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There's lots to discover and enjoy at Idea Exchange! Find books, eBooks, movies, music, and more.

Not a member? Sign up for a library membership.

Have questions? Contact us.


We have implemented the following service changes in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to follow the provincewide requirements set out by government and health officials.

Contact-Free Pick-up Service

Even when we’re open for in person services, holds are available for contact free pick up at locations during open hours. Please wait for notification by email or phone before coming to pick up. Call the location when you arrive and we will bring your items to the door.

Browsing of Materials

You are able to browse our collections in-person at all locations. All collections are available to browse, and staff assistance is always available to help you select items.

Staff assistance is available over the phone or chat and we can place items on hold for you to pick up. We are here to help answer your questions or suggest something new to read, watch, or listen to. Call or email us with your questions or chat with us during open hours.

Holds can always be placed on items using the library catalogue where you can browse our collection from home, and online materials such as ebooks, eaudiobooks, movies and more can be found here.

If you are looking for help finding your next favourite story, fill out our Personalized Picks form. Materials will be selected for you based on recommendations from staff.

Returning Materials

External drop boxes are open 24/7. Items can also be returned to inside drop boxes during open hours.


Physical Materials

7 Days (1 Week): All DVDs (including new DVDs), Music CDs, Rapid Reads, and Video Games, Rapid Reads, park passes, Launch pads

21 Days (3 Weeks):  All adult, young adult and children’s books, magazines, books on CD, story CDs, as well as musical instruments, iPads and board games puzzles, and maker kits.

6 Weeks: Book Club in a Bag

There is no limit to the number of items you can borrow with your membership card, with the exception of:

  • 2 Video Games per card
  • Only 20 DVDs in total per card
  • Must be 13 years of age & older to borrow DVDs and Video Games

Loan periods for unusual stuff.

Online Materials

You can also borrow online! We have eBooks, audiobooks, video, and magazines that can be streamed or downloaded at home.
For even more access to online materials, such as online courses, journals and magazines, check out our collection of online databases.

Idea Exchange is Fine Free...Forever

As of July 5, 2021, Idea Exchange has permanently eliminated all overdue fines on late materials and removed all existing overdue fines.

The global pandemic has highlighted the increased need in our community for barrier-free library service. Therefore, we are joining over one hundred other libraries across North America who have gone fine free. We never want someone to stop using the services at Idea Exchange because they can’t afford overdue fines.

Over the past few years, Idea Exchange has been improving access to reading materials and supporting early learning and youth literacy with the elimination of overdue fines. Since 2011 there have been no fines on Baby Cards for children birth to 3 years old; in April 2020, fines were permanently eliminated on children’s print materials; and during the pandemic we made our entire collection fine free for everyone.

By going Fine Free Forever, we are continuing to improve access to materials and services to better engage with our community and to serve those who need us most

How will Fine Free work?
Members will no longer be charged a daily overdue fine when materials are returned late, but are still responsible for returning materials on time so others may enjoy them.

Are there still Due Dates for materials?
Yes, members are still responsible for the items borrowed. Courtesy reminders will continue to be sent to members when items are due.

  • Due dates for borrowed items are listed on checkout receipts and when you Sign In to your online library account.
  • You are responsible for returning or renewing borrowed items on time.
  • Borrowed items can be returned to any Idea Exchange location. Our book drops are always open.
  • Members can choose to receive a courtesy email with alerts sent three (3) days before borrowed items are due. You can also choose to get overdue notices by email or phone.

What about lost or damaged items?
Idea Exchange will continue to charge replacement and processing fees for items that have not been returned after 27 days past their due date. Replacement and processing fees are also applied to items that are returned damaged.

Members will not be able to continue borrowing items if they have been charged for replacement or damaged items. However, if the items are brought back to Idea Exchange, the charges are removed from the suspended account and you are free to borrow again.

If you have questions about overdue items on your account, call 519-621-0460 or chat with us online during open hours.

You can renew items by:

An item cannot be renewed when the item:

  • Has been renewed 2 times
  • Is on hold for another member
  • Item does not allow renewals (Rapid Reads and Book Club in a Bag)

Going on vacation and need extra time? Please speak to staff at checkout and request a due date extension with the exception of these items:

  • New materials purchased within the past six months
  • Books with holds
  • DVDs & Videos
  • Music CDs

Materials borrowed at one location may be returned to ANY of the following Idea Exchange locations: Clemens Mill, Hespeler, Preston, or Queen’s Square

After hours return slots are available for the return of all items except Book Club in a Bag and Tools. There is no after-hours drop box at the Old Post Office, and returns can only occur when the building is open.

Place a hold to have items sent to your location. Here’s how:

  • Search the online catalogue for your item, and select Hold this Title. Then, when prompted, enter your card number and select your location for pickup.
  • Email, phone, or chat with us to place the hold for you.

We will notify you either by phone, mail or by email when the item is ready for pickup.

Please note: holds cannot be picked up at the Old Post Office.

Materials that can’t be placed on hold are: new DVDs (1 day loan), board books, Rapid Read copies, reference, and Old Post Office materials.

There is a hold limit of 50 items.

Don’t see the book that you want in the Idea Exchange collection? Request it here.

You can temporarily freeze a hold and keep your place in the hold list when you are going away or otherwise unable to pick up it up. Here’s how:

In your online account, check the box in the Freeze column beside your hold and click UPDATE LIST. To Unfreeze a hold, uncheck the box and then click UPDATE.

Items that are “Available” or “Ready For Pickup” cannot be frozen.

You can select to receive an email courtesy reminder notice 3 days before an item is due.  This is not applicable for 1 day loan items and only available with email notification.

You are still responsible for returning or renewing items before the due date.

To sign up for email notifications, contact us in person, by email or phone 519.621.0460.

Report lost or stolen cards to the library immediately! That way, we can stop others from using your card. You are responsible for anything borrowed on your card until it is reported lost or stolen. Replacement library cards are $1.

Please report lost items immediately to staff. If you lose an item you will be charged the replacement cost of the item and a processing fee.

To keep a record of what you’ve borrowed, log into your online account, click on My Reading History and click Opt In.

All library materials that you sign out after you click Opt In will appear on the My Reading History screen.

If you wish to opt out of reading history, you must first delete all the items and then click the Opt Out button.


Saved searches is a feature that is unavailable through the Encore catalogue. You can view previous saved searches from your account when you sign in to your online account and select Preferred Searches.

Creating a new saved search is now only available through the Classic Catalogue. A link to the Classic Catalogue is available at the bottom of the Encore search results page.

"My Lists" lets you keep track of everything you find interesting in our catalogue. Save titles to your lists anytime you are logged in. Then at a later date, you can check the titles out or place them on hold.

To save a title to My Lists, click on the cart icon under additional actions.

Once added, the message "This item is in your bookcart" appears. You also have the option to remove it from your cart. Once finished adding items to your cart, select My Cart at the top right of the screen or view cart in the grey box. This will bring you to the My Cart page.

In the My Cart page, select Save to list. You will then be prompted to sign in to your account.

Give your list a name (description is optional) and click on Create. The item will be added to your newly created list.

To view your list(s), Sign In to your account and select My Lists.