Library membership / getting a card

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A Burlington Public Library card is FREE for people who live, work, attend school, or pay property taxes in Burlington. You need a library card to borrow items in our collection and access online resources. Having a card number makes it easier to register for virtual events or book a computer appointment.

How to Get a FREE Card

Come into your local library branch and bring along your Ontario driver's licence or two pieces of identification—or self-register now for a library card by completing the online application. As a member, you can have one 14-digit library card number only, either provided through online registration or on a plactic library card that you get at a branch.

  • Students may use their student card, YMCA card, birth certificate, current report card, or Social Insurance Number (SIN) card for ID.
  • A parent or legal guardian needs to sign the library card for their child up to and including age 12.

  • Once you have successfully applied online, you will see an on-screen confirmation with your library card number. This library card number is for your personal use only.
  • You will also receive an email with your library card number and important use information. If you do not receive the email, please check your spam folder.
  • When you want to borrow items from the physical collection, please visit any BPL branch and bring along your 14-digit library number and valid ID.
  • You only need to show your ID to staff the first time you borrow from the physical collection using your online library card number. We want to verify that you live, work, attend school, or pay property taxes in Burlington.

You will need to create your My BPL library account if you want to:

  • place holds on physical library items you want to borrow
  • register online to attend library programs

Create your My BPL account NOW using your 14-digit barcode number and PIN

If you work, go to school, or own property in Burlington but don't live here
Bring proof of employment, enrollment, or property tax payment. You will have full borrowing privileges at BPL including access to online resources and Interlibrary Loan service.

If you're a member of Hamilton, Halton Hills, Milton, or Oakville Public Library
If you are currently a member of a neighbouring library system, you have full borrowing privileges at BPL except online resources and Interlibrary Loan service. Please visit any BPL branch in-person and bring in your valid HPL, HHPL, MPL, or OPL card and photo ID with your current address. We will create a BPL account for you.

If you live or work outside of Burlington and want full membership benefits
Non-resident members are welcome but must pay an annual fee of $57 to get a BPL card with full borrowing privileges including access to online resources and Interlibrary Loan service. This fee is equal to the annual per capita amount the City of Burlington contributes to support the Library's annual operating budget.

If you are new to Canada
If you're new to Canada and don't have identification with your Burlington address, you can get a library card with full borrowing privileges including online resources and Interlibrary Loan service. Please show us your passport and one of the following items:

  • Work or Student Visa
  • Refugee Claimant (no decision)
  • Convention Refugee (protected person)
  • Land Document IMM 1000
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Denied Refugee (under appeal)
  • Sponsored Person (immigrant)

If you are an educator in Burlington
If you work in a childcare or educational institution in Burlington, you can register in-person for an annually renewable educator card so you can borrow library books for an extended loan period. If you would like to register for an educator card, please bring your Ontario driver's licence or two pieces of identification and proof of employment. As an educator, you may borrow items for 28 days.

If you're staying in Burlington for an extended visit
If you are staying in Burlington for a period of time, such as for a sabbatical or internship, you can register in person for a temporary visitors card with extended privileges so that you can to borrow most library items and access online resources. The $20 fee, payable at registration, will be reimbursed at the end of your stay in Burlington once the library card and all materials have been returned.

  • When you become a library member, you agree to follow the rules, regulations, and policies of Burlington Public Library.

  • Be responsible for items borrowed on your account, even when a library card is loaned to a friend, or becomes lost or stolen. Anytime a card is used, we presume the cardholder has permission to use it.

  • Your privacy is our priority. Only the cardholder may make changes to the library account, for example, change of name or address.

  • When you don’t have your library card number or appropriate identification, you may borrow two items maximum. You will have no access to your library account record except to find out what is overdue.

  • When picking up a hold item for someone else, you must present the library card number belonging to the person who placed the hold. You may not borrow the item using your library card.

  • To help us maintain accurate records, some types of library cards will automatically expire every year or after a set period: temporary cards, visitor cards, non-residents cards, and institution cards. You do not need a new card when it expires, but you do need to come into a branch with your BPL card and identification to verify your personal information and reactivate your membership.

  • Fair access to library materials for all our customers is important to us. The timely return of borrowed items makes this possible.

  • When you owe more than $0: You can no longer borrow physical items, such as hard or softcover books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, etc. 

  • When you owe $50 or more, or when an item is unreturned 59 days after the 30-days-overdue bill notice is sent: A collection agency will contact you to collect the missing item or the replacement fee. The agency will not credit report, but they will charge you $15/item for their services.

Apply online now

Download the library card registration form to complete and bring in

Borrowing information

More to Borrow - Enhanced borrowing through partner library systems

Fees & Charges