Marion County residency to obtain a free Library card, previously accomplished only by in-person Library visits, has been abandoned with the new online system that uses an electronic residency validation tool that allows individuals to use their new Library account number immediately. The electronic "card" comes with the same three-year term and borrowing privileges as a traditional card.
"With online registration we make it easy for patrons to receive unrestricted access to services," said Jackie Nytes, Library CEO. "They can use it electronically or take it with them to check out materials at their neighborhood library. It's all about increasing access."
In the system's first months of operation, online Library account registration surpassed in-person registration at all but seven of IndyPL's 24 locations.
Online registration addresses a key strategic Library goal of providing barrier-free access to information and resources that supports individuals in their lifelong learning journeys.
To access the Library's online registration page, go to indypl.org and click on the "Getting a Library Card" link from the homepage.