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How to get a Library Card

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Eligibility for a Library Card

A valid Vancouver Public Library (VPL) card allows you to borrow library materials, use e-resources and access library internet stations at all branches.

Library cards are free to:

  • all people who live or own property in the City of Vancouver
  • all people who live within the InterLINK area

Some non-resident cards are available for a fee. Non-residents include persons who live on the University Endowment Lands (UEL) and on-campus at University of British Columbia (UBC), which are not incorporated into any municipality. However, some UEL and UBC residents are eligible for free cards upon presentation of an appropriate Community Services or University Neighbourhoods Association card. Each family member must present their own signed card in order to obtain a VPL card. To see if you qualify, please contact Campus Planning and Development office at UBC, 604-822-8228 or University Neighbourhoods Association, 604-827-5158. The library card will expire in accordance with the community card expiration date but can be renewed with an updated Community Services or University Neighbourhoods Association card.

Internet Access Card: Everyone is eligible for a VPL internet card. Please note you will not be able to check out library materials with this card. We prefer that you show one piece of personal identification but it is not essential. All Internet Access cards have expiration dates but can be renewed. A parent’s signature is required on cards for children under 14 years of age.

Applying for a library card

Adult cards Please apply at any VPL branch. If you already have a library card from an InterLINK public library we can register that card so that you can use it as a VPL card if you provide the necessary identification.
Online: The online registration form is for first time card-holders only. To replace a lost card, go to any branch of VPL. Each person is entitled to only one active library card. After submitting the online form, you will be given a temporary library card number to place requests on library material or to access licensed databases through the VPL website. This account will expire in 30 days unless validated.

 

To access the online registration form go to the "My Account" page and click the "New User" button.

A permanent card is required to pickup requests and for Internet access at the library. To validate and receive your permanent card, please go to any branch of VPL with personal identification and proof of current residential address (see Acceptable identification below).

Children’s cards: Children under the age of fourteen do not require proof of address but parent or legal guardian should be present with child. Adults may not borrow material for their own use on a child's library card. Parents are responsible for activity on a child's card until the child is 19 years of age. Parents need to sign the Application Form (PDF, 20KB).

Acceptable identification

All identification must be original documents.

Preferred personal identification (name, signature and current address)

  • B.C. Driver's licence
  • B.C.I.D. (issued by ICBC Driver Licensing Centres for non-drivers)

The Vancouver Public Library also accepts government issued Canadian ID from other provinces such as passport, drivers licence, medical cards, birth certificates, Social Insurance Number card and permanent resident card.

If this identification does not have the current address, then one of the proof of residential address documents must also be shown.

Proof of residential address

  • Rental agreement (officially signed)
  • Bank statement or personalized cheque
  • Utility bill*
  • Personal mail with current postmark*
  • Hotel receipt(s)*
  • Home stay information letter (complete address & student’s name must be in letter)
  • Bank account or utility bills opened on your personal electronic device are accepted (photographs of documents are not)

*mailed items or receipts must be dated and no more than one month old.

High School students need only show their student I.D. cards issued by high schools.

Applicants who have address identification for the eligible areas but no Canadian issued I.D. may get a library card by showing a Canadian visa/Work Permit that has been issued for 6 months or more.

Library card holders' rights and responsibilities

You can use your library card at any branch of the Vancouver Public Library or to access any InterLINK library.

New borrowers may have a maximum of 10 items on loan at one time during the first 4 months after getting a card.

You are responsible for all the materials borrowed on your card and for any charges on items that are overdue, lost or damaged (see Loan Periods + Fines for details).

Your library card provides Internet access in the library and personal access to some licensed databases from outside the library. Your card cannot be used by another person, group or institution to access licensed databases. Access to these databases (or electronic resources) for Vancouver Public Library members is governed by license agreements and varies based on your city of residence.

If you lose your library card, report it immediately to any branch of VPL. We will make a note in the computer so that no one can use it. There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card.

If you change your address or other personal information, fill out the change of address form or contact any branch of VPL and we will update your record.

If you supply an email address, you will receive email notification for requests ready for pickup and overdues. Otherwise, you will be contacted by phone or mail.

james.bond@vpl.ca