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Borrowing Materials

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Borrowing Materials

How long can I borrow materials for?

Schedule of Materials and Loan Periods
Item Loan Period
Book 21 days
Best Bet 21 days
Video (except language learning video) 7 days
DVD (except language learning DVD) 7 days
Language learning video or DVD (including literacy) 21 days
CD 21 days
Periodical or magazine 7 days
CD-ROM 21 days
eContent Varies as determined by licensing agreement
Music score 21 days
Picture collection 21 days
Items provided by Home Library Service Extended loans as determined by City-wide Services
Laptop 2 hours
Museum & Arts Pass Expiry date as specified on the Pass
Pedometer 21 days

Most materials can be returned to any Toronto Public Library branch. Some items must be returned to the branch from which you borrowed them:

How do I borrow eBooks or eAudiobooks?

You can checkout and download materials either directly through your device or transfered from your computer after downloading. For instruction on how to use this service see the Getting Started with Library eBooks user guides.

Will I be notified something is overdue?

When an item is overdue for 7 days, you will get a courtesy email or phone call to let you know. You can also opt in to receive due date reminder notices by email two days before your items are due. It's always your responsibility to return your items on time, even if you don't get the email or phone call.

What happens when I've lost something I've borrowed?

You'll have to pay the purchase price of the item. The library doesn't accept a replacement copy or an item of equivalent value.
If something is overdue by more than 40 days, the library considers it lost.

The library says I have not returned something, but I'm sure I have. What can I do?

The library can mark an item as being "reported returned". Staff get lists of items marked reported returned and search for them regularly. If the item is not checked in or out within 90 days, it's marked lost and a replacement charge will be added to your account. Also, many libraries are closed on Monday mornings, so if you returned something on the weekend staff might not check it in until later that afternoon.

I found a lost item that I've already paid for. Can I get my money back?

Keep your receipt!
If you find the item within 6 months of paying the replacement cost you can get a refund, minus any overdue fines.

How many items can I have out at one time?


Can I borrow books that are marked as "reference"?

Books that are marked as "reference" cannot be borrowed; they are for use in the library that owns the copy. There are usually circulating copies of the book that you can borrow.

If there is only one reference copy of the book and you are unable to travel to the owning library to read it, please speak to staff about interlibrary loan and reference loan options.

How do I renew items?

By phone:
Call the automated telephone renewals line at 416-395-5505.
Call Answerline at 416-393-7131.
Call your local branch.

In the library:
Use the online catalogue in any branch or ask staff.

In Your Account click on the Checkouts tab, click the box beside the titles you want to renew and click Renew Selected Items.
The renewal starts as of the current date, not when the item was originally due.

Why can't I renew something?

There are a few reasons why you might not be able to renew an item

Am I eligible for Special Needs status?

People with disabilities may apply to have fine exempt status. You will need to fill out the Special Needs Application form and have it completed by a health care professional.

Placing Holds

How to reserve an item and have it sent to your closest library branch.

How to Manage Your Holds

Options to help you get your requested items delivered when and where you want them.