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Borrowing Basics

Your Chatham-Kent Public Library card opens a new world of experiences and fun for you and your family.

How long can I borrow materials for?

Books, Books on CD and Playaways loan for 21 days. High-demand items that have lots of holds on them have a shortened loan period of 14 days. Express Reads loan for seven (7) days. eBooks and audiobooks have a loan period of up to 21 days (OverDrive, cloudLibrary and hoopla).

DVDs, TV Series and Binge Boxes loan for seven (7) days. Express Views can be borrowed for two (2) days. Movies and TV Series on hoopla have a three (3) day loan period and hoopla music loans for seven (7) days.

Park Passes have a seven (7) day loan period. Storykits, PlayPacks and Board Games loan for 30 days. Playaway Views have a 21 day loan period and Launchpads loan for 14 days.

Adult magazines can be borrowed for seven (7) days and Children’s magazines have a 21 day loan period.

The loan period for interlibrary loans is set by the lending library.


How do I place a hold?

You can request an item that's checked out to someone else. Most of CKPL's items can be placed on hold which puts your name on a waiting list to get the item when it's returned. 

You can reserve material through our online catalogue or in person. You can also call any CKPL branch to reserve material by phone - please have your library card and title of the item(s) ready. 

Once a hold is placed, our automated system will let you know when the item is ready for pickup. You will then have seven (7) business days to pick up your item. You can place a hold and have it delivered to the branch of your choice.

To place a hold online:

  • Search for items using our online catalogue.
  • Select the "request it" button.
  • Enter your library card number and PIN and click the "login" button.
  • Select a branch to pick up your items then click the "submit" button.
  • Our automated system will contact you when the item is available for pick up.

Will you let me know when my hold arrives?

Yes! CKPL sends notifications by phone, email or text to let you know your item is ready to be picked up. Read this page for how to sign up with email or text notification

Not receiving your notices? Check with staff at your local branch to ensure we have your current information on file.


I'm going on vacation, can I pause my holds until I get back?

Yes! You can "freeze" your holds while you're away and remain in the same spot in the queue. When you return, you must unfreeze your holds to let the library fill your holds.
Please note that freezing holds will not work if your hold is in transit, ready for pickup or if you're the only one on the list.
Don't forget to unfreeze your holds or cancel them if you no longer want them. Holds that are frozen for too long (if they've been on your account for a year) will expire and be removed from your account.

To freeze your holds:

  • Log in to your account at search.ckpl.ca using your library card number and PIN.
  • Click on your name to view your account.
  • Click on Holds on the left side of your screen.
  • Items that are eligible to be frozen will appear with a Freeze checkbox on the right side of your screen. 
  • Click the boxes to select the items you wish to freeze and click update list.
  • A summary of the items to be frozen will appear. Click yes to proceed with freezing the selected items. 

To unfreeze your holds: 

  • Click to remove the checkmark in the freeze box to the right of your item.
  • Click update list.
  • Click yes to unfreeze.

How do I renew materials?

You can renew most items twice unless the item is requested by another resident. Call 519-355-1070 to renew by phone, visit any branch or log into your account online. Items may have shortened loan periods due to high demand. The library system will also attempt to renew your borrowed items three days before their due date. Auto-renew is an automatic process that applies to all CKPL cardholder accounts, there is no opt-out option. If you don't wish to keep an item, please return it when you're finished.

To renew online: 

  • Log in to your account at search.ckpl.ca using your library card number and PIN.
  • Access your account information by clicking your name at the top right of the page.
  • Click "checkouts" on the left navigation.
  • Select the box beside the item(s) you wish to renew and click "renew marked."
  • The new due date will appear if the item is able to be renewed.

Why won’t my item auto-renew?

The library system will attempt to renew your borrowed items three days before their due date. If successful, your loan period will be extended an additional full loan period, from the existing due date. If unsuccessful, you will continue to receive notices about overdue items. You may wish to try to renew manually before you return the item.

An item won’t auto-renew if:

  • Another library user has requested it.
  • The item has reached its maximum number of renewals (up to 2 times for most items).
  • Your account has an item overdue by 60 days or more (item billed), or you owe more than $10.
  • Your account is expired.
  • The item is a digital item, such as an ebook from OverDrive, cloudLibrary or Hoopla.
  • The item is an Interlibrary Loan item.

How do I return my items when the library is closed?

For your convenience, items can be returned at any time in the book drops located outside of every CKPL branch.


Why is an item that I returned still on my account?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, returned items are being held in quarantine for the recommended 72 hours before being checked in. Please expect items to remain on your account for several days before they are checked in. Don't worry! Overdue fines will not be charged while items are in quarantine. If an item remains on your account seven (7) business days after it is returned, please contact the branch to which you returned your item.


What if I forget my PIN?

Your PIN is set to the last four digits of the telephone number you provide at registration. If you need to reset your PIN, visit search.ckpl.ca and click log in. Under the login page, click "Forgot your PIN?" An email will be sent to the email address CKPL has on file with a link to reset your PIN. If you did not add an email to your library account, you will need to visit a CKPL branch to have your PIN reset.


Can I request a book or movie that CKPL doesn't have in the collection?

Yes, CKPL patrons can request items to be considered for purchase using our online form

To make a purchase suggestion, you must have an up-to-date CKPL card and you must not have fines exceeding $10. To help manage the volume of requests, please do not request current titles from bestselling or popular authors or newly released popular movies as the library will be buying these items. Please do not request books that have not been published or movies that are still in theatres. Ask CKPL staff how you can stay up-to-date on new releases as they are ordered.


What if an item is lost or damaged?

If an item is lost or returned in damaged condition, the borrower will be charged the replacement cost of the item plus an administration fee of $5.00. See the current Schedule of Library Fees and Fines for information on replacement charges.


How do I pay fees and fines?

Fees and fines are regularly reviewed and approved by the Library Board. See the current Schedule of Library Fees and Fines. You can visit any branch to pay fees and fines, or read this page for how to pay online. We accept Visa, Visa Debit, MasterCard, Mastercard Debit and Paypal. The minimum payment is $5.00.

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