Loans and Returns

Loan and return policies vary from location to location

Loan periods vary from library to library throughout the Novanet library consortium and across the whole Nova Scotia library system. Keep this in mind when you borrow materials through the Dal libraries.

  • Confirm the actual loan period with the Service Point/Circulation Desk
  • Return borrowed materials to a Novanet library or a public library in Nova Scotia.
    Exceptions: Reserve items and items borrowed through Document Delivery must be returned to the same place they were borrowed from. The Killam Library has an after hours book return available for patrons to return Library books (all Novanet Libraries and Nova Scotia public library material).
  • Items from Document Delivery have different loan periods and are set by the lending library. The blue wrapper around the item indicates its due date.

Loan periods at Dalhousie

The following table outlines loan periods at Dalhousie's five main library locations. Dalhousie faculty and Dalhousie graduate students are eligible for term loans. Dalhousie undergraduate students doing honours theses may borrow items for a 42-day loan period. If you're not sure how long something can be borrowed, ask at the service point/circulation desk.







Books 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks
Government Docs     3 weeks
Journals     Do not circulate
  7 days
Annual Reviews &
Monographic Serials
  3 days
3 weeks
  3 weeks
Theses     3 weeks   3 weeks
Reserves 2 hours*
2 hours
24 hours
3 days
2 hours
24 hours
3 days
1 week
2 hours 3 hours
24 hours
3 days
7 days
CD-ROMs     3 weeks   3 weeks
DVDs and VHS     7 days    
Music Scores**
    1 week    
Spoken Word Recordings     1 week    
Special Collections Loans ‡     48 hours    
*Overnight reserve loans are available to law students. Ask at the circulation desk.
**M1-M3 (urtext scores) are non-circulating.
‡ Special Collections loans are uncommon and require prior arrangement with the Special Collections Librarian.

Non-Circulating Items marked SPCOLL and SPCOL+

Non-circulating books with the 'SPCOLL' or 'SPCOL+' designation are rarely loaned. However, staff can grant users special loans at their discretion. Special loans are available only from the 5th floor Killam Library Archives/Special Collections Reference Desk between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. 

Special loans are normally a maximum of 48 hours.  A user may have only three items signed out on at one time.

Eligibility for special loans

Holders of valid identification cards from the Novanet libraries, Dalhousie students, faculty and staff may request these loans. Off-campus borrowers are not eligible for a special loan.

Long loans

The Special Collections Librarian may authorize longer loans. Reasons for special loans may include:

  • Presentation of material required for a specific class by either students or faculty
  • In depth research performed by graduate students and faculty
  • Long works required for in depth study that are unavailable elsewhere in Metro Halifax