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( type in the name of an author, title or keyword and click "Go" )
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Library Services - How Do I ?

Get a Library Card/Replace a Lost Card

Library cards are available free of charge, if you are a resident or tax payer of Elgin County or St. Thomas; OR, if you are a member of a neighbouring library system with reciprocal borrowing privileges. Identification is required to get a library card at any of our branch libraries.

You will receive a plastic card, similar in appearance to a credit card, which contains your library account number.  If you lose this card, there is a replacement fee of $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 and any fees incurred.

Your library membership entitles you to borrow materials, access the online catalogue, place holds, and use our online reference resources. Click here for more information about library membership.

Access My Library Account or Get a PIN Number

In My Account, you can see what items you currently have on loan, renew those items (when applicable), and change your PIN (Personal Identification Number).  These options are available by clicking on My Account towards the right of the dark blue menu bar. 

To access your account, you will first need a PIN. Your PIN can only be obtained in person at any Elgin County Library branch location. To get your PIN, present your library card at the Public Service Desk at your library.

To access your account, go to our online catalogue. At the top of the page, enter your full library card number (located beneath the barcode). Enter your PIN, then select Log In

Change My PIN Number

A patron may change his/her PIN number by following these steps:

  1. Go to the online catalogue; 
  2. On the top toolbar click on "My Account"; 

  3. Click on User PIN Change
  4. Enter User ID and current PIN
  5. Enter New PIN
  6. Re-enter new PIN

Your PIN will be changed to the value that you type below. To ensure that you type it correctly, please enter it in both places.

Renew Items Online
  1. Go to the online catalogue;
  2. Select My Account, and log in with your library card number and PIN;
  3. Select Renew My Material;
  4. Select each item to renew;
  5. Select OK.
Add My Email Account (so that I may be notified via Email)
  1. Go to the online catalogue;
  2. Select My Account;
  3. Select Add Email or Change Address;
  4. Enter your email address in the template provided;
  5. Click Send.
  6. Library staff will add your email address to your patron record on the Elgin County Library database when they receive your email.
Search the Library Catalogue

You can do a "quick search" by typing in key words or a name in the Quick Search box at the top of any library web page. This will take you directly to your search results (if any) within our online catalogue. You can also click on the menu item on our homepage that says "Search the Catalogue". For more information on using the catalogue, please refer to the Help screens once you have connected to the catalogue.

Place a Hold on an Item

If you have already logged into the catalogue with your library card number and password, take the following steps:

  1. Find the material you are looking for;
  2. Click on Details (on the left hand side of the screen) of the item you wish to place a hold on;
  3. Click on Place Hold;
  4. You will receive confirmation that a hold has been placed. Click Okay.

If you have not already logged in with your library card number and password,

  1. Follow the above steps, but after you have clicked on Place Hold, you will be prompted to log in;
  2. Select Place Hold;
  3. You will receive confirmation that a hold has been placed. Click Okay.
Suspending Holds (e.g. if going on vacation, or are expecting too many items at once)

If you will be unavailable to pick up library materials you are waiting for or if you are not ready to receive them, you can suspend your holds.

  1. Log in to My Account with your library card number and PIN
  2. Click on Review My Account
  3. You can edit individual holds using the Edit Hold buttons to the right of each hold, or you can edit multiple holds at once by clicking Edit All Holds at the bottom of your holds list
  4. To edit multiple holds, click the check boxes beside the items you wish to suspend or unsuspend
  5. At the bottom of your list, click on the calendar to fill in the Suspension Start Date
  6. Next, click on the calendar to fill in the Suspension End Date. This is the date you expect to be available to receive the item. However, please note that others may have the item on loan and it may take time for your hold to be filled depending on where you are on the waiting list
  7. The fastest way to unsuspend selected holds on the Review my Account page is to replace BOTH the suspension start and end dates with the word NEVER in capital letters and click on the button to Edit Holds.

Request Materials from Other Libraries

You can request to have materials sent from other libraries, if no branch of the Elgin County Library system owns the particular item you are looking for. Patrons can request interlibrary loans by three different methods:
1. Contact your local branch library and they will take your request, or
2. Online request through the Info Ontario website, with a library card number and password obtained from our Main Office (519-631-1460). Click here for more information on requesting an item online.
3. By using the interlibrary loan request feature through the catalogue
• Click on Request material and then on Interlibrary Loan.
• Supply as much information about the item as possible.

Book a Computer at My Branch Library

Computers are available for public use at each of our branch locations. They can be booked in advance for 1 hour time slots. Patrons need a library card to use the computers in the library and by using their library card they agree to adhere to the Elgin County Internet Policy and Guidelines. Call or email one of our branch libraries to book your computer time. 

Find out about Programs at the Library

Our libraries have top quality programs and events for children, teens and adults. There is always something going on at your local library! You can call your branch library, take home one of their flyers, or for a wider perspective, take a look at our Events section for an overview, and our calendar for greater details of what is going on in all ten branches.

Become a Volunteer

Elgin County is happy to have volunteers at branch libraries. We have volunteers who teach computer classes, help maintain the library, and work with the public in other ways. If you are interested in volunteering at one of our branches, click here for more information.

Request Help with a Research Question or Get Homework Help

Elgin County Library is a great source for your information needs. We always have help available, usually just a phone call or email away! Reference staff can help you find the information/resources you need for your research topic. They will assist you in finding materials including books, magazines, journals and online resources. You can email your questions to; or call the Reference staff centrally located at Dutton Library (519-631-1460 ext. 454) or Aylmer Old Town Hall Library (519-631-1460 ext. 455).

Use Online Reference Tools

Elgin County Library has an exceptional collection of resources to assist you in your research.  All of these resources are free of charge; however, some will require a library card number or a password, for access. Go to our Online Resources page to view a list of links to all of  our subscription databases.

Find Popular Authors and New Releases

Elgin County Library sends out newsletters to our patrons who signed up for the NextReads service. Patrons can pick which newsletters they want send to their email addresses and in that way keep up with what is new and interesting in the library and book world.

NoveList can help you find the next good book to read. If you have an Elgin County Library card, you can log in to NoveList here. Through its new easy-to-use interface and central search feature, readers can use information such as a favourite author or book as a starting point to locate other authors and titles of interest.  It can also help the reader find the reading order of books in a series.  Other features that will interest the reader are the lists of award winners, book discussion guides, author read-alikes and "BookTalks". 

Download eBooks and eAudiobooks

You can now download books in electronic form, right from the web! Elgin County Library has access to a number of eBooks and eAudiobooks. You can download from home, or come into one of our branch libraries and staff will show you how it is done. A library card is required and first time users need to create an account with each download service.

Book a Meeting Room at a Library Branch

Meeting rooms and facilities within branches of the Elgin County Library may be made available to community organizations and individuals for educational, leisure and cultural activities as outlined in our Facilities Use Policy.

Schedule a Public Library Tour

Library staff can organize a specially designed tour of a library branch for your students, clients, or social group and highlight a specific topic or area of interest. We can also arrange a general walkabout tour of your local branch library for those who wish to become familiar with the facilities. Please contact your local branch library to arrange a tour.

The Elgin County Public Library, (Aylmer Branch) partnered with the Thames Valley District School Board, (Summers' Corners) to create an award-winning blueprint and toolkit for public library tours that improve the literacy of students, especially those at risk, ESL students, poor attendance students, and those with learning disabilities.

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