Library Takeout

While we are all encouraged to stay close to our homes, we hope Library Takeout will keep you reading, watching, listening, and smiling during this time. We are pleased to be taking personalized orders for physical materials that are available at our library through a program titled Library Takeout.

Requests for materials may take several days. Library staff are working hard to get your materials to you as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience as we try to keep up with demand!

Need help placing an order? We are available from 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Thursday to assist you.

We’re sure you have lots of questions about how you can take advantage of this exciting new service! Please see our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to borrow library materials during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Working with local health authorities and the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program, we are taking all precautions to ensure that materials on our shelves and those that are returned to us are safe to be handled by members of the public. Any returned items are being handled with gloves; items returned do not go back into circulation for the recommended period of 72 hours.


What can I borrow?

You can request any items from our collections that are available for lending including:

  • Books in all formats
  • DVDs and Blu-Rays
  • Audiobooks
  • CDs
  • Children’s Literacy Kits

NOTE:  Magazines are not available for borrowing at this time.


Can I request available items from other libraries in BC?

Materials lending between library systems in BC is currently suspended, so you can only borrow items available at Salt Spring Island Public Library.


How many items can I, or my family, request?

You can request up to 20 items that are currently available for borrowing from our collection per library card. But each pick-up order is limited to 10 items. Please note that requested items are not guaranteed, and we will do our best to help you with all items.

If you have multiple people in your household, you can place multiple orders for up to 10 items, but only one person per household picks up the order(s), so please ensure you will be able to carry all of your bags.

If you call with your order, please have your items organized as best as possible prior to calling. If you don’t know what materials you’d like, a librarian is happy to help.


How do I know if the item I have searched is available?

It is best to search by keyword.  An item’s availability is indicated even before you click into the details of the record:

Please pay attention to the format available. It could be available as an eBook, audiobook or regular book.  Please note that the items you request may not be available when we fill your order.

Pro Tip: Use the filter options. Choose ‘Advanced Search.’ Click the ‘Limit to Available’ check-box, then search normally.  Your search will now only return items that the system registers as available.

For a list of new books:


How do I place an order?

We are using the Holds system as the vehicle to reserve items for patrons.  When books are available, you will be contacted with a pick-up appointment time.  Note that popular titles will have wait lists.

To place an order for up to 10 items: 

  1. As of May 12, use the Holds Function on the Library online catalogue

If you do not have access to the online catalogue you may

  1. When 10 items are available Library staff contact you with a pickup appointment time.
  • You can reserve up to 20 items on the hold service, but each pick-up will be limited to 10 items.
  • Pick -ups are limited to once every two weeks and are by appointment only. We recommend scheduling your essential trips to the Grocery store etc. with your library pick-up time.


If you already have items on hold, those items will automatically be queued for Library Take Out when they are available.


What is the Pick-Up procedure?

  • Staff will contact you with a pick-up time. We will be limiting the number of appointments to one every half-hour.

Pick up times will be between 10am – 3pm, Monday through Friday starting May 19.

  • Designated waiting areas will be set up outside the main entrance.
  • The lobby is the pick-up area and only one person is permitted in at their pick-up time.
  • Have a piece of ID or your library card ready to show staff.
  • Your order will be placed on the table in the library lobby.  When the folding door to the library is closed, it will be safe to approach and collect your bag.

NOTE: Staff will not be able to replace the item with another selection.  You will have to wait until you place your next order.

NOTE: If you are feeling unwell or if any member of your household is sick or in quarantine, do not pick up library materials until two weeks after all members of your household are healthy.  Call the library to reschedule.


What if I am late for my pick-up appointment?

Please do not be late for your appointment.  If more than a few minutes, your pick-up time will have to be rescheduled.  If you can’t make the appointment, please call the library to reschedule.


When does Library Takeout start?

Holds can be placed as of Tuesday May 12 and pickups start May 19.  As there may be many holds on items, please be patient.  We will contact you with a pick-up appointment when 10 items are available. 


How long can I borrow the items I place on order?

We are extending loan periods to give you more time to enjoy your materials and reduce the number of trips you need to make to the library to return materials:

Quick Reads:                                        14 days

Books, DVDs, Audiobooks, CDs:        42 days


Can I place a Library Takeout order if I have overdue fines?

Yes! Since our patrons don’t have the ability to settle their accounts at present, we will only reserve the right to limit access to cardholders with significant outstanding bills on their accounts.


Can I send a friend, neighbour or family member to pick up my order?


  • Please identify the person who will be picking up your order when your appointment time for pickup is scheduled.
  • They will be required to show their ID to pick up your items.

NOTE: Remember that the library cardholder to whom the items are checked out is responsible for the materials and will be charged for any loss or damage.


What if I don’t know what I want to borrow?

No problem!  Our professional library staff are happy and ready to select items for you based on your preferences.  Whether you are looking for some picture books for the kids or some engaging mysteries for yourself, give us a call and we’ll work with you to make some selections.  When you call the library, choose the option to speak to a librarian for assistance.


How often can I place new Library Takeout orders?

Please limit your ordering to one every two weeks.  We appreciate your patience and understanding while we introduce this new service and work with you to provide the best possible Library Takeout experience.


Can I return items to the library?

Yes! Our book and DVD drops are still open. We are taking precautions to ensure that our collections are safe to be handled.

Please return items when you can, so that the next person on the wait list may take out an item.

NOTE: It may take several days for items to come off your library account.  We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.


I don’t have a library card. Can I get signed up?

Absolutely!  You may request a library card online.  Include your contact information so we can give you your library card number.  You will then be able to access all of our online resources as well as the Library Takeout service.


Is there an option for home delivery?

Yes, but our resources for delivery are limited.

The library has options available for individuals who have difficulty reading print materials and those with physical disabilities. The Visiting Library Service offers materials to elderly, housebound, and disabled patrons who cannot otherwise access library materials.

We also understand that some families are having difficulty accessing books at this time and are limited in their ability to get to the library. Book delivery can be arranged for cases such as these. Contact for details.


Do you know when the library is going to resume normal function?


While we hope that it won’t be too long, we are following the advice of the health authorities and will reopen, in stages, after careful consideration and following a recommendation from the health authority. As of May 7, details of the BC government’s reopening phases were as follows: