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Library Membership

Your library card is free:

  • If you are a resident of Elgin County or St. Thomas.
  • If you pay taxes in Elgin County or St. Thomas.
  • If you are a member of a neighbouring library with reciprocal borrowing privileges.
  • Please be prepared to present identification showing your current address and photo

You will receive a plastic card, similar in appearance to a credit card, which contains your library number. If this card is lost, the cost to replace it is $1.00.

An adult must sign the card for a child, up to and including a child in Grade 8, in order for it to be valid. A parent or guardian assumes full responsibility for the choice of material which the child borrows from the library.

Please report promptly a change of address or phone number or the loss or theft of your card.

Privileges of a Library Membership:

Your library card entitles you to borrow from a large selection of items: Books (fiction and non-fiction), audiobooks, DVDs, music CDs and magazines.

You have access to our catalogue online. The catalogue can be accessed from inside the library or from home. To access your account, you will require a library card and a PIN available at your local branch.

Your library card gives you access to the computers in the branch libraries, the Elgin County wireless access and all the online reference resources.

Circulation Policies

Item Description Loan period Fines/Daily fee Maximum fine Replacement fee* Processing fee
Book Hardcover 4 weeks $0.10 $7.00 $30.00 $5.00
Book Paperback 4 weeks $0.10 $5.00 $10.00 $5.00
DVD/Video Adult/ Juvenile 1 week $1.00 $10.00 $20.00 $5.00
Music CDs Adult/ Juvenile 1 week $0.50 $7.00 $20.00 $5.00
Bag of Books Adult/Juvenile 4 weeks $1.00 $10.00 $160.00 $5.00
Audiobooks & Language Kits Adult/ Juvenile 4 weeks $0.50 $7.00 $50.00 $5.00
Magazines Adult/ Juvenile 4 weeks $0.10 $3.00 $5.00 None
Interlibrary loan items Adult/ Juvenile Discretion of loaning library $0.10 $7.00 Discretion of loaning library None

*If item's price is unknown, the above default replacement rates are charged.

Please note that books with multiple holds on will have a shortened loan period of two weeks. Reference material cannot be removed from the branch library. Renewals are available by contacting your local branch library or by going online and accessing your account. Renewals are only possible if there are no holds on the item. Patrons will be notified in writing when materials are four weeks overdue.

 Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I find material in other languages?
We have books in French, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Besides adult material, we also have some juvenile material in French, Dutch and German. If you are trying to learn a language, the library has audiobooks in a number of languages. Contact any of our branches to discover which languages we have on tape.

What about wheelchair access?
Every branch is wheelchair accessible. Staff will be willing to help you access materials that are beyond your reach.

What if the library does not have what I want?
If a specific branch does not have the material which you want but the book is available in our system, you may place a hold on that book. The material will be placed on reserve for you and you will be notified when the material arrives in the branch closest to you.

If the Elgin County Public Library does not have the material which you wish to borrow, you may be able to be borrow the item through inter-library loan from another library system. Usually there is no charge for this service but occasionally, the lending library will charge a fee for loaning the item; the borrower is required to pay this fee.

You may perform this inter-library loan by going to Info Ontario, and requesting the material for yourself. You may also contact any branch library for the same service.

What does the library have for Seniors?
 ~ Large print and audiobooks (books on tape) are available at all our branches.
 ~ Many branches hold programs geared to seniors on a regular basis. Many may find our regular programs, such as bookclubs and craft nights of interest.
 ~ The Internet is available for anyone to use and many branches have someone available to provide training if you notify them before coming that you require assistance.
 ~ Local history and genealogy materials are available in our branches and our main office.
 ~ A variety of Government information and forms are available at the branch libraries.

Can materials be borrowed from the library headquarters?
The Elgin County Library does not have a branch at its main office location, although an appointment can be made to conduct local history or genealogy research. At the main office location, materials are ordered and made shelf-ready for distribution to the branch libraries. Staff at the main office oversee the administration of the library system, request materials from other library systems, perform in-depth research, and conduct regular rotations of materials in the branch libraries.

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