Library Cards

How do I get a card?
Are there different kinds of library cards?
How old do you have to be to get a library card?
Does my library card expire?
What happens if I lose my card or it gets stolen?
Can I still check out items if I forget my card?
Can I use a picture of my card saved on my smartphone?

How do I get a card?

Residents of Chatham-Kent can obtain a free Chatham-Kent Public Library card by visiting any CKPL branch with ID showing your name and address. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian to register for a library card. The parent/legal guardian will be required to show ID with their name and address.

Members of neighbouring library systems (Elgin, Essex, Lambton, Middlesex and St. Thomas) are also eligible for a free CKPL card as a reciprocal borrower. To obtain a reciprocal borrower card, please visit any CKPL branch with ID showing your name and address and a library card from your home library system.

Can't make it to a CKPL branch? Sign up for a CKPL Virtual Card online and we'll bring the library to you. Use your Virtual Card to access CKPL's digital library including thousands of ebooks, eaudiobooks, streaming movies and music, magazines and more!

Non-residents can obtain a CKPL card for a fee of $30 for a year or $15 for six months.

Are there different kinds of library cards?

Yes, CKPL offers different card types to help meet the needs of different groups in our community. In addition to our regular memberships, reciprocal borrowing memberships, non-resident memberships and Virtual Library Cards, CKPL also offers Home Service and Educator cards.

For residents who are unable to visit the library due to age, illness, disability or mobility challenges, Home Service cards will make it easier to enjoy books and other items from CKPL. Materials for Home Service patrons are selected by library staff based on a personal reading profile. Specific titles, authors and subjects can also be requested. These materials can be picked up by family and friends or delivered by volunteers. Home Service patrons are entitled to extended loans and are exempt from overdue fees on books, music CDs, books on CD and playaways, however, if an item is lost or damaged, patrons will be billed for the cost of the item. DVDs, magazines and high demand items can still be borrowed but these materials are not eligible for an extended loan and will not be picked up by volunteers. For more information about Home Service, please visit your local branch or call 519.354.2940 x 4863.

CKPL also offers a card for educators to make it easier for teachers and ECEs to borrow items for their classroom or licensed daycare. Ask about the Educator Card at any CKPL branch.

How old do you have to be to get a card?

There is no age limit for getting a library card, the decision will be left up to the parent/guardian. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian to register for a library card. The parent/guardian must present ID showing their name and address. Parents/guardians are responsible for any materials that the child borrows and for any fines or fees that accumulate on the child's card.

Does my library card expire?

Yes, library cards expire every two years on your birthday. This allows CKPL to check that we have the correct information on file. A current and up-to-date account enables you to continue checking out books, music, and movies as well as access all our online resources.

To renew your card, please bring your card and a piece of ID showing your name and address to any CKPL branch. If you have fines on your card, these will need to be paid before renewal can take place. There is no cost to renew your library card. If your card has been lost, a new card will have to be issued for a cost of $2.00.

What happens if I lose my card or it gets stolen?

Please report a lost or stolen card to CKPL as soon as possible. Cardholders are responsible for any items that are checked out on their card. Reporting a lost or stolen card will prevent someone else from using your library card to checkout items.

Can I still check out items if I forget my card?

Yes, if you forget your card, borrowing can still take place if you present ID. This helps ensure that someone else is not checking out items on your card.

Can I use a picture of my library card saved on my smartphone?

At this time, CKPL is not accepting pictures of library cards presented on phones or other mobile devices. CKPL is hard at work on launching a new library app which will allow you to present a digital version of your library card. Stay tuned for more information!