Members of the Athenæum enjoy many benefits, including borrowing privileges, prioritized access to library programs, and exclusive participation in reading groups. Join a unique community of cultural leaders and readers! All are welcome.
If you would prefer to pay over the phone or request that a physical form be mailed to you, please call 401-421-6970.
- Priority registration and/or discounted access to programs and special events
- Borrowing privileges, including books, periodicals, DVDs, audiobooks, and CDs
- Curbside pickup of materials
- Access to hoopla’s incredible digital collection of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, and music (more information here)
- Exclusive access to the Athenæum’s popular reading groups
- Borrowing privileges of books and DVDs at RISD’s Fleet Library ($100 value/person)*
- A complimentary Six-month Introductory membership to give to a friend/family once per year ($65 value)*
- A complimentary pair of tickets to a Rhode Island Chamber Music Concert ($50+ value)*
- Reciprocal privileges, including free or discounted admission, at over 1,000 museums through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association**
- Book requests filled through purchase or interlibrary loans
- Generous loan periods and short waiting periods for popular or new titles
- Prioritized access to Special Collections
- 10% discount at the library shop
- 20% discount on building rentals*
- Dogs on leashes are welcome to accompany you inside the library (and treats provided!)
*Household, Individual, Under 35 membership levels
**Household, Individual membership levels
Household: $200 per year / $16.66 per month
Individual: $165 per year / $13.75 per month
Individual Under 35: $95 per year / $7.92 per month
Six-month Introductory (first-time members only; for individuals or families): $65
Full-time College Student: $45 per year (click here to join)
Household, Individual, and Individual Under 35 members may pay the full amount at the time of joining/renewal or opt to pay monthly. If you’d prefer to pay monthly, please call 401-421-6970.
The Athenæum also offers a special membership to all active Providence Public School Teachers, free of charge. Click here for more information.
Will I receive a library card?
You will be sent a membership card when you join, but not a library card. As we get to know our members by name, you won’t need to show a card to check out materials while at the library. Your membership card serves as a helpful reminder of your expiration date and library ID number, and, depending on your membership level, will give you access to RISD’s Fleet Library and over 1,000 museums in North America.
How do I put a checked-out item on hold?
Give us a call at 401-421-6970. Our staff will contact you as soon as it is available.
Card Catalogs? Really?
Really! While most of our collection is available online some of the older items haven’t made the technological jump yet. Don’t worry, our staff can always help you find exactly what you are looking for.
The Athenæum doesn’t have an item I want. Can you find it for me?
If we don’t have an item you would like to check out, we will find a way to get it to you, provided it isn’t incredibly rare. We can find most items using interlibrary loan, but frequently purchase member requests to develop our collection and serve your needs. Looking for something in particular? Please contact the library at 401-421-6970 or email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My membership comes with RISD Fleet Library privileges. How do I start using them?
Simply show your membership card to security staff during open hours to gain access to the Fleet and borrow RISD materials. We do recommend calling ahead to confirm hours before you visit. Please note that Fleet privileges are available to Household, Individual, and Individual Under 35 members only.
It looks like a lot of old books. Do you have any new titles?
Of course! The Athenæum adds thousands of new items each year. Check out our newly acquired titles on the bookshelves near the Circulation Desk.
What should I read, watch, or listen to?
The age-old question. Check out our staff picks near the Circulation Desk to see what we love and come talk to us! The staff loves to give personalized recommendations.