Library cards are available to residents and non-residents.
RPL participates in the LINK+ inter-library loan system, expanding resident's access to the collections of over 60 other public and academic libraries throughout the state.
The Richmond Public Library is independent of the Contra Costa County Library system and library cards are not interoperable.
The Richmond Public Library goes back to 1907 and grew out of two women's clubs, The Richmond Club and The West Side Improvement Club that circulated book collections. In 1908, The Richmond Club sent a petition to the Carnegie Corporation for a gift of funds to build a public library, and the Corporation granted $17,500 on the condition that the City provide for the development and maintenance of the building each year. This was the 86th California library building funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York