Borrowing at the library

This page has information about placing holds, borrowing and returning items, and borrowing charges.

Locating items

Use the catalogue to find out what is available in our libraries.

If you are not sure how to find the item, please ask at one of our desks or our guide to the Dewey Classification System might help.

If you need an item that we do not have, it may be possible to borrow it from another library or purchase it for our collection.

Placing holds

If an item is out, you can place a hold on it.

You can place a hold on an item using a computer in a library or via the internet. You may also phone in your hold, or ask a librarian at any of the desks to place it for you.

A notice will be posted to you when the item becomes available or you can arrange to be contacted by email. You may also choose to use the Library Elf service to be notified of holds.

For adult borrowers, a service charge is paid when you collect the item.

The hold limit for all customers is 15 except for adult customers (e.g. Adult, Adult non-resident) who have unlimited holds. See our membership categories page for more information.

To place a hold yourself:

  • Search for the item in the catalogue and go to its full record.
  • Click the Place a Hold button on the left.
  • You will be asked for your username or library card number and your library password or PIN unless you are already logged in.

Borrow the item

Items are issued at either our member services desks or you can use the self issue machines.

At any time you can check what you have out and when it’s due back by using the My Account feature in our catalogue. You may also choose to use third party services to be notified of holds and items due.

  • The maximum numbers of items that adult, youth, concession and corporate members may have on loan has increased to 30 items.
  • Items can be renewed once (either via phone, in the library or online). Items will be renewed for the original loan period. A further charge for any Bestsellers, DVDs, CDs and LPs will apply. If another customer is waiting for the item the item will not be able to be renewed.

Loan period

Items are borrowed for the following times, depending on type:

Returning items

You may return your items to any library in the Christchurch City Libraries network, except the Mobile Library. Only items borrowed from the Mobile Library may be returned to it.

There are returns slots/bins at all our community libraries. Tūranga also has both internal and external returns slots.

If you prefer to have your items discharged while you wait, please take them to a member of staff at a customer service desk.

Overdue items and money owed

If we have your email address, we will send an emailed reminder three (3) days before items are due back. You may also choose to use Library Elf or other third party services to be reminded before items become overdue.

If your items are overdue you will be sent an email or letter seven (7) days after your items were due, and again by letter at 21 days if the items have not been returned or you have money owing.

There are no fines charged on overdue items. Library users are encouraged to return their items on time so that other customers may enjoy them. If items are not returned after a certain period of time, the items will be deemed lost, and the outstanding amount could be referred to a Debt Collection Agency. Customers will be liable for any collection costs incurred to recover amounts owing.

When items are 28 days overdue, a block will be put on your library card and you will no longer be able to borrow until the items are returned or paid for.

Money owing must be paid within 28 days before you can use your card again.

An invoice will be sent for any fines, charges, or outstanding items (plus processing fee) which are 48 days overdue. If the invoice is not paid by the due date, you may then be referred to a debt collection agency. In these instances a debt recovery fee will be added to your account. Please refer to Charges for more information.

Stock availability

While libraries are closed, items in those collections are not available to be borrowed. Holds placed on items held at closed libraries will be delivered to you when the item becomes available. Your hold will not expire, but may not be delivered for some time.

Please contact us if you have questions.

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