Serving Cape Breton Regional Municipality and Victoria County since 1950

Important Notices

Cape Breton Regional Library Frequently Asked Questions



Yes! Library Branches are open to the public. Library hours and Bookmobile Schedule can be found on the Locations page.

Here’s what to expect when you visit one of CBRL’s branches:

  • Plexi-glass shields have been installed at service desks
  • Some furniture has been removed to provide more unencumbered floor space
  • All returned library materials are quarantined for 72 hours;
  • High touch surfaces will be cleaned more frequently
  • There will be a limit on the number of people allowed in the library at one time
  • There will no longer be late fines on overdue materials

Yes, our curbside “Library Take-Out” service is still available. To select new books, you will need to either place a hold on your online library account or call your local library branch and a member of staff will be able to assist you. Contact information for each branch can be found here

Yes. For Library Take-Out your items will be checked out to you as soon as they are processed. If you can’t pick up your books yourself, you can arrange for somebody else to pick them up for you.

Yes, as per the Nova Scotia Provincial Health Directives,  masks are required when inside our library buildings

Yes. We understand that in some cases, individuals are unable able to wear a mask. If this is the case, simply notify a member of staff. This will not prevent you from being able to visit the library.
The following persons are exempted from wearing a face mask and will not be required to provide proof of such exemption:

  • Persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a mask.
  • Children under two years of age
  • A child at least 2 years in age but under the age of 4 years who refuses to wear a face mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.

If you’re unable to wear a mask or feel vulnerable in public indoor spaces, please be aware that our libraries still offer “Library Take Out” services. To access this service, please phone your local library branch.

Please come back another time if you don’t have your mask with you.  The library no longer has a supply of free masks to distribute.

Yes, you are still required to physically distance as much as possible when wearing a mask as part of the package of personal protective measures. Masks are not a substitute for physically distancing.

No, for the purpose of this  public health directive, a face shield cannot be worn instead of a non-medical mask.

CBRL will follow the Province’s example of taking a cooperative and positive approach to mandatory masking rather than an enforcement approach. We have confidence that the vast majority of our patrons will wear a mask, if at all possible.


Thank you for helping us in complying with the Government of Nova Scotia’s mask guidelines. For more information on the mandatory mask requirements visit:

Yes. As a precaution for COVID-19, we are following protocols for isolating returned materials. All returned items will be quarantined for 3 days before being checked out to another user. All staff will be adhering to strict guidelines currently in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Snowshoes, Skis & other related equipment are disinfected in between borrowers.

We encourage everyone to try our new online service PressReader which includes access to local and national newspapers, and magazines.  You can access PressReader from your home computer, your personal mobile device, or a library computer.

We ask that anyone wishing to read the printed paper or magazines in the library sanitize their hands and wear a mask while reading.  Magazines can also be borrowed to take home and read.

Library Services FAQ

Library cards are free.   CBRM and Victoria County residents can apply for a library card online.

You can also get a card at any of our library branches.

You can check your account by clicking on My Account. You will need your library card number and PIN to sign-in. By default the PIN is the last four digits of your phone number.

Yes! The Library is no longer charging overdue fines and fines accrued prior to July 2020 have been removed from user accounts.  If you experience any problems logging in to your account please e-mail or phone your local library branch.

If you have temporarily misplaced your card and want access to our Digital Library, email

To replace a lost card visit your local library branch.  There is a $1 replacement fee for lost cards.

Yes.   You can log in to your account online and place a hold on a book from any CBRL branch or the Bookmobile.  You can also phone your local library branch to request books.

If you cannot find the book in our catalogue we may be able to order through Interlibrary loan.

If you’d like to enjoy your materials for longer, you can renew materials online as long as they have not been requested by others. You can renew books using your online library account, or you can call in to your local branch to connect with a staff member for assistance.

At this time only a few pre-registered programs such as book clubs and knitting clubs are available.  Children’s programs have not yet resumed but many branches are offering Craft-to-Go Kits and online children’s programs are being posted to the library's Facebook page and  our YouTube Channel

Due to a shortage of space most branches operate on a first-come first-served basis for available study areas and seating.  Meeting rooms are not available at the moment.

The book sale areas in library branches are open.  We accept cash for used book sales.

Cape Breton Regional Library is accepting limited donations of gently used books for our Book Sale Collection.  In order to have the adequate space for quarantining items before they are made available for purchase, please consider small donations of recent best-sellers, paperbacks, and DVDs. The library is also interested in books which may have historical value especially books pertaining to local history.

Please note that we do not accept textbooks, encyclopaedias, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, VHS or cassette tapes, or any item that is in poor condition or damaged.

Digital Library FAQ

You can enjoy CBRL’s online collections from the comfort of your own home.  Online resources include eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines.  You will need your library card number and PIN (normally the last four digits of your phone number) to log-in.   Click on the Digital Library link to view the full list of online resources.

If you have lost/misplaced your library card you can send an e-mail to or visit your local library branch to connect with a staff member for assistance.

Click here to fill out an online application form. * Please note that it can take up to 2-3 days to process your application form.

Call your local branch or email us at and a staff member will get back to you