Borrowing Policy

Policy Purpose

To ensure that Hamilton Public Library facilitates broad utilization of library collections and serves its customers in a fair and consistent manner.  The borrowing policy outlines:

  • The criteria for library membership in order to get a library card
  • Customer confidentiality and the terms of the library card agreement
  • Borrowing responsibilities of the library card holder and
  • Borrowing privileges and loan periods

Key Points Summary

Summary: This policy defines who is eligible for a Library card and under what terms.  A library card is not required to enter the library or use most resources within the library.

Types of Cards and Registration Requirements:  Parameters for each type of library card.  The Library issues the following types of cards:

  1. Resident cards (Adult & Juvenile)
  2. Access card
  3. Reciprocal Borrowing card
  4. Non-Resident card
  5. Corporate card
  6. Educational card

Customer Confidentiality:  The Library protects personal information about a borrower consistent with the Library’s Privacy Policy.

Borrowing Responsibilities:  Library card holders are responsible for materials they have borrowed.  Overdue fines and charges related to lost or damaged materials are used to promote accountability and responsible use of library materials.

Borrowing Privileges:  Loan periods vary based on the kind of materials borrowed and the type of library card. Borrowing privileges can be suspended under certain circumstances.

Borrowing Overview

an image of the borrowing overview table


  • Resident cards have full borrowing privileges and are issued to individuals who live, work, attend school or own property in Hamilton and have appropriate identification.
  • Children is the term used for library users up to the age of fourteen (14).  Staff may refer to this library card as a Juvenile card.
  • Non-residents are those who live outside Hamilton and do not qualify for a resident card.
  • Access cards are designed for individuals who have limited identification. These cards have limited borrowing privileges and other parameters.
  • Corporate cards are available to businesses, corporations, government agencies, associations, charitable and non-profit organizations operating in Hamilton.
  • Educational cards are specific to schools, licensed daycares, hospitals, long term care centres, nursing homes, residential care facilities, nursery schools and social services agencies.
  • Reciprocal borrowing is a service coordinated, by formal agreement, with surrounding library systems.
  • Requesting an item: Customers may reserve or request library materials by placing them “on hold.”  If the requested item is checked out or is already on hold for someone else, the customer’s name is added to the holds queue.

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