Man returning books

What do I need to borrow material?

To borrow library material, you will need your library card number and your PIN. A PIN is assigned when you register for a card. The default PIN is the last four digits of the telephone number you gave when you signed up for your card.

You can change this PIN at any time, at any library branch. Please make sure you bring proper identification when you wish to make changes to your account.

How long can I borrow material for?

  • 21-day loan period - Applies to most print materials.
  • 14-day loan period - Bestseller Express, Magazines.
  • 7-day loan period - DVDs, Blu-rays, Games.
  • 3-day loan period - DVD Express.

When you check out material you will receive a receipt with the due date for the items you have borrowed. A receipt can also be emailed to you. You can also check MyHPL for due dates. Be sure to return your items on time to avoid any late fines.

Borrowing Limits

Discovery cards have limits on the number of items customers can borrow:

  • A maximum of 50 items can be checked out at any time.
  • A limit of two (2) DVD Express and two (2) Bestseller Express items can be checked out.
  • A maximum of 50 holds can be placed.

Inspire card users can borrow materials and are subject to the same responsibilities as a standard resident library card, but with reduced borrowing limits:

  • A maximum of five (5) items can be checked out at any time.
  • A maximum of one (1) Express item.
  • A maximum of five (5) holds can be placed at any time.
  • Access to digital collections and resources wherever possible.
  • Fines are not applied except for select materials.

Community cards have extended borrowing and loan periods.

  • A maximum of 200 items can be checked out at any one time.
  • A ninety-day (90) loan period for 21-day items.
  • Express items are excluded from borrowing with this card.
  • A maximum of ninety-nine (99) holds can be placed.

Reciprocal card

  • Cardholders can borrow up to eight (8) items and can place two (2) holds.
  • These customers have the same loan periods as a resident card.
  • They do not have access to digital resources, such as eBooks. All other parameters of a Resident card apply.


Most items may be renewed up to three (3) times following initial checkout, provided they have not been requested by another customer.

There are no renewals permitted on the following items:

  • Magazines
  • DVD Express
  • Bestseller Express
  • Items requested by another customer

Renewal of Interlibrary loan materials is subject to the guidelines of the lending library.

Reserves/ Holds

Customers with a valid Hamilton Public Library card may reserve an item that someone else is currently borrowing. This is referred to as placing an item on “hold.” The following circulating items cannot be reserved:

  • Magazines
  • DVD Express
  • Bestseller Express

Upon notification that a reserve is available, customers have seven (7) days (branch open days) to pick up the item. eBook users have three (3) days (72 hours) to download their hold. An automatic borrowing option that checks out the copy as soon as it becomes available is available for eBook users.


Borrowed items from the Hamilton Public Library need to be returned to one of our locations. Drop boxes are available when our location is closed. If a Hamilton Public Library item is returned to another library system in error, the card holder is responsible for all fines and associated charges. Certain items may need to be returned during open hours.

Suspension of Borrowing Privileges

Borrowing privileges are suspended when customers have fines and/or overdue materials over the limit threshold. See Fines and Fees Policy.



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