Get a Library Card

HPL cards with an icon with a pencil and paper in the middle of it to depict signing up.

Register Online

Get your Library Card online now or visit any HPL branch and fill out an application form (also available in FrenchArabicChinesePortuguesePolishSpanishItalian, Ukranian, Karen-Sgaw, Urdu, Hindi and Somali).

McMaster University students and staff can pick up their HPL holds at Mills Library, McMaster University. Use your McMaster email address when registering for a HPL eCard to qualify for this service.

When registering at a branch, please bring identification and proof of your current address. Acceptable forms of identification are:

  • A valid driver's licence (permanent or temporary)
  • Ontario Photo card
  • Two pieces of current identification (one should include your current address)

Library cards are free to anyone living, working or studying in Hamilton. With your Library card you can:

  • Use it at any Library branch in Hamilton.
  • Borrow books, CDs, movies, magazines, video games and more.
  • Access online resources such as newspapers, articles and special databases (consumer reports, auto repair, genealogy research).
  • Download eBooks, eAudiobooks, music, movies and magazines.
  • Use Library computers and printers.
  • Use digital media labs and Makerspaces.
  • Access Hamilton's Civic Museums for free.


Types of Library cards:

Discovery Cards

  • Full borrowing privileges for those who live, work, attend school or own property in Hamilton and have appropriate identification.
  • Youth Discovery Cards: In keeping with the Library’s The Rights of Children and Teens in the Public Library Policy, there is no restriction on material borrowed by children. Parents and/or caregivers are responsible for the selection, use and safe return of borrowed materials , with the exception of films rated 'R' or '18A' by the Ontario Film Review Board; and games rated 'M' by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (age 18 and older).
  • Discovery cards are also available to any person who has a Six Nations address in Ontario.

Inspire Cards

  • For those with limited identification. Borrowing privileges for physical items are limited but you have full access to digital resources.

Non-Resident Cards

  • Non-residents must pay a $100 annual fee.
  • Cardholders must verify their address and phone number.
  • Non-resident cards have the same privileges as Discover cards (HPL's standard resident Library card) to access collections and physical resources. Sorry, Extended Access is not included with the Non-resident card.

Reciprocal Borrowing Cards

Anyone with a Library card from the neighbouring municipalities listed below, can also borrow items from Hamilton Public Library. (Additional identification with your name and address is also required.) 

  • Burlington Public Library
  • Cambridge Public Library
  • County of Brant Library System
  • Grimsby Public Library
  • Haldimand Public Library
  • Milton Public Library
  • Region of Waterloo Library
  • Six Nations Public Library
  • Waterloo Public Library
  • Wellington County Public Library

Hamilton Public Library cards are free to anyone living, working or studying in Hamilton only.

Community Cards

Staff of Hamilton daycare centres, institutions, schools, corporations, businesses, government agencies, associations, charitable and non-profit organizations or group homes can apply for a Community Card.

A Community Card application requires the signature of an executive, administrator or any staff member who has received authorization from the organization to create a Community Card.

Service Fees

The Hamilton Public Library is not charging fines or lost or damaged fees for its materials to ensure access and support the community. The Library collects fees for lost or damanged digital equipment or Interlibrary loans. Please see the Service Fees Policy for a list of other pay per use services.

Lost Cards

If you lose your card, please call 905-546-3200.

Change of Contact Information or Address

If you need to change your address or contact information, visit any branch or call 905-546-3200.