Guide to Using the Library

This page provides information to help people get the most out of their Library membership. 

Libraries offer so much more than books and we want to ensure our entire community can access our collections and services in a way that is convenient for them. 

If you have any questions about your membership or how to access our collection and services, then sign up for a free one-on-one session with a Library staff member through our Book a Librarian service.


Library Locations

 

Modern Library exterior at dusk
Main Branch - 173 Colborne Street

A 60,000 square foot branch with

• A large children's space
• Public computer stations
• A Local History Room
• A Digital Media Lab 
• Meeting rooms and study spaces
• Printing and photocopying

Free two-hour street parking available and paid parking in parkade (free on weekends)

Inside of 1970s built library with brown brick and wooden accents
St. Paul Branch - 441 St. Paul Avenue

A 5,000 square foot branch with

• Public computer stations
• A small program space
• Printing and photocopying (black and white only)
• A small study space

Free parking is available in front of the branch, along with additional parking across the road.

Computer screen and cell phone with image of library website
Digital Collection and Services

We offer several digital learning and borrowing platforms, that provide access to

• eBooks and Audiobooks
• Digital newspapers and magazines
• Online learning, such as LinkedIn Learning
• Genealogy tools, such as Ancestry.com
• Movie and music streaming
• Language training
and more

Image of cartoon crane with words "Southwest Branch"
Self-Serve Kiosk - Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre Lobby

A self-serve kiosk with nearly 150 books available to borrow. 
Just scan your card, enter your PIN and remove any books you want to borrow. Books automatically check themselves out once you close the kiosk door. Books borrowed from the Kiosk can be returned back to the Kiosk. 

 

 


What can I borrow?

Library members can borrow physical items you can take home and digital items and databases that you can access online.
Digital Members (people who signed up online) can only access online items until they visit a Library branch and confirm their identity (present ID and something showing proof of address)


Physical Items

Beyond books and DVDs, and magazines, the Library also lends:


Digital Items


Online databases and Learning Tools

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Ancestry.com (must be accessed using Library WiFi or a computer station in the Library)
  • Historic issues of the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail
  • Universal Class (online learning)
  • Transparent Language
  • Grant Connect fundraising database

See the Digital Services page for links to the services above and to see all the online services you can access with your membership.

How do I search for books and materials online? 

The best way to see the entire collection is through our online catalogue

Through our online catalogue, you can search by author, keyword or by format. You can also filter and sort your search results to find exactly what you're looking for. Once in the catalogue, you can log in to your online account to reserve or renew items and create reading lists. 

Need help? Visit or call the Library or book an hour of one-on-one time with a Library staff member. 

If you need recommendations, Library staff can also put together a bag of books based on your reading preferences through our Grab and Go service.

Where can I return my books and other borrowed items?

You can return books, magazines, DVDs and many other items to either the Main or St. Paul Branch.

You don't need to return your items from the Branch you borrowed them from. Items borrowed from the Kiosk at Wayne Gretzky Sport Centre should be returned to the Kiosk.

Each Library branch has return bins that can be used if returning items when the Library is closed.

Coding and Technology items and larger crafting items (like sewing machines) need to be returned directly to staff at a customer service desk at the Main Branch. 

How long can I borrow items for?

There are different borrowing periods for various collections. 

Here is a list of loan periods for many library items.

You must return Library items by the due date.

While the Library does not charge overdue fines, customers may be billed for an item that is damaged or not returned after the due date. 

If a lost item is found within six-months of paying for it, the item replacement cost will be refunded. 

For damaged items that can be repaired, a $5 damage processing fee will be charged.

Borrowing privileges will be suspended if a person owes more than $20.

Can I extend the loan period for items I've borrowed?

You can renew (extend) your loans if the item hasn't been requested by another Library customer.

Items can be renewed

  • through your online account
  • by calling or visiting the Library
  • through our Automated Telephone Renewal Service at 519-756-2399. You will need your 4-digit PIN number to use this service
What is my online account and how do I access it?

Your online account can be used to

  • reserve items (called placing a hold)
  • renew items you have borrowed
  • create reading lists 
  • see when your items are due

Log into your online account using your Library card number (or personalized username, if set up) and the four-digit PIN you created when joining the Library. If you need this information, please call or visit the Library. 

Watch this video to see how to place a hold using your online account

How many items can I borrow?

We have borrowing limits for most of our items. This borrowing limits table shows this information, along with the amount of time an item can be borrowed for.

What other services does the Library offer?

We offer

 

Can I get help to learn how to use the digital services?

Yes, we offer two in-person help options to help get you started using our digital services. 

1. The Book a Librarian service gets you one-hour of one-on-one time with a Library staff member

2. Tech Time is a drop-in event where you can ask questions 

You can also watch some brief tutorial videos on many of our digital services.

What programs or events do you run?

We offer free programs and events for people of all ages all year long. 

These programs are listed in our online calendar. This calendar can be filtered to show events that fit your interests

The Library also offers Summer Reading programs for adults, teens and children to inspire people to read all summer long

We also offer a free summer tutoring program for children in grades 2-6

 

What local history resources do you have?

We have so many local history resources beyond books. The Main Branch has a large Local History room with microfilm machines and microfiche of local newspapers dating back more than 140 years. 

Our online Your History section has

  • a Birth, Marriage, Death Index, which is an index of when and where these announcements appeared in local newspapers. Then, people can find these announcements using our microfilm machine
  • a War Memorial database
  • a digital archives, which has hundreds of images and PDFs documenting Brantford's past
  • Online maps documenting historic events in Brantford

 

Can children join the Library?

Yes, anyone living in Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations or Cambridge can join the Brantford Public Library for free.

Does my Library membership expire? 

Library memberships can be renewed by calling or visiting a Library Branch. 
Digital memberships expire after one-year.
Memberships with full borrowing privileges expire after two years.

What does it mean that the Library is "Fine free?"

We no longer charge late fines. However, if an item is not returned 21-days after the due date, you will be charged a lost fee. This fee depends on the value of the item that hasn't been returned. If you are unable to return an item by the due date, it's always best to renew an item through your online account or by calling or visiting the Library.


Stay up to date

We are always adding new items and services and offer free programming for people of all ages all year-long. Sign up for email updates and follow our social media channels to keep informed so you are the first to know.

Email Lists

Sign up for various email lists to get things like:

  • Reading suggestions on various genres
  • Updates on new items that have been added to our collection
  • Our tri-annual Cover to Cover newsletter, which has details on upcoming programs and new services.
Library Social Media 

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