Borrow by Mail FAQ

Can I use Borrow by Mail?
You can use the Borrow by Mail service if you are a resident of Halifax and you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You live in an area not currently served by a branch
  • You have no access to transportation to get to a branch
  • You have a disability, long-term illness, or caregiver responsibilities and there is no Home Delivery Service available in your area

If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, please call Borrow by Mail at (902) 490-5599 or 1-800-565-4414 (long distance calls only, please).

Can I join temporarily?
Yes, you can use Borrow by Mail during the winter, but use branches in the summer when it’s easier to get around.

How much does it cost?
Borrow by Mail is free. Material will be mailed with a postage-paid return mailing label. This label can be found at the front of one book. The library is able to mail books at a relatively low cost thanks to a reduced rate through Canada Post.

How long can I borrow materials?
Materials go out for three weeks, including mailing time. You may renew your items twice, as long as no one is waiting for them.

Do I have to pay long distance charges to call the Borrow by Mail office?
For long distance, you can call toll-free at 1-800-565-4414. You can also contact the Borrow by Mail staff via email.

What if I have a small mailbox?
Let staff know, and they will send small packages only.

What if my material becomes overdue, or even lost?
You are not charged overdue fines on anything sent to you from Borrow by Mail or borrowed from a Halifax Public Libraries branch; however, you are responsible for the materials you borrow. Replacement costs are charged for lost or damaged materials, and service may be suspended to anyone with outstanding charges.

Can I still use another library in Halifax?
You can use your library card to borrow from any branch of Halifax Public Libraries.
Please note that you cannot use the postage-paid envelopes to return items that were borrowed at branches. Those items must be returned to a branch. The library pays return postage only for items that are borrowed via Borrow by Mail; however, you can return your Borrow by Mail materials to a branch.

I live outside of Halifax. Can I receive Borrow by Mail?
Our Borrow by Mail Service is limited to residents of Halifax. Please contact your Regional Library system to see if you can join their books by mail service.

Is it true the library keeps a record of everything I have borrowed?
To avoid sending duplicates, items are checked against a list of previously-borrowed material. Only library staff can see this list. You may request that the library not maintain this file.
More questions? Please call us at (902) 490-5599, or toll-free at 1-800-565-4414 (long distance calls only, please) to talk to a staff member, or email Borrow by Mail.