Borrowing Guide

There is a lot to check out!

We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Your EPL card lets you borrow materials available at any one of our 18 branches or access any of our licensed databases.

You can check out your favourite books, CDs, DVDs and video games or download them right to your home computer. You can also read about the latest news from our online database of world newspapers.

Taking something out? Here are the ins and outs.

You can have up to 40 items on your card at any time including:

  • 1 adult & 1 youth Hits To Go* book
  • 1 adult & 1 youth Hits To Go* DVD
  • 1 adult Hits To Go* CD
  • 5 video games

Loved it?  Bring it back and share the love.

We share books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, video games
and interlibrary loans for three weeks. Make sure you return your items so we can share the love with other EPL customers.
We share Hits To Go items* for one week.

You may return your items at any one of our 18 branches. After-hour returns are available at most EPL locations except those inside shopping centres (Capilano and Londonderry).

Reciprocal or The Alberta Library (TAL) card borrowing details can be found here.

*Hits To Go are new release or high demand books, CDs and DVDs.

Not done? Renew it and keep it longer.

You may renew or request items as long as:

  • Your library card is current and your late fees are less than $10.

Items may be renewed up to 2 times if they are not requested by another person. Renewing is easy:

  • Online – Log in at and renew your materials in “My account” under “My EPL.”
  • By phone – Grab a pen, paper, your borrowed materials, call 780.496.7047 and follow the instructions.
  • At a branch – Use one of the public catalogue terminals or speak to a staff member.

Hits To Go items cannot be renewed*. Extended borrowing periods may be arranged for special circumstances such as hospital stays or vacations.

* Renewals are no longer permitted on magazines.

Itching to get your hands on that special book, movie or CD? Place a hold.*

You can request up to 25 items to be sent to any branch you choose. Just log in, search for your item and click “Place a Hold.” You will be notified by email or phone – you choose – when your items are ready to be picked up. You'll have 7 days to pick up your hold(s).

Haven’t registered for email notifications? Go to your Account Settings and add your email address. 

Here’s what happens if you don’t return your materials on time.


If items are late, the following fees are applied daily on each overdue item:

Books, magazines, CDs$0.25 on Adult items$0.10 on Youth items
DVDs, blu-rays, Hits To Go items$1.00 on Adult items$0.40 on Youth items
Video games$1.00$1.00
Maximum Fines18.00 per item, for most Adult items
($5.00 for uncatalogued paperbacks and magazines)
12.00 per item, for most Youth items
($4.00 for uncatalogued paperbacks, comic books and magazines)

If charges reach a total of $10.00 or more or if you have 40 items or more overdue, you will not be able to borrow  any more items, place holds, access eBooks or any databases. Make sure you return your borrowed items as soon as you can.

What happens if your items are really late?

If a library item is overdue 15 days, a notice will be mailed or emailed to you. If a library item has still not been returned after 30 days, you are billed for the replacement cost.

  • What happens to my account when I have $10.00 in fees? You can no longer borrow library materials. Come into a branch or make a payment online.
  • What happens to my account when I have $40.00 in fees? If your account has fees of $40.00 or more AND continues to show the outstanding balance for 60 days or more after you have been billed, it will be referred to a materials recovery agency who will contact you to ensure you are aware of the outstanding balance and encourage you contact us. If the outstanding balance remains unaddressed after 120 days, your account will be referred to a collection agency. 
  • Once your account has been referred to a third-party collection agency, a NON-REFUNDABLE administration fee of $15.00 will be automatically applied to your account. Note that even if all materials are returned, your account may still be referred to collections if it has an outstanding balance.

It's important to keep your library account in good standing so come into a branch or make a payment online.

Please Remember: Your Card is Your Business

Your library card and items borrowed on it are your responsibility. If your card is stolen or lost, please report it immediately to any one of our 18 branches. Here are some other things to keep in mind.

  • If a card belongs to someone under 18 years of age, the parent or guarantor is responsible for any fines or replacement charges.
  • If you lose or damage materials you will be charged their replacement cost.  These charges vary with the items.
  • If a lost library item is found, refunds are available within 90 days of payment, (any overdue charges are non-refundable). There are no refunds for uncatalogued items.
  • Materials can be returned to any one of our 18 branches across the city. After-hours returns are available at all service points except those located in shopping centres (Capilano, Londonderry, Mill Woods).

Hold available? Items coming due? We'll let you know!

You may choose to receive hold pickup notices by phone or email*.   

If you have an email address on file your hold pickup notices will be emailed to you.

If you don't have an email address on file, our phone system will call to let you know that your holds are available for pick up.  If you don't answer, the automated call system tries to leave a message.  If you miss the call and don't have voice mail or an answering machine you will not be notified. 

There are a number of very useful email only notices:

  • A reminder 3 days and 1 day before any item is due back (to help you avoid late fees!)
  • A reminder 3 and 15 days after items are overdue
  • A notice of any new bills added to your account in the last 15 days
  • A reminder that your card will expire in a month

Don't have an email on file, but want to add one? Sign up for email notifications right now!