borrowing-information-during-covid-19-closure

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Media Contact

Kasia Morrison
Communications Officer
Email: morrisk@halifax.ca
Phone: 902-490-5852
Mobile: 902-476-8605

Borrowing Information: Updates due to COVID-19

Latest Update: Wednesday, August 5

We’ve made updates to borrowing, loans, and fines, in response to COVID-19.

This page will be updated as decisions are made that may affect Library borrowing services.

Curbside Pick-up

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.
  • 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

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 library 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.

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.

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. 

Book Drops

As of Tuesday, June 23 all branch Book Drops are open.

Open hours of branch Book Drops may have changed. Click here for Book Drop hours at your local branch.

If a Book Drop you visit is closed, we ask that you do not leave items outside the Book Drop.

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.

Please contact Ask the Library by calling 902-490-5753, or emailing asklib@halifax.ca if you are having difficulty accessing a branch Book Drop.

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.

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

As of August 5, 2020, Halifax Public Libraries has eliminated overdue fines. Replacement fees will still be collected. For more information, click here.

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.

Suggestions for Purchase

We have paused the "Suggestion for Purchase" function until further notice.

Interlibrary Loans

We are temporarily reducing the number of active Interlibrary Loans to 3 per person.

Due to continued COVID-19 related closures across Canada, we are only able to request materials from a limited number of public libraries at this time. Our ability to track down titles will be significantly reduced until more library systems reopen. Thank you for your patience.

Interlibrary Loans that have been borrowed from other libraries can be returned to one of our Book Drops.

Click here for more information on Interlibrary Loans.

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Connect with Ask the Library if you have any additional questions.

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