Interlibrary Loans

If we don’t have an item that you’re looking for, we can help you search for it at another library.

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.

  • 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 three 3-6 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 3 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.

To get started

Contact us or complete an online form depending on the type of item you want to borrow:

  • Books or Audio-Visual Materials: Books, DVDs, Videos, Music (CDs), Audio Books not found in the library catalogue
  • Photocopies: Magazine/newspaper articles not found in the Library collection
  • Microform Materials: Canadian newspapers, census records, passenger ship lists, city directories, and other archival materials
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