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Borrowing Information

Your library card

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You must present your library card or acceptable identification to borrow materials.

A Halifax Public Libraries card is required to access many of the library’s digital resources (including eBooks, databases etc.) and you will require your library card number to manage your account, place requests, and renew items online or over the phone.

Borrowers are responsible for all use of their library cards until the card is reported as lost. 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.

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

Item Type Loan Period Renewals Daily Fine Rate
Adult books, CDs, audiobooks and magazines 21 days 2 $0.25
Children’s and Young Adult books, CDs, and magazines 21 days 2 $0.10
Rapid Reads, Browsing DVDs, Blu-rays and 7-Day Loans 7 days 0 $1.00
Children's DVDs (non-browsing) 7 days 2 $0.10
Adult DVDs (non-browsing) 7 days 2 $0.25
DVDs over 300 minutes 21 days 2 $0.25

Fine-Free Borrowers: The following borrowers are not charged fines on overdue items:

Other Loan Types 

Education/ Institution Loans: Teachers, home schoolers, daycare, preschool and community group leaders may register for an Education or Institution Loan card. The standard loan periods, renewals and overdue fines apply. Interlibrary loan materials do not qualify for education or institution 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 only apply to 21-day loan items with no active requests. Interlibrary loan materials do not qualify for special loans.

Vacation Loans: Only materials available for a regular three week loan and with no active requests 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 items requested by another borrower, 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 11pm (Mon-Fri) or 8pm (Sat-Sun) on the day they are due.

HPL’s automated telephone or email notifications will let you know when your library materials are overdue.

DVD Classification

Halifax Public Libraries complies with the film classification age restrictions 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.

All library users are responsible for adhering to any copyright regulations that permit or restrict the use of any items borrowed from the library.

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 applied to 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' automated telephone or email notifications will let you know when your library materials are overdue.

If you have 20 or more items overdue at one time or have more than $20 in unpaid fines or replacement costs, your borrowing privileges will be suspended. Renewals are permitted if renewal limit has not been reached, though they must be completed by staff.

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 will be issued, provided the item is returned with the receipt and within 90 days of payment.

The Library does not pursue payment for accidentally damaged materials that are returned by customers. Any payment for damaged material that a customer wishes to make will be gratefully accepted. Customers who pay for damaged material may retain that material. Items intentionally damaged will be charged the full replacement cost.

Borrowers will be charged the replacement costs for any items that are returned in an 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.