Library membership

About your membership

PLEASE NOTE: Online registration for library membership is temporarily unavailable. Please come into any BPL branch to join the library.

Your library card opens the door to a world of information, imagination, and entertainment.

3 Things to know about your library card

  • You can borrow items from our seven branches city-wide: books, audiobooks, DVDs, video games, and so much more.
  • You can browse the online catalogue of our collections and create your own online account for easy borrowing.
  • You can place holds, renew items, download eBooks, stream movies & music, read digital magazines & newpapers, take courses—anywhere, anytime.

And at your library...

  • You can use the Internet for free at all locations and we have wireless access everywhere except Kilbride.
  • Get informed and entertained at a library event. We have great virtual programs for all ages, such as computer classes, author visits, book clubs, and storytimes and STEM workshops for kids.
  • You can design, innovate, and fabricate things at our makerspace creativity studio. Equipment includes a laser cutter, vinyl cutter, vinyl printer, 3D printer, and an embroidery machine.
  • You can borrow books and DVDs in many world languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Urdu.
  • You can use computers at all locations with Microsoft Office, specialized design software, and upgrades apps like VLC Media Player, Google Earth, and Adobe Reader. Colour and black & white printouts cost 20¢ per page. Bring your own USB memory stick.
  • You can rent meeting space for up to 250 people (temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions).

It's the best deal in town! The library is free to join if you live, work, go to school, or pay property taxes in Burlington—and parking is free at all our locations.

Using the library

Your library card number:

  • When you apply online, there is no plastic card that exists with your unique card number—and you don't need one to use the library. The 14-digit eCard number is the only number you need to access resources online and borrow items from the physical collection.
  • If you do want a plastic card, visit any BPL branch and bring along your Ontario driver's licence or two pieces of identification. Staff will give you a replacement card. Whatever number is on the plastic card will replace your digital card number.
  • Make sure you always have your library card number handy every time you visit so you can borrow items, use a computer, and pick up items on hold for you.

Your My BPL online account:

  • Once you have a library card number, you'll need to set up your online My BPL account. Once you set up this account, you can place holds on and renew library items, access online resources, and register for virtual library programs.
  • You need your library card number, PIN (last four digits of your phone number), and just a few minutes to create your My BPL account.You will be asked to create a user name during the account set-up process. Please do not use your library card number as your user name. We recommend something short and easy to remember.
  • It’s also useful to have access to your My BPL account so that you can keep your contact information up-to-date and receive notifications about your due dates, holds, and important updates about library services. You can also find your library card number here if you ever need it.

Your library visit:

  • We want your library experience to be great. It’s important to us that the library is welcoming, comfortable, and safe for everyone who visits. In return, we expect that our visitors will be respectful of the building and everyone within.
  • A properly worn face covering is required attire at all times when in the library unless a City of Burlington Mask By-law exemption applies to you.
  • Disruptions like letting young kids run around unattended, talking loudly on your cell phone, or making a mess in the library are not permitted. While you’re here, it is okay to socialize at an appropriate volume—we really don’t expect you to whisper. And feel free to bring in a lidded beverage to enjoy; just be tidy about it. Food is not permitted in the library while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
  • We aim to meet your needs by providing services, resources, and technology so that you can use the library with ease. Please tell us how we can best help you. Service animals are welcome at all library locations. All library locations provide accessible parking spaces.

How to get a FREE library 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.

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 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); or, Sponsored Person (immigrant)

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.

Fair access to library materials for all our customers is important to us. The timely return of borrowed items makes this possible. We do not charge a daily overdue fine; however:

  • 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.

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.

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, 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.

APPLY online for membership now

Download the library membership form to complete and bring in

Borrowing information

Create your My BPL online account

Place a hold on Just Arrived and On Order items

More to Borrow - Enhanced borrowing through partner library systems

Fees & Charges

Locations & Hours