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How to borrow

You can borrow items from any of our libraries and our eLibrary if you are a member. Find out how to join the library.

How to borrow an item

All Merri-bek libraries have self-service kiosks you can use to borrow books and other items.

Choose the items you want and bring them to a self-service kiosk with your library card or digital version of your library card on your phone. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete your loan. Staff are available to assist if required.

How many items can you borrow

You can borrow a total of 50 items at one time. Some items have limits on how many you can borrow at once.

This includes:

  • Up to 30 CDs or DVDs
  • Up to 5 Vox books
  • Up to 2 games, language kits, English as a second language kits, Top 5 books and Top 20 books.

How long can you borrow items

You can borrow most items for 21 days (3 weeks) except for:

  • Magazines – up to 7 days (1 week)
  • Top 20 and Top 5 books – up to 14 days (2 weeks) with one renewal
  • Language kits and English as a second language kits – up to 42 days (6 weeks)

Library items you cannot borrow

You cannot borrow reference books, local history material, current magazines and newspapers. They may only be viewed in the library.

Borrowing items from other libraries

You can ask to borrow an item from a library that is not in Merri-bek. You can search other library catalogues to find items you may want to borrow.

How to renew or reserve an item

When you have borrowed items, they will be automatically renewed for you twice unless they are reserved for someone else or if they are a popular item type such as a Top 20 or Top 5 book or an In Demand DVD.

You can login into your account in the library catalogue to check to see whether your items need to be returned or can be renewed.

When you are logged into your account, you can also reserve items (there is more information about reserving items below).

Renew an item

You can renew an item:

You can renew an item twice after you first borrow it. You cannot renew an item if someone else has reserved the item or if the item is overdue.

Reserve an item

If an item in our collection isn't available to borrow immediately, you can reserve it:

You can also reserve an item at one Merri-bek library to borrow from a different Merri-bek library. For example, if you are at Coburg library and the item you want to borrow is at Brunswick, we will bring the item to Coburg for you.

Library members may reserve items free of charge. There is a limit of 10 reserves per person.

You will be notified when a reserved item is available to be picked up from the library you selected. A reserved item is kept for you for 7 days. You must come into the library to borrow the item.

Overdue items

We do not charge overdue fees. If you have overdue items, you will not be able to borrow more items, use e-resources or computers at the library until you have returned the overdue items.

Returning items

You can return your books, magazines, CDs or DVDs to any Merri-bek library at any time. All Merri-bek libraries provide an after hours chute so that items can be returned even if the library is closed.

Lost or stolen items

If you lose a library item or it is stolen, tell the library immediately. If possible, the library will renew the item to give you more time to find it.

If you do not find or recover the item, you must pay the replacement value plus a processing fee of $6.50. You may choose to pay off all charges at once or reduce them to under $50 so that you can continue to borrow.

Damaged items

If you damage an item, you must pay for the repair of the item or pay the full replacement cost. Your home insurance policy may cover theft and fire damage. All library items remain the property of the Merri-bek Libraries.

Library fees and charges

The Merri-bek City Council Fees and Charges Schedule 2022-2023 (PDF 538Kb)is applicable from 1 July 2022. All fees and charges are inclusive of GST.

See Library fees and charges (DOC 73Kb)

General library charges

  • Reservations - No charge. Limit of 10 reservations
  • Interlibrary loans - $3.30 + fee charged by lending library
  • Lost membership card - $3.20

Replacement and repair charges

  • Replacement of lost or damaged items - Cost of item + $6.50 processing fee

Printing and photocopying

  • A4 sized black and white printing - 20¢ per copy
  • A3 sized black and white photocopying - 40¢ per copy
  • A4 sized colour photocopying - $1 per copy
  • A3 sized colour photocopying - $2 per copy

Scanning of local history photographs

  • Digital copy onto CD - $10.90 per image + freight and handling if required

Items for sale

  • Library bags (Polypropylene) - $2.50
  • Headphones - $3
  • USBs - $10.30

Vote for new books

Let us know which books you would like to read!

Vote for new books

Suggest a new library item

We welcome suggestions for new items which are suitable for the library collection. Before you suggest an item, please check to see if we already have the item in our library catalogue.

Please be aware that we may not be able to purchase all items suggested. Additionally, some items may not be available either because they are out of print or have not yet been printed or released.

There is no charge to submit this suggestion form. However, due to administrative costs we will not notify you regarding the outcome of your suggestion. You can use the library catalogue to look up the item you suggested to see if we purchased it, or login to your library account to set up an alert.