Borrowing Information: Updates due to COVID-19

Last updated: Thursday, July 9

This post will be updated as decisions are made that may affect Library service.

Curbside Pick-up

Halifax Public Libraries offers Curbside Pick-up at all branches.

How-to use Curbside Pick-up

  • For holds that were on our shelves before the Library closure, you will be notified via phone or email with information on how to pick your item(s) up through Curbside Pick-up. 
  • For picking up new holds through Curbside Pick-up, please follow signage instructions at your local branch when you arrive to pick-up items. 
  • If you are unable to pick-up your item(s) at a Curbside Pick-up location or are no longer interested in borrowing them, please let staff know when they contact you via phone or email. 
  • Exterior signage will be posted at Curbside Pick-up with guidelines on how to receive your items. Please follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of yourself and our staff. 

Curbside Pick-up Locations

Hours for Curbside Pick-up vary at each location. You will be told the schedule for the Curbside Pick-up location when you are contacted about picking up your item(s).

The following branches of Halifax Public Libraries are offering Curbside Pick-up at this time:

Current Holds

  • For holds that were on our shelves before the Library closure, you will be notified via phone or email with information on how to pick your item(s) up through Curbside Pick-up. More information on Curbside Pick-up is above.
  • For picking up new holds through Curbside Pick-up, please follow signage instructions at your local branch when you arrive.
  • We will not be able to hold on to all holds indefinitely. Please check your email for notifications about Curbside Pick-up.

New Holds

You can once again place holds on physical items in our collection.

As we reintroduce Library services, such as placing holds on physical items, we appreciate your patience as we get our collection back into circulation. Borrowing processes may take longer than usual to allow for staff and public safety measures.

When you return an item, changes to your borrowed items under "My Account" may take extra time to update. If you place a hold on an available item, it may take a little bit of extra time before you are notified that it is available for pick-up. 

If you have any questions, connect with Ask the Library.

Borrowing, loans, and fines

  • Get a card: Residents of Nova Scotia can register here for a temporary, digital library card. This will give you access to our collection and E-Library tools.       
    • Note: Digital cards will expire 6 weeks after after July 7 (August 18). Visit or call the Library by August 18 to either get a physical card or to make your digital card permanent.
  • Book drops: As of Tuesday, June 23, all branch Book Drops are open to accept the return of items.       
    • Note: If you have larger items, such as a musical instrument, Light Therapy To-go lamp, book club kits, etc., please do not return these items through Book Drops. 
  • Loan periods:   
    • Halifax Public Libraries has extended all loan periods for physical items (books, instruments, etc.) checked out before July 7, 2020. These items will be due back by August 4.
    • Physical items borrowed on July 7 and after, will loan for the same period of time as before the closure – 21 days for most items, and 7 days for DVDs, Rapid Read books, and other high-demand items.​ Please visit this page for a full list of loan periods. 
    • Please login to "My Account" for updates on your checked out items, or call Ask the Library
    • Changes to your borrowed items under "My Account" (for example, when items are checked in) may take extra time to update while our staff safely handle and process items.
  • Fines: We will not be collecting fines or fees at this time. 
  • New holds: As of July 3, you can once again place holds on physical items in our collection. As we reintroduce Library services, such as placing holds on physical items, we appreciate your patience as we get our collection back into circulation. Borrowing processes may take longer than usual to allow for staff and public safety measures. When you return an item, changes to your borrowed items under "My Account" may take extra time to update. If you place a hold on an available item, it may take a little bit of extra time before you are notified that it is available for pick-up.    
    • Note: We recommend that you quarantine Library materials for at least 24 hours once you take them home. 
  • Suggestions for Purchase: We have paused the "Suggestion for Purchase" function until further notice.
  • Interlibrary Loans: Interlibrary loans remain suspended while we work with our partners to align our services and timelines. Interlibrary loans that have been borrowed from other libraries can be returned to one of our Book Drops. 
  • Home Delivery and Borrow By Mail: At this time, we are not accepting new applications for Home Delivery or Borrow By Mail. Service to existing users of Home Delivery and Borrow By Mail has been reinstated at some level. We hope to offer these services to new users in the near future. 
  • Accepting book donations: We will not be accepting book donations until a later date. Updates will be provided here.

Important Reminders

  • The Library recommends that you quarantine borrowed materials for at least 24 hours once you take them home. 
  • When you return an item, changes to your borrowed items under "My Account" may take extra time to update while our staff safely handle and process items. If you place a hold on an available item, it may take a little bit of extra time before you are notified that it is available for pick-up. 
  • The safety of our community and staff is our top priority. Please practice physical distancing while using our Curbside Pick-up service or visiting a Library branch. Informative signage is posted to help you easily navigate our spaces.
  • The Province of Nova Scotia provides recommendations on protecting yourself and helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you are unable to visit a library branch, you can still enjoy the Library! Learn something new by using an online resource in our E-Library, or catch up on your reading with an e-book. If you have been contacted to pick-up an item through Curbside Pick-up and you are unable to, let us know and we can suspend or cancel the hold. We're here for you!

Questions?

Connect with Ask the Library.