Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary Loans

A network of libraries

If we don’t have an item that you’re looking for, we can help you search for it at another library. If you are new to Interlibrary Loans, please read the guidelines below. Returning customers can find our forms here.

As a Halifax Public Libraries member, you can borrow certain items from other libraries in Nova Scotia and across Canada. This is called an Interlibrary Loan.

How do Interlibrary Loans work?

  • You can have up to 5 active Interlibrary Loans at a time (including items currently checked out, items on order, and items requested).
  • Items that are available within Canada can take between 3-6 weeks to arrive.
  • We will notify you when the item arrives. The item will be available for pick-up for 7 business days.
  • If there is a fee for borrowing the item, you can pay it when you pick up the item.
  • You can return the item to any of our locations. Be sure to keep the white Interlibrary Loan band on the item. This allows us to register the item as 'returned,' and remove it from your account

What can you borrow by Interlibrary Loan?

You can request different types of items as Interlibrary Loans:

  • Books
  • Archival materials on microform
  • Photocopies of articles from magazines and journals
  • Talking books for people who are visually impaired

There is limited access to the following items:

  • Books on tape or CD
  • Music CDs
  • All DVDs and videos

There are some types of items that you cannot borrow as Interlibrary Loans:

  • New releases (books published within the last 12 months)
  • Magazines and journals
  • E-books

Lending libraries guidelines

The library that owns the item (the lending library) decides:

  • How long you can borrow
  • Whether you can renew. If you want to renew, call us at (902) 490-5821 at least 5 business days before the due date
  • If there is a lending or photocopy fee (and the amount to be charged)
  • The fee for lost or damaged items

All Interlibrary Loans are governed by our Interlibrary Loan Policy.

Still can’t find what you are looking for? You can suggest that we purchase it.

Make a request

Contact us, opens a new window or complete an online form depending on the type of item you want to borrow:

Interlibrary loan titles are now visible in your Halifax Public Libraries online account. This change will allow you to better track your interlibrary loan requests, letting you see what titles are on their way to Halifax Public Libraries to fill your interlibrary loan requests, and letting you see when these items have arrived on the holds shelf for you to pick up. Interlibrary loan items will be easily identifiable in your list of holds by the letters “ILLO” appearing at the beginning of the title.

Just like with all other holds, our automated phone or email notification system will now let you know when an interlibrary loan has come in on hold for you (depending on which notification type you have selected in your Halifax Public Libraries account). Please call or visit any Halifax Public Libraries branch if you’d like to change your email or phone number, or to change how you are notified about your holds that are ready to be picked up.

Back to Top