Membership

idea exchange membership card

Your membership at Idea Exchange is your gateway to entertainment and information. Although we still have thousands of books to suit every reader, your membership also gives you access to online resources, Makerspace technologies, park passes, and other unusual items, such as GoPros, musical instruments, and garden tools.

Whatever your needs, there's a membership for you, whether it's a full membership, online-only, or temporary. There's even a special membership for children under three.

Full Memberships

If you live, work, own property, or attend an educational institution in the City of Cambridge, you qualify for a free Idea Exchange membership.

Don’t live in Cambridge, but live nearby? If you live in one of the following reciprocal communities, you also qualify for a free Idea Exchange card.

  • Brant County
  • Brantford
  • Guelph
  • Hamilton Region
  • Kitchener
  • Waterloo
  • Waterloo Region
  • Wellington County
Online memberships

Can’t come in to one of our locations? No problem! If you live in the City of Cambridge, sign up for an online membership. An online membership gives you immediate access to the many electronic products we provide and can be upgraded to full membership at any time by visiting one of our locations with proof of your name and current address.

Other types of memberships

If you don’t wish to borrow materials or you’re not eligible for a full membership at Idea Exchange, you can obtain an Internet-only card to utilize public computer workstations and printers. All you need is a document showing your full name.

Adults aged 18+ who live outside our Reciprocal area can still use the equipment at the Old Post Office by applying for a Non-Resident – OPO card. This card is issued only at the Old Post Office, is valid for two months, and can be used for in-house Old Post Office equipment only.

Visitors to Cambridge who are staying for at least six weeks can register for a Temporary membership. This allows members to borrow two items at a time, and is valid for two months. There are some restrictions regarding which materials can be borrowed.

Applying in Person

Visit any Idea Exchange location to apply for membership.

What to Bring

You will need some identification with your full name and proof of your current address, such as a driver’s licence, passport, any item mailed to your current address with a recent (less than one-month old) postmark, rent receipt, tax bill or lease agreement.

  • For Cambridge residents or members of a reciprocal community: 
    • A piece of ID that includes your name and current address or a piece of ID and a secondary proof of address, such as a recent (less than one-month old) piece of mail, rent receipt, tax bill, or lease agreement.
  • Teens (13-17) need to be present in the library, and provide proof of their full name and current address. This can be provided by a parent who accompanies the teen.
  • Children aged 12 and under must be present in the library to receive their card, and their parent or legal guardian must provide proof of their own full name and current address.
  • If you work or attend an educational institution in Cambridge but live elsewhere: 
    • Proof of employment or proof of school enrollment, and a piece of ID that includes your name and current address or a piece of ID and a secondary proof of address as detailed above.

Other options exist for special situations. To find out more, call or visit one of our locations and talk to a staff member.

Managing your PIN

All Idea Exchange memberships require a four-digit 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.

New members choose their PIN at registration. For existing members, a temporary PIN may have been assigned using the last four digits of the telephone number in your account.

Learn more about managing your PIN, or using it with our Virtual Library resources.

Membership Renewal

To ensure that we have up-to-date contact information on file, memberships are 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 renewals, so for immediate renewal, please call or visit your nearest location.

Lost or Stolen Cards

If your card has been lost or stolen, contact your preferred location by phone or in person as soon as possible. You are responsible for anything borrowed on your card until it has been reported to us.

You will need to bring acceptable identification with you on your next visit to Idea Exchange and pay the replacement card fee of $1.00. This fee is waived for cards reported stolen within 30 days of the event.

If you find your card after reporting it lost and have not yet been issued a new card, contact library staff to have them reinstate the original card for you. 

Cardholder responsibilities

Cardholders are responsible for any items borrowed on their membership card and for any charges that may result from lost or damaged materials. Parents or legal guardians of children aged 12 and under are responsible for materials borrowed on their child’s card. For more information, please see our policies.