Policy Number: E-14
Policy Title: Membership Policy
Category: Operational Policies: Public Services
Adopted: October 2002
Last Review: October 2020


Perth & District Union Public Library provides its users access to information in a variety of formats. While anyone may use the library facility and services in person, only those with membership cards may check out materials and access online resources from home. The library ensures fair conditions for library membership while protecting resources and information in a responsible manner and in accordance with the Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990 c. P44.


Perth & District Union Public Library provides free membership to residents and property owners in any of the member municipalities of the union: the Town of Perth, Drummond/North Elmsley Township, and Tay Valley Township. This includes full-time residents as well as owners of properties in the area who may not live in the district full-time. The library also provides free membership to residents of a municipality with whom the library has signed a reciprocal borrowing agreement. This is a formal agreement between library boards to allow residents from each respective municipality to sign up for a library card free of charge at either library, but does not integrate systems or collections between libraries. [The library currently has reciprocal borrowing agreements with the Lanark Highlands Public Library, the Rideau Lakes Public Library, and the Mississippi Mills Public Library]. Non-residents who are not covered by a reciprocal borrowing agreement may use the library upon payment of the fee outlined below.

In-person membership application:
Anyone applying for membership must provide proof of identity and proof of residence. A valid Ontario driver’s license showing current address is sufficient for proof of both identity and residence. In other cases, applicants must show photo ID plus a document with current address. If no photo ID is available, a second document may be used to establish identity. Examples of acceptable documentation include but are not limited to:

  • Proof of identity
  • Driver’s license
  • Health card
  • Student ID card
  • Senior ID card
  • Passport
  • Citizenship card
  • Employer-issued photo ID
  • Proof of residence (showing current address)
  • Lease
  • Utility bill
  • Municipal property tax bill
  • Personal letter with postmark within one month
  • Bank statement


Those under 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when applying for a library card. In these cases, the parent/guardian’s proof of identity and residence demonstrates the child’s qualification for membership. Parents/guardians are responsible for any fines, damage, or loss resulting from children’s use of the library.

An individual who is unable to verify his or her address may receive a temporary card allowing access to online resources and the loan of a single item on the initial visit. Proof of residence will be required for any subsequent loans.

Online membership application:
Only residents and property owners able to receive mail in any of the member municipalities are eligible to apply for membership online. Applicants applying for membership online must still provide proof of identity and proof of residence via the online application. Following submission of the online application, library staff will mail out their library card.

Membership renewal
Cards must be renewed annually, with members providing proof of current address. Change of address must be reported to the library promptly. Those who have moved out of the district or have lost their library card should contact the library to cancel their membership. Proof of current address can be provided at the library. Members able to receive mail in any of the member municipalities can also provide it via the online membership application.

Other types of membership
Non-residents must provide proof of identity and a permanent address. The charge for non-resident annual members is $35 per year for adults and $15 per year for students. High school and elementary students who can prove enrolment in a school in one of the member municipalities are eligible for free membership. Enrolment may be demonstrated by possession of a current student ID card, grade report, or letter on official letterhead from the school.

Summer residents who do not own property in the member municipalities may pay $20 to obtain a card giving full membership privileges from June 1 through September 30.


Membership is not transferrable, and members may not have more than one card. 

Users who do not abide by the library’s policies risk having their membership suspended or revoked.

The protection and disclosure of personal information about library members is governed by policy 2.G-9: Privacy and Confidentiality of Information.