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Get a Library Card

Need a Library Card? Fill out this form and bring it to any HPL branch or fill out the Online card form.

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.


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


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
  • Waterloo Public Library
  • Wellington County Public Library

Community Cards

For staff employed by Hamilton daycare centres, institutions, schools, corporations, businesses, government agencies, associations, charitable and non-profit organizations or group homes.

A special application form must be completed and requires the signature of an executive or administrator who is authorized to accept financial responsibility for the organization. In the case of schools, the application needs to be signed by the principal. Additional conditions:

  • A Library card must be in-hand to borrow materials.
  • The corporation/institution is responsible for all lost or damaged materials.
  • Corporate/educational staff may not use this card for personal use.
  • The manager of the lending HPL branch reserves the right to impose limits on the amount and type of material(s) available, or to shorten the loan period, if necessary.
  • Community cards annually verify executive/administrator information.
  • HPL Digital Media, DVDs and Blu-rays are for personal use only. Members accessing these resources and showing content to anyone outside of their home or a personally deeded residence is infringing copyright if they do not have a public performance license.

Service Fees

HPL is permanently eliminating fines on all materials. More information is on our FAQ page.

Lost Cards

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