How Do I?

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Is this your first visit to our website, or do you need help with something new? You'll find answers to common questions here, including information on how to become a member, request or renew material, or how to print a document. If you still have questions, staff at our locations are always ready to help.

Get a membership?

Membership at Idea Exchange is free if you live, work, or attend school in the City of Cambridge. Residents of neighbouring communities also qualify for free membership. To become a member, come into one of our locations with acceptable identification showing your name and current address.

Residents of the City of Cambridge who want only to access our online resources can apply for an online membership.

For more information on becoming a member, visit our Membership page.

Contact the Library or Galleries?

During opening hours, you can call your preferred location and speak to a staff member, or chat with us online. If you prefer, you can also email us with your question, and we will respond within 24 hours, except during weekends and holidays.

Volunteer at Idea Exchange?

Volunteers are an important part of the Idea Exchange team, enriching and extending our services to the community. Whatever your interests, skills or available time, opportunities exist for teens and adults. Join the team by submitting the online application.

Print, copy, fax or scan?

Idea Exchange offers printing, photocopying, scanning, or faxing services at all of our locations.

Send print requests from home, school, within the library or anywhere you have Internet access with our mobile print service, or from within the library by using a public computer.

Printing costs 25 cents per side for black and white and 50 cents per side for colour.

Scanning and faxing are free of charge.

Renew my materials?

Most material can be renewed up to two times, as long as no one else is waiting for them. There are several ways to renew your items:

  • At a location, by using the self-checkout machine
  • Online, by signing into My Account
  • Over the phone, using the telephone renewal service at 519-740-3000
  • With a staff member, by phone, in person or via chat.
Renew my membership?

Your membership has to be renewed every year. You can renew online by submitting the renewal form with your membership card number and your current contact information. It can take up to two days to process online membership renewals, so for immediate account renewal, please call or visit your nearest location.

Download eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines?

To download eBooks from downloadLibrary or Hoopla you must have a valid membership card number. Don’t have one? Sign up for an online membership or visit one of our Idea Exchange locations for a full membership. If you already have a card but need to renew it, fill out our membership renewal form.

Download the Libby app on your iOS or Android device, or visit downloadLibrary for access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines and streaming video.

Hoopla is an online service that lets you instantly borrow movies, television shows, eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital music and comics on your computer or mobile devices. You will need a valid membership card number (full or online membership) and your four-digit PIN.

Our Stream and Download page has more information and handy Getting Started Guides and Video Tutorials.

Manage my PIN?

All Idea Exchange memberships require a PIN (Personal Identification Number) and card number to log into your Idea Exchange account. This increases the security and privacy of your personal library information.

A temporary PIN may have been created from the last four digits of the telephone number used for your account or you may have set it yourself at registration. Learn more about managing your PIN, or using it with our Virtual Library resources.

Search the catalogue?

Begin your search by entering a title, author or subject into the Catalogue search box at the top of the page. This keyword search looks for words in the title, series title, author, subject headings, and notes.

Refine your search by selecting from the left-hand menu, and choosing a format (for example, Adult Non-Fiction, DVD, Children’s Chapter Book, eBook), date range, or location.

Still not finding what you’re looking for? Contact a staff member who will be happy to help!

Reserve a computer?

Public computers are available during open hours at all locations except Old Post Office. They can be reserved for one 60-minute session per day. You may be able to extend your session for up to an additional 60 minutes during less busy times.

Reserve a computer up to one day in advance by calling or visiting the location of your choice. A valid Idea Exchange membership or Internet Access card is required.

Find out more on our Computers, Laptops, and Wi-Fi page.

Find accessible resources?

We have material available in many different formats, with titles and genres to suit everyone’s tastes.

In addition to large print fiction and non-fiction books, audiobooks, eAudiobooks and eBooks, we have the following resources as well:

Register for Visiting Library Service?

Visiting Library Service partners a trained volunteer with a client who is homebound due to age or illness. Once a month, our friendly volunteers deliver library material, chat about the books, and connect with clients who often become friends.

To learn more about whether this program is right for you, or to apply to become a volunteer, please contact the Idea Exchange Coordinator of Volunteer Services or call 519-621-0460 x127.

Use Old Post Office Makerspace equipment?

You need a teen or adult Idea Exchange membership and a signed waiver to use the Makerspace equipment. To make a reservation, contact Old Post Office at 226-533-2767.

Use Old Post Office Creative Studios?

You need a teen or adult Idea Exchange membership and a signed waiver to use the recording room or equipment. To make a reservation, contact Old Post Office at 226-533-2767.

Register for a program?

At Idea Exchange, we offer programs for all ages, interests and skill levels. Check out our events calendar and register online in three easy steps:

  1. Press Register
  2. Fill out the form to register. If you have the option, enter your membership card number and PIN and select Find Details and then your contact information will be automatically entered from the information we have on file. If you don't have a membership card, or it is not available, skip the membership card number and PIN sections and enter your contact information manually.
  3. Press Register to complete your registration

That’s it! You’ll receive an email confirmation and future notifications about the event – remember to check your junk, spam, or promotions folders if you don’t see the email in your inbox.

Find literacy materials for my child?

Whatever the age or interests of your child, our reading materials, learning resources and programs are designed to promote early literacy and foster a love of reading.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages caregivers to share books with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Discover new and old favourites by searching for “Board Books” in the catalogue. Alternatively, talk to one of our knowledgeable staff for suggestions on some great reads.

Use our Read the Rainbow collection to find material for older preschoolers and school-aged kids. Search for Read the Rainbow kits and graded individual titles in our catalogue. This collection has six graded levels and begins with Red for those just starting out with sight words and phonics, right up to Violet for already-fluent readers.

Still can’t find just the right material for your child? Complete our Personalized Picks form and we’ll put together a selection of material just for you.

Find something great to read or watch?

At Idea Exchange, there’s only one thing we like more than reading a great book or watching a favourite movie – and that’s talking about it! Our knowledgeable staff are always eager to share their latest finds and can be reached by phone, email, chat, or in-person.

Outside of opening hours, we can still help you find something to pique your interest: