Interlibrary Loans

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

Interlibrary loan services are available to all Cape Breton Regional Library members.


What can I request through interlibrary loan?

A wide range of materials and formats are available from lending libraries across Nova Scotia and Canada. You may request books, CD audiobooks, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

What cannot be requested through Interlibrary Services?

There are some types of items that you cannot borrow through interlibrary loan:

  • New releases (books published within the last six months)
  • Magazines
  • Music CDs
  • eBooks and eAudiobooks
  • Rare and archival materials
  • recreational/sports equipment, musical instruments, or other large items.


Items that are already owned by CBRL cannot be requested through interlibrary loan. Please check our online catalogue before requesting materials.
All requests are subject to availability and policies at the lending library.

How many items may I request?

You may have up to two active interlibrary loan requests at a time. A request is considered active from the time it is submitted to the library until the time a borrowed item is returned to the library.

Is there a charge for interlibrary loans?

CBRL does not charge a fee for interlibrary loan service. However, some lending libraries do charge a fee when sending out their materials. It is our policy to pass on these fees to the borrower. We contact the borrower to confirm they are willing to pay any fees before proceeding with the request. Borrowers are responsible for all materials borrowed on their library card. If materials are lost or damaged, the borrower is responsible for all replacement costs in accordance with the policies of the lending library.

How long does it take for interlibrary loans to arrive?

Cape Breton Regional Library processes all requests in a timely manner. The time it takes to fulfill an interlibrary loan request varies widely, depending on the lending library’s location, policies, and availability of the materials.

Where will the items I request be delivered?

Interlibrary loan materials can be picked up at any of CBRL’s 12 branches or at the bookmobile.

How will I be notified when my loans are available?

Library staff will notify you by phone or email when your interlibrary loans are available to pick-up at your requested library location or bookmobile.

Please note that you will not see interlibrary loan requests under your holds list when logged into your library account online.

How long can I use materials received through interlibrary loan?

For most materials, the borrowing period is two weeks. The loan period for materials is established by the lending region.

Can I renew an interlibrary loan item?

You may request a renewal of the loan period by contacting your local library prior to the item’s due date. Staff must first request a renewal from the lending library. If the renewal is allowed, we will notify you of the new due date, as determined by the lending library. Typically, DVDs and Blu-ray discs are not eligible for renewal.

How do I place a request?

If the item you are looking for is available from another Nova Scotia Public Library, with the exception of Halifax Public Libraries, you may place your request through our online catalogue. If the item is available at Halifax Public Libraries, a college or university library, or elsewhere in Canada, please contact the staff at your local library for assistance.