Special Collections

Libraries are about more than just books. Click on the + symbol below to explore all of the special collections Elgin County Library has to offer. Please email or call your branch or (519) 631-1460 x 109 for further information on these collections.

image of an auxiliary cable and playaway with the words use an AUX cord to connect and listen in the car or on a home stereo

Borrow an Auxiliary Cable. For use with Playaways and smart devices to connect audio to a car or home speaker.

board games list available at ECL for a 1 week loan: Yinish, Stratum, Catan, Power Grid, Cathedral, Mathable, Big Boggle, VivaJava, Bananagrams, Tip Tower, Rory's Story Cubes, Code Master, Escape Room, Detective, Pandemic, Robot Turtles, 7 Wonders, Ticket to Ride, Apples to Apples, and Tsuro

We have a collection of board games for all ages.  Browse the full list of board games in our catalogue. 

Dementia friendly leisure reading material is available for those who experience memory loss. These include short stories with mature, age-appropriate plot lines and content. 

photo of a display of dementia-friendly items in one of our libraries
A display of some of the dementia friendly material available at Elgin County Library

Written in large print with breaks between paragraphs, accompanying pictures and visual cues.

We also have up-to-date resources for those in the early stages of dementia and their caregivers as well as a collection of books for younger audiences who might be asking questions about a loved one who is experience memory loss. 

For more resources and information for those living with memory loss and their loved ones, please visit the Alzheimer Society of Elgin-St. Thomas.

Elgin County Library Dementia Friendly Material Information Leaflet

Need to grab books for your child in a hurry? ‘Grab & Go’ with our specially selected backpacks full of literacy items for you children.

Grab & Go Book Bags Includes 7 books in each backpack. Available as themed kits (Starting School, My Family, Opposites, My Body, etc.) or a surprise mix!

Grab & Go Plus Themed backpacks with books, activities and toys to both educate and enjoy! Some themes include: On the Farm, My Community, Dinosaurs, Space, Things that Go, and more!

image of grab and go backpacks

ESL (English as a Second Language) Resources

Learning a new language can be challenging, we have a variety of resources to help with your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation of spoken and written English.

some English-as-a-second-language materials

Dyslexia-Friendly & Decodable Books

Science shows that the most efficient way to learn a word so it can be instantly recognized in the future is by “decoding” it. Decoding means using knowledge of letter sounds and English spelling patterns to “sound out” a word.  Decodable books include text that has been carefully written using evidence-based strategies to support reading development. These books are wonderful for all new readers, but access to this type of book is vital for children with dyslexia. 

High interest – Low vocabulary

High/low books offer highly engaging age-appropriate subject matter at a low reading level for struggling readers. High/low books can help build reading fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge, and interest in reading. Source for further reading on the subject.

Ontario Parks logo

Enjoy Ontario Provincial Parks with this item!

  • Includes 1 Ontario Parks Commercial Vehicle Permit and 1 Ontario Parks Guide, in DVD container.
  • Item provides day use access to any provincial park subject to park regulations. Permit must be displayed in your vehicle. Valid until posted hours of closing during the operating season. Valid until December 31, 2022.
  • The passes cannot be placed on hold, they are available on a first-come basis. Search our catalogue to see which branch currently has an available pass.
  • Please return to the library branch the pass was checked out from.

Visit the Ontario Parks Website to find the list of Provincial Parks

Borrow a pedometer toolkit and track your steps!

Each Pedometer Kit includes:

  • Elgin-St. Thomas Cycling & Hiking Trail Map
  • 1 pedometer and operating instructions
  • Let’s Get Active – One Step at a Time
  • Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines Adults ages 18-64 / ages 65+
  • Activity Guide – Active Elgin
  • Laminated calendar

Southwestern Public Health logo

Many thanks to Southwestern Public Health for their generous donation of these physical literacy kits. For more information on physical activity please visit the Southwestern Public Health website page on physical activity

puzzle poster with some pictures of examples of puzzles

We have a Puzzle Collection that you can borrow for 28 days! Plenty of time to finish a puzzle!

We also have Kids’ Puzzles!

We have a variety of Read-along formats all designed for children to follow the pictures of a storybook while a narrator reads the words. Physical read-alongs can be borrowed for 4 weeks. 

Books and CDs includes 1 book and 1 audio CD.

Playaway bookpacks includes 1 Playaway audio player and associated book(s). Both picture books and chapter books are available in this collection. This device requires a battery and headphones or an AUX cord and speaker to operate. 

Wonderbooks a print book with a ready-to-play audiobook built in. These play out loud or can be used with personal headphones. Each Wonderbook has a ‘Read-along’ and ‘Learning’ mode. These are a hot item! Please not there is a maximum of 3 holds and 3 checkouts at any one time for Wonderbooks. 

Read-along Digital Collection

Access hundreds of digital read-along stories on your computer of smart device.

OverDrive/Libby Read-alongs (Libby Help & Support)

Hoopla Read-alongs

**Seed Library for 2024!**

Starting March 7, 2024 @ Dutton Library & Shedden Library AND Starting March 26, 2024 @ Belmont Library & Springfield Library

How Our Seed Libraries Work:

poster depicting information available in text above

Call an Elgin County Library branch with a Seed Library – Belmont, Dutton, Shedden, Springfield – and place your seed order. Unsure if the seeds you want are available? Ask then, too! Then pick up your seeds during the branch’s open hours using your Elgin County Library card. Questions? Please email or call your branch or (519) 631-1460 x 109 for further information.
  1. Borrow! Stop by one of our seed library branches (Belmont, Dutton, Shedden & Springfield) and request an Order Form with our current collection of seeds. Check out up to 6 seed packets per family with your Elgin County Library card for free.
  2. Grow! Plant seeds; learn how to grow; have fun and experiment!
  3. Return! If you’re able to collect and return seeds in the fall we would be so grateful. 

More info is available on our dedicated Seed Library webpage.

CELA – Centre for Equitable Library Access Collection

CELA logo

Elgin County Library offers a collection of nearly 500,000 books, magazines, newspapers and described videos in a choice of accessible formats for people with a print disability through CELA. Find out more about CELA on our Accessibility page and the CELA website which can be found at: CELA Library

Elgin County Library’s CELA Collection

Also available are: 

Browse our full Visual Accessibility Collection in our catalogue.

image that reads: Yoto Bundles, Yoto Player + curated cards! And shows a photo of a Yoto player along with 8 covers of cards as an example of what comes in a Yoto Bundle

Screen free audio that lets kids lead the way!

Yoto bundles include a Yoto audio player and 6-8 curated Yoto cards that include stories, activities and music. 

We also have a full collection of Yoto Cards to borrow if you already have your own Yoto Player at home or want to listen with NFC technology.

Check out our full collection here!

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!