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COLUMN: How to update your library card from the comfort of your favorite reading chair

Escape into the world of books this season
card renewals
Photo: Rebecca Lazarenko/Thorold Public Library

If you’re a regular library user, you likely received a recent reminder to update your library card. Don’t panic. This is completely normal and happens once per year. Yep, it does. We’ve had this debate a few times already. Just trust that it’s our business to know these things. One of the reasons you probably don’t observe the occasion is that we often try to update your info ahead of near-expiry and in turn bypass the whole notice part. Over the course of the pandemic, we also chose to offer courtesy renewals for the remainder of 2020 to prevent any interruption in service as we figured out our modern usual (just trying to avoid saying “new normal” again).

Now that these courtesy renewals are expiring, we are giving you three options to update your info – two of which are available from the comfort safety of your own home. If you’ve already been in for short and safe library stays, you may want to simply update your info in person on your next visit. We’d love to see the top third of your face. The second option would be giving us a call at 905-227-2581 and telling us your current contact info. The third option is emailing [email protected] and providing your full name, current address, and phone number. All equally convenient depending on your preference.

In case you’re worried about the hassle, we’ve checked the official records and renewing your TPL card didn’t even make the cut for the 2,020 Most Annoying Things of 2020. In fact, it came in at #163 on the 2,020 Best Ways to Spend Your Time in 2020. 147 of the top 162 were other library related things you can continue to do once your card is renewed.

Apart from the obvious need to contact you using your correct details, this process is particularly important to you for accessing all of our resources. In addition to borrowing physical material, you can also place your holds online for quick pickup or use e-resources with your TPL account. An active library card gives you access to ten of thousands of virtual options including e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive/Libby and dozens of magazines and comics via RBdigital. Even if you don’t plan to attend the library in person, keeping your card current will ensure continued access to all of these library services which will soon become unavailable for inactive accounts.

If you haven’t renewed your card in years, don’t worry. We can also update long expired memberships. Just provide the above details and the best excuse you can possibly construct for your extended absence. Maybe something with robots or merpeople. If you have any additional questions, you can also give us a call 905-227-2581 or email [email protected].