Frequently Asked Questions


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.

In My Library 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 Library Account anywhere from within the library catalogue

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 in the library catalogue, enter your full 14-digit library card number. Enter your PIN, then select Submit. 

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

  1. Go to the online catalogue
  2. Click “My Library Account”; 
  3. Enter your full 14-digit library card number, followed by your PIN;
  4. Click your name in the upper right hand corner of the screen 
  5. Click “Edit PIN”
  6. Enter your current PIN in the first bar
  7. Enter New PIN in the second bar
  8. Re-enter new PIN in the third bar
  9. Click “Submit”

Your PIN will be changed to the value that you enter in the 2nd and 3rd lines.

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 the “Place Hold” button to the right of the title;
  3. Choose a pickup location
  4. Click “Submit” and then “OK”

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

  1. Find the material you are looking for;
  2. Select “Place Hold”
  3. You will be prompted to log in with your library card number (the barcode) and PIN;
  4. Click “Submit”
  5. Choose a pickup location
  6. Click “Submit” and then “OK”

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 Freeze your holds.

  1. Log in to My Library Account with your library card number (the barcode) and PIN
  2. Click your name in the upper right hand corner of the catalogue
  3. Click the “Holds” tab
  4. You can Freeze individual holds or multiple holds at once by clicking the “Freeze” box listed next to your hold, and scrolling to the top or bottom of your hold list and clicking “Update List.”
  5. ***Warning: you cannot freeze holds older than 255 days, or if you have the status of “1 of 1 holds.”  
  6. To unfreeze selected holds, remove the checkmark in the “Freeze” box by clicking the checkmark once more.
  7. Click “Update List”

If you know you will be unable to pick up a hold prior to a specific date, you can contact your branch library to ask that your hold be modified to be unavailable until the date you specify with branch staff.

  1. Go to the online catalogue;
  2. Select My Library Account, and log in with your library card number and PIN;
  3. Select “Checkouts” tab
  4. Select each item to renew;
  5. Click “Renew Marked”
  6. At the prompt screen, click “Yes” (yes, you would like to proceed and renew)
  1. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and click Contact Us
  2. In the message section of the form, ask to have your email added to your library account and provide your full name & library card number in the request.

If Elgin County Library doesn’t own an item you wish to borrow, submit an interlibrary loan request and we will try to borrow the item from another library system for you.

To register for library programs, you have 3 options:

  1. In person at your library branch
  2. Calling the library
  3. Online

Below is an introduction to the online calendar and some steps to get you started:

  • Visit and click the Library Calendar link listed at the bottom of the page
  • Set the Limit by Location to the library branch you are interested in, and click the check mark to view the results
  • Set the Limit to Type if you are interested in a specific type of program (for example: adult programming)
  • Click on a program name to view program details
  • Program details will display on the right side of your screen. If the program has open registration, you will be able to click on the Number of Seats Remaining to register.
  • When registering, update the Number of Seats to match the total number of people attending the program with you (for example: if you are bringing a friend who does not have a library card or a child)
  • Enter the Names of those who are attending if you are registering for friends or family. If you are registering for yourself, skip this step.
  • Click Continue to finish registering online.
  • Now that you have finished registering, click the Return to Programs to return to the library calendar, or close the internet tab to return to the library catalogue.

How to Cancel a Library Program Online

  • After registering for a program online, if you wish to cancel your attendance at a future time, follow these steps:
    • login to your library account
    • click your name to view your Checkout page
    • click the Program tab
    • click the box beside the program you cannot attend
    • click Cancel Selected
    • Or, if you are canceling all program attendance, click Cancel All
    • Branch staff are available to guide you through these steps should you need any assistance or have questions.

Every branch is wheelchair accessible. Staff are willing to help you access materials that are beyond your reach.

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 with staff from the Archives. 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.

Elgin County Library Holiday Hours

Saturday, December 23 at 1pm, all ECL branches are closed

December 24 – January 1, all ECL branches closed

Tuesday, January 2, all ECL branches open for regular hours

Our digital library is open all day every day!