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Library Policies

Privacy / Confidentiality

To the extent possible and lawful, the Library will protect each patron's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

Patron information is deemed to be personal and private information and therefore confidential. Consequently, no information, including the names of current or past borrowers of Library materials, nor any information contained in the patron record (ALEPH and/or Compass), nor the information sought or received by the patron, is to be disclosed, tampered with or used for personal use or unauthorized University use.

Anyone who discloses, tampers with or uses the patron information for personal use or unauthorized University use will be subject to disciplinary action which may include dismissal.

In the case of a court order, the Dean of the Library and Director, Cultural Resources Art Gallery, Beaton Institute would make the decision about releasing information on staff or patrons.

Who Can Borrow

All CBU staff and students have borrowing privileges at the Library. Staff and students from other Novanet institutions also have borrowing privileges. Residents of Nova Scotia aged 19 or over and students enrolled at Cape Breton high schools can apply for and obtain an Off-Campus Borrowers card that will entitle them to borrowing privileges. Items may be picked up in person at the Circulation Desk, or contact Mary Campbell to arrange pickup using our Curbside Pickup service.

Obtaining a Card

CBU staff and students can present their CBU photo ID card (available from Student Services) for validation at the Library. The Library will place a barcode on the ID card and ensure the staff or student's user profile is updated.

Distance students have access to the Library's resources as well.  While the Library will make temporary cards for the distance students that we are made aware of, it is recommended that all distance students apply for and receive a CBU photo ID.  All of these cards will be registered at the Library before being sent to students.

Off-Campus Borrowers aged 19 or older who provide two pieces of ID (at least one with photo and one with current address) will be provided with an Off-Campus Borrower's card. Current Cape Breton high school students can also obtain an Off-Campus Borrower's card.  This card is good for one year and can be renewed at the Circulation Desk.

All patron accounts have an expiry date of September 30th each year.  Patrons should come into the Library to renew their account before their privileges expire.

Need for Card

Patrons must present a valid CBU photo ID card, Off-Campus Borrower's card or ID card from another Novanet institution to receive borrowing privileges at the Library. An alternate piece of identification will be accepted if the patron is a new student who has not yet received their myCBUcard. Library cards are non-transferable.


Reserve items are items that are made available for short-term loan (usually 2 or 3 hours) by professors. There is a list of these items on the Bulletin Board near the Library entrance which lists information about reserve items available for different courses. Students can also access lists of reserve readings by searching the Course Reserves in the Novanet Catalogue.

Reserve items can be picked up at the Circulation Desk by asking for the call number and presenting a valid ID card. Loan periods vary by item and the items cannot be renewed. Note that fines for overdue Reserve items is $1.00 per hour.


Books from all Novanet libraries can be renewed up to 3 times. The exception is books borrowed from Dalhousie's Law and Health Sciences libraries which permit only 2 renewals. Overdue material cannot be renewed, but rather must be returned to the library and checked out again.

Items with holds cannot be renewed. Reserve material cannot be renewed.


A recall can be requested on a book that is borrowed on a term loan by a faculty/staff member or student, as long as the book is passed the twenty-first day of the loan period. A recall is placed on a book when a patron has urgent need of the book or there is some other special circumstance. The Library reserves the right to recall a book at any time during its loan period. A recalled item is due 10 days after notification is sent of the recall.

Loan Periods

Patron Type Books Periodicals Reserve Material
Students, Regular 3 Weeks ---- As noted on item
Students, Thesis 6 Weeks ---- As noted on item
Students, Graduate Term Loan* ---- As noted on item
Faculty and Staff Term Loan* 24 Hours As noted on item
Off-Campus Borrowers 3 Weeks ---- ----

*There are three term loan due dates through the year: May 30th, September 30th and January 30th. In the event that the due date for a term loan falls on a day that the Library is not open, items will be due on the next day that the Library is open.

Special Collections

The CBU Library has several Special Collections available to our patrons to view or borrow.

Please Note: The Bras D'or, Scottish, Jacobite, and Khattar collections may only be viewed in the library. Patrons can fill out a Special Collections Retrieval Form and library staff will pull the book(s). The book(s) will generally be available at the circulation desk the next business day.



Patrons may place a hold on any book signed out by another patron. Placing a hold prevents the borrowing patron from renewing the book and places the requesting patron next in the queue for that book. In the event that a book has three or more holds on it, the loan period shall be shortened to 10 days to accommodate the demand. Holds may be placed online or by contacting the Circulation Desk. When a book is urgently needed, patrons are urged to contact the Circulation Desk so that a recall may be placed on the book.

Where to Return

Normally, CBU Library books will be returned in the return bin located at the Library entrance. Thanks to the "Borrow Anywhere, Return Anywhere" initiative, CBU Library books may be returned to any library, public or academic, anywhere in Nova Scotia. The item will be considered returned as of the date it is handed in, even though it could take several days for the book to return to its home library.

The Library Return bin is located at the rear entrance to the Library, across from the MacDonald Residence and next to the daycare playground. It is accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You do not need to sign in to drop off library items in this bin.

Books found in the overnight bin in the morning will be checked in as if they had been returned the last day that the Library was open.

CBU Library reserve material must be returned to the CBU Library. If returned to any other library, fines may accumulate while the book is in transit back to the CBU Library.



All books returned to the Library will be returned to the shelf as soon as possible. Any material found off the shelf in the Library will also be returned to the shelf by Library staff. Patrons are asked not to reshelf material they have used but to place on clearly marked tables.