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How Do I? ... (a Library FAQ)

  • 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 memeber of a neighbouring library system with reciprocal borrowing priveleges. 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 iBistro, 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 iBistro 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 iBistro, 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 iBistro, 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.

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 on the homepage. This will take you directly to your search results (if any) within our online catalogue, iBistro. You can also click on the menu item on our homepage that says "Search the Catalogue or View Your Account". This will link you to iBistro directly and you can begin your search there. For more information on using the catalogue, click here.

  • Place a Hold on an Item

If you have already logged into iBistro 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.

  • 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.  To do this, you can either call or drop into your branch library and they will take your request, or you can make an online request on your own, 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.

  • 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, and an Internet Station User Agreement must have been signed by the user prior to using the Public Access Computers. (User Agreements are available at your first visit to the branch library)  Click here to view our Elgin County Internet Policy and Guidelines in full detail. 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 website for an overview, and our calender for greater details of what is going on in all eleven 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 [email protected]; or call the Reference staff centrally located at Dutton Library (519-762-2780) or Aylmer Old Town Hall Library (519-773-2439).

  • 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 Reference Resources page to view a list of links to all of  our subscription databases.

  • Find Popular Authors and New Releases

Where will I find a good book to read? NoveList can help. This incredible database 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 rading 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". 

NoveList contains over 150,000 fiction titles for readers of all ages and over 4,000 custom-created articles and lists. The database also contains another 50,000 non-fiction titles.

  • Download E-Books and E-Audio Books

You can now download books in electronic form, right from the web! Elgin County Library has access to a number of books and audiobooks through NetLibrary. You can download from home, or come into one of our branch libraries and staff will show you how it is done. First time users need to create an account with NetLibrary to access our database. Click here for more instructions on how to download.

  • Schedule a Public Library Tour

 The Elgin County Public Library, (Aylmer Branch) partnered with the Thames Valley District School Board, (Summers' Corners) to create a 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.

The Council of the Corporations of the County of Elgin, is pleased to announce that the Elgin County Public Library is the 2005 recipient of the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence based on this project.  This award recognizes innovation and creativity in programs and service delivery.

For more in depth information please contact:
Chris Mayhew,
Aylmer Branch Supervisor
Fax 1-519-773-2420

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