Borrowing Information

Changes have been made to allow for more flexibility in borrowing DVDs. The fine rate for non-browsing DVDs has also been reduced.

Your library card

You must present your library card to borrow materials.

Borrowers are responsible for all use of their library cards until the card is reported as lost and cancelled by the borrower. This includes materials borrowed on their cards and use of the public computers.  Parents/legal guardians or signing adults of children under 14 years of age are responsible for all use made of their children’s library cards.

Loss or theft of the library card must be reported immediately to prevent fraudulent use. There is a charge for replacing lost cards - $2.00 for Adults, $1.00 for Children and Youth.

Item Type Loan Period Renewals Daily Fine Rate
Adult books, CDs, audiobooks, CNIB Talking Books, VHS tapes and magazines 21 days 2 $0.25
Children’s and Young Adult books, kits, CDs, VHS and magazines 21 days 2 $0.10
Rapid Reads (No holds) 7 days 0 $1.00
High Demand (Items with more than 5 requests per copy) * 7 days 0 $1.00
Children's DVDs (non-browsing) 7 days 2 $0.10
Adult DVDs (non-browsing) 7 days 2 $0.25
Browsing DVDs (high demand DVDs; no holds) 7 days 0 $1.00
DVDs over 300 minutes 21 days 2 $0.25

* High Demand items of 500 or more pages may be kept at the 21 Day Loan period.

Do you have a question about your account? Why not ask us?

There is a limit of 60 items checked out at one time per library card. This includes items that may have been returned, but not yet checked in.

Borrowers can have a maximum of five active interlibrary loan materials out at one time.

Borrowing Materials - Fines
Fine-Free Borrowers: The following borrowers are not charged fines on overdue items: Seniors (age 65 and older), Home Delivery Service Clients and registered Talking Book Users.

Other Loan Types
Institutional Loans:Teachers, home schoolers, daycare, preschool and community group leaders may register for  Institutional Loan cards.  The standard loan periods, renewals and overdue fines apply.  Only videos and DVDs  with Public Performance Rights may be borrowed as an Institutional Loans.  Insititutional loans cannot be granted when five or more items are overdue. Interlibrary loan materials do not qualify for institutional loans.

Special Loans: Individuals with special circumstances (such as persons going out to sea) may apply for a Special Loan for the time period required. Special Loans are generally limited to paperbacks and magazines. Interlibrary loan materials do not qualify for special loans.

Overnight Loans: Some materials related to adult programming courses may be borrowed overnight. Materials borrowed on an Overnight Loan are due by closing time the following day. Interlibrary loan materials do not qualify for overnight loans.

Vacation Loans: Only materials available for a regular three week loan may be checked out for a six-week vacation loan period. Borrowers are entitled to two six-week vacation loans within a 12 month period.  Interlibrary loan materials do not qualify for vacation loans.

Returns and Renewals
All materials except for high demand items, Rapid Reads, and Browsing DVDs may be renewed twice. Materials may be returned to any branch of Halifax Public Libraries. It is your responsibility to have all items borrowed on your card returned on time. You may renew your library materials:

  • in person at a branch library
  • by calling a branch library
  • by using the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) in the branch
  • by calling Tele-Access Service at (902) 490-5845
  • by using the library's catalogue

Fines will not be charged on items renewed before 10:00pm on the day they are due.

You must have a Halifax Public Libraries' Card to use services such as Tele-Access and Borrower-Placed Holds.

Video/DVD Classification

Halifax Public Libraries will be following the Canadian Home Video Rating System to determine who may borrow films categorized as:

  • Restricted - films which can be borrowed only by people 18 years and over.
  • Adult Accompaniment - films which can be borrowed only by people 14 years and older.

If you are in one of the restricted age categories you will not be able to borrow films with these designations. If you are not in these restricted age categories you may still need to update your library information in order to borrow these films. Children or teens unaccompanied by a guardian will be required to show proof of age if updating their user status.

Borrowers should be advised that staff are not able to override these lending restrictions.

Overdue Notices and Bills

An overdue fine will be charged for each day materials are late. Fines may be paid when the item is returned, or may be entered on your record for later payment. Fines are based on the type of materials borrowed and not the type of borrower card used. For example, children's books borrowed on an adult card will always be charged at the children's fine rate.

Halifax Public Libraries' Tele-Access will notify you when your library materials are overdue. If you prefer, email notification is available.

If you have 20 or more items overdue at one time or have more than $10 in unpaid fines or replacement costs, your borrowing privileges will be suspended, and you will be unable to place holds. Renewals are permitted if renewal limit has not been reached. Outstanding accounts of $100 or more will be sent to a collection agency.

Replacement/Repair Costs

An item 30 days or more overdue is considered lost and the replacement cost is charged to the borrower's file. If the item is returned, the replacement cost is cancelled and the borrower is charged the maximum fine. If a paid-for item is later returned in good condition, a refund for the cost of the item only will be mailed, provided the item is returned with the receipt. Refunds will only be issued within 90 days of payment. There is a $5 charge for any repairs to Library materials.

Borrowers will be charged the replacement costs for any items that are returned in a damaged or incomplete condition i.e. a/v materials returned with missing cases or contents.

Seniors and Home Delivery Services clients are fine-free borrowers, but they are still liable for the replacement costs of lost or damaged materials.

The library cannot assume responsibility for damage to audio-visual equipment which may occur during the use of Library-owned audiovisual materials.