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Library Membership

Your library card is free:
Fines for Overdue Materials:

  • 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.

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 (books on tape), videos, music CDs and CD-ROMs, children's cassette and tape kits, magazines and vertical file material.

You are also entitled to place a hold on an item that is on loan to another user. You will be phoned when the item has been returned. If the item is not available from the Elgin County Library, it may be borrowed from another library through inter-library loan.

Within the library, you may use reference CD-ROM material, access reference databases on line, or make use of our print reference materials.

Circulation Policies...

Music CD Circulation Policy:

Library users are encouraged to return library materials promptly so that others may enjoy them. However, if they are out past the date due, the following charges will apply:

  • Music CDs circulate for a one week period.
  • Library users are allowed to borrow TWO music CDs at a time.
  • Fines are $.50 per day per item.
  • Replacement cost is $20.00.

CD-ROM Circulation Policy:

  • CD-ROM products circulate for a one (1) week period.
  • Library users are allowed to borrow only one (1) CD-ROM at a time.
  • Fines are $ 1.00 per day, maximum of $10.00.
  • Replacement cost is the actual cost of the product plus $5.00 for processing.
  • A label affixed to the container reads as follows:
    "The Elgin County Library accepts no responsibility for damage to personal computer equipment or software caused by the use of library materials. Library users are advised that some CD-ROM products, during installation or use, automatically load software or alter existing software."

Notices will be mailed out at four weeks overdue. However, at your request, library staff can check your record at any time for overdue items.

Lost and Damaged Materials:

Occasionally even very conscientious library users have library materials that fall into puddles or cannot be found. The following is a list of fees to cover such losses or damage of library materials:



$30.00 or actual cost + $5.00 processing fee
Mass Market Paper: $10.00 or actual cost + $5.00 processing fee
Cassettes: $12.00 or actual cost + $5.00 processing fee
Children's cassette/book:
$12.00 or actual cost + $5.00 processing fee
Audiobooks: actual cost + $5.00 for processing
OR $35.00 if actual cost not recorded.
$20.00 or actual cost + $5.00 processing fee (Children's)
actual cost + $5.00 for processing 
$25.00 if actual cost not recorded. (Adult)
Music CDs: $20.00 or actual cost + $5.00 processing fee
actual cost + $5.00 for processing
Magazines: $ 5.00

 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 wheel-chair 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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