Home > Life, The Universe, & Everything > My North York Public Library Card from the “Metropolitan Toronto” Days of the 1990s

My North York Public Library Card from the “Metropolitan Toronto” Days of the 1990s

North York Public Library Card Metropolitan Toronto Front

This is my library card which I use every time I visit the Toronto Public Library to take out a book or 3.  It looks nothing like the current Toronto Public Library card and is from the early 1990s when North York was technically a city unto itself and a part of Metropolitan Toronto.  I am pretty sure this meant that I could use any library in Metropolitan Toronto but never really tried to because when Toronto amalgamated into the “megacity” and North York became fully a part of the city of Toronto it was 1997 and I was 15-16 years old. Still, I have kept this library card because it is still valid.

North York Public Library Card Metropolitan Toronto Back

I asked a librarian a couple of years ago (when my card was in slightly better shape) if I should get a new card because this one is getting downright decrepit. The librarian didn’t seem to agree and said as long as it still scans I should continue using my library card as is. I wonder how long it will take before the cracks in it reach the middle and it breaks in two (or maybe three). You can see the cracks more clearly on the second picture. The one above the “1.” is heading toward the barcode. The one above the word “immediately” on the right hand side of the card is actually making its way through the word “materials” above it and on the other side of the card this means it is making a break for the barcode as well having made a right angle turn. I wonder which crack will destroy the barcode first? Maybe I should get this thing laminated so it doesn’t break more or report it lost so they give me another one then one day donate it to a museum? I know the chances of  a librarian seeing it have decreased significantly since the Toronto Library introduced self-checkout which means until it totally shatters and I am forced to go ask for a new card i am sticking with this one.

One last thought, on the back of the card at the bottom it says “NBS.” Anyone have any clue what the heck that stands for?


  1. October 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    NBS = National Bankcard Services

    A manufacturer/supplier of credit card/loyalty card/library cards and embossers/equipment.

    • October 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Ooooh! No way! I have wondered that for literally YEARS! Thanks Peter!!!

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