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The NSCAD University Library manages the largest dedicated collection of visual arts, craft and design materials in Atlantic Canada.

How to get a NSCAD Library card

NSCAD Students, Staff, Faculty

Your NSCAD ID is your library card for the NSCAD Library, and all other Novanet member libraries! You need to register with the NSCAD Library to receive a barcode for your card. If you are not attending classes in person, please fill out the patron registration form found in the NSCAD Forms Portal. A library staff member will enter your information in the system and send you an email with your new barcode. When we are able, we will physically update your ID card.

Members of the Public

Members of the public have access to and, if they are 18 years of age or older, may borrow from, our collection. They may register to borrow with:

  1. a NOVANET borrower's card provided by the NSCAD library (requires two pieces of official ID verifying age and a local address); or
  2. their own public library card from any public library system within Nova Scotia (requires one piece of photo ID (verifying age) along with their public library borrower's card).

Students, Staff, and Faculty from other Canadian Academic Institutions

Students, faculty and staff of participating CURBA academic institutions can borrow with their CAUL-CBUA, COPPUL, COPPUL Undergrad, BCI, or IUBP cards that have been provided by their home institution.

For anyone with a current NSCAD ID who is having problems logging in to the catalogue or the Interlibrary Loan form, please contact Detta Morrison-Phillips.

Circulating Collection

Books, exhibition catalogues, and pamphlet files are available for three-week loan periods for all undergraduate students, staff, and public patrons and term loans (due dates of January 30, May 30, and September 30) for faculty and graduate students of all Novanet institutions.

There is no limit on the number of items you can borrow. The due date is stamped in the back of the book, and you can always check your account on the library catalogue to see what items you have out and when they are due back to the library.

Circulating books are available on the 2nd floor of the library and are arranged on the shelves in call number order according to the Library of Congress classification system.

Pamphlet files are available in the large filing cabinet in the side room on the 2nd floor and are filed by author or title (if no author is given).

Exhibition catalogues are located in the Visual Resources Collection (VRC). Non-NSCAD borrowers should first come to the Main Library and ask for assistance if they wish to borrow from the exhibition catalogue collection. NSCAD students, staff, and faculty may usually check out these materials directly from the VRC. 


Reserves are available at the NSCAD University Library Circulation Desk. You can search the Novanet Catalogue, using the Reserves tab, to find out what is on reserve for your course. Copying of these materials is permitted provided you follow fair dealing copying guidelines. More information is available on the Copyright Guide.

Borrowing periods


  • 3 hour, in-library use
  • 1 hour outside library use

DVDs: 24 hours

External DVD Drives: 48 hours

The library offers external DVD drives available at the Circulation Desk. These drives are cross-platform compatible, although there may be issues with individual computer configurations.

It is recommended that you use VLC as the media player of choice in order to avoid problems with DVDs meant for use in particular geographic regions. This is especially true for Macs, where you may be limited to only 5 changes in region.

Link to VLC download page


For assistance with reserves please contact Rebecca Young by email.

Returning and Renewing

You can return items from any academic or public library in Nova Scotia to any other academic or public library in Nova Scotia. There is also a book drop at the Halifax International Airport!

After logging in to your library account on the Novanet catalogue, you can renew your books if:

  • they are not due that day, 
  • not overdue,
  • no-one else has placed a hold on them,
  • and if your total amount owing is under $20.00.

There is a maximum of three renewals per item. Use the barcode from your ID card and your library password to access your library account;  Once you're in the catalogue, just click on the "Sign In" button near the top of the search page. 

If you have any questions or problems, contact our circulation desk (902-494-8196) during our open hours for assistance.

Holds and Recalls

You may place a hold on any item:

  1. out on loan, or
  2. available in library

and will be notified by email when that item has been placed on the hold shelf for you.

If you are a NSCAD patron and have an urgent need for a NSCAD item that is out on loan, it may be recalled and held for you, regardless of the loan period assigned to the original borrower. Ten days are allowed for the return of the item. This may be shortened to three days if the item is overdue. You will be notified by email or phone when the item is available. It will be held for you for seven days.

Overdue, Lost, or Damaged Materials

Overdue Material

There are no late fees for overdue regular circulating materials.

However, fines on the following types of overdue items are charged for every day the library is open. The maximum fine per item is $20.00. Rates are as follows:

  • Recalled material: $1.00 per day/item
  • Reserve material: $0.25 per hour/item; $5.00 per day/item

If you wish to discuss any fines you may have accrued, please contact

Lost/Damaged Material

If items are lost or damaged while on loan, borrowers are responsible for paying the current replacement cost, as determined by the library staff. Replacement costs are applied when items are damaged enough to be unusable (for example, any number of pages, or portions of pages, missing or unreadable; pages stuck together; or water damage).