Calgary Library membership soared 33% after cards became free

Dec 19 2017, 10:54 am

Calgarians and enjoying the library like never before. Since taking away the library card fees last January, now over 500,000 people are card-carrying members of the city’s biggest literary club.

Prior to January 2, 2015, it cost $12 a year to keep a library card. Some 400,000 people bucked up in return for unlimited book, movie, and multimedia loans, but since the card has become free, membership has skyrocketed.

Some 132,000 more people signed up for a Calgary Library card in 2015, according to a column in the Calgary Herald with CEO Bill Ptacek.

Calgary joined many other cities, like Vancouver, which offer free library cards to residents, but their timing couldn’t be more unique. Just ahead of a strong economic downturn, the free library cards will help those struggling with low or no income to enjoy some of the city’s most valuable services.

In that sense, the Calgary Library has started a campaign called #becauseLibrary in hopes to provide free programs to job seekers, small business owners or entrepreneurs, newcomers to Canada, and families.

Head to to get your library card and learn more about their services.


DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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