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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)











Can any group join?

NPALS is primarily available to groups based in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and Derby City.

U.K. groups based outside our service area can also join and borrow stock from NPALS. An additional administration fee is applicable to groups based outside the service area and Inter Library Loan services are unavailable to these groups. Please see our about us page for more details.

How do we join?


Registration is online; up to two members per group can sign up each person will need an email address for registration and communication (ideally, persons responsible for ordering titles and paying fees).


I have a library card already can I use it to borrow NPALS stock?

The service can only be used by groups who have registered directly with NPALS (individuals may be able to access single copies of plays or music scores through their local public library.


How much does it cost?

MUSIC group registration is free and each loan is charged pay-as-you-go in advance.

DRAMA group registration includes an annual subscription fee. See full details in about us.


Are there any discounts available?

We do not currently offer discounts for multiple orders, one-off workshops, educational or charity use. This will be reviewed regularly, however, the sustainability of the service relies upon the income made, which is then re-invested.


Can I see what you stock before joining?

Yes, you can view the catalogue online (to check whether a title is available for specific dates you will need to register).

Reference copies of each title are available to browse at Radford-Lenton Library.


Is there someone I can talk to?

Email is the best method of contacting NPALS. You can email NPALS with queries, comments and suggestions and staff will reply ASAP. A member of staff will also be available during opening hours and you can talk to them by phone, or in person.


Where are you and when are you open?

We are based in Radford-Lenton Library in Nottingham, for full details visit our contact us page.





Is website help available?


Helpful video tutorials for searching music and drama are available 

You can contact the staff for support, during opening hours. Tutorials are available to book. A detailed guide to using the service is also available on request.


How do I order titles?

Once you have registered, just log in to the website, find a title on the catalogue and follow the online instructions. If you need practical help please see above.

All NPALS stock orders must be placed at least 1 calendar month in advance and a minimum of 2 months’ notice is required for Inter-Library Loans.


Can sets be ordered by phone or email?

All orders must be placed online by the group, including requests for Inter-Library Loans. If you need help or advice, please contact NPALS or, refer to the service guide which is available on request.


Can I visit NPALS and ask for a set on the day?

All orders must be placed online. A minimum of 1 month’s notice is required. There are public computers available to use at Radford-Lenton Library. Public computers are free to use for library card holders.


How far in advance can I order?

Groups can order items up to 1 year ahead (a minimum of 1 calendar months’ notice is required for NPALS stock and 2 months’ notice for Inter-Library Loans).


How many sets can I have on loan?

MUSIC GROUPS can have up to 15 titles on loan AND 15 future orders (reservations)

at any one time.

DRAMA GROUPS can have up to 12 titles on loan PLUS 12 future orders (reservations).


What if…

·        I can’t find the set I need on your  catalogue?

·        Someone else has already booked it?

·        You don’t have enough copies?



It may be possible to borrow items from another UK library; groups can request an Inter-Library Loan via their online account. NPALS may also consider purchasing new titles and additional copies. Suggestions and official requests are welcome.

How long can I keep the copies?

The maximum loan period is 9 months. The minimum loan period is 1 month. Orders are issued and renewed by calendar month.


Can I keep my order for longer than the original booking?

You can extend the loan of stock items (as long as they are not already reserved) via the group account. See the service guide for more details (available on request). Music renewals do not complete until the new hire charges are paid.


It is not generally possible to renew orders secured via Inter Library Loan. Please contact us for additional support. 


How do I cancel an order?

You can amend or cancel an order online via the group account up to 4 weeks (28 days) prior to the start date. Charges will apply for cancellations made after this time (see our full terms and conditions

for more details).


Is there an alert, if a set that was booked by another group becomes available?


This facility is not currently available. You will need to check the availability of required items via the catalogue.


What if there is a fault with the website?                

In the event that you are concerned about a potential fault with the website please contact NPALS 

We will work with Nottingham City Council IT to resolve any faults as quickly as possible.





When do I have to pay?

DRAMA subscriptions, MUSIC hire charges and Inter-Library loan fees are all due before orders are made available. Once your order has been processed (usually 1 month prior to the required date of the loan), you will receive a request for payment by email.


How do I know how much to pay?


A list of charges is available on our about page. When an order is pending, a request for payment (showing the amount due) is sent via email. This email will contain a link to further details and the online payment site. A list of payments due and bills paid can also be accessed online via the group account. See the service guide for step by step instructions (available on request).


How do I pay?

All payments are made using a credit or debit card via the Nottingham City Council payment site. You will be directed to this site via the payment request page on the group accountWe are currently only able to accept payments online.


Are there any discounts available?

We do not currently offer discounts for multiple orders, one-off workshops, educational or charity use. This will be reviewed regularly, however, the sustainability of the service relies upon the income made, which is then re-invested.




How long after ordering the set will I receive the copies?


An email will be sent to the group when orders are available for collection at NPALS, or dispatched to collection libraries. An additional email will be sent to the group when orders arrive at designated collection libraries (other than NPALS at Radford-Lenton).

Orders will be made available / despatched on, or before the start date of the loan. When selecting a community library for collection, please consider the transfer time of orders. Estimated transfer times are listed when you select your collection library during order submission. Music must be paid for, before scores will be made available for collection.


What options are there for collecting orders?

·         Collect in person at NPALS during open hours.

·         Have orders sent to any Nottingham City or Inspire Libraries via your NPALS account.

·         Home Delivery via courier (Courier charges will apply and are payable in advance, please see about us page for details)


How do I choose my preferred collection / delivery option?

Collection / delivery options are chosen when the set is ordered. A full list of library locations / delivery methods, with the estimated transfer time and any charge, appears on a drop down menu. The group can change their chosen location / delivery method online via the group account at any time before payment has been requested.  


Can I collect my order from NPALS?

Yes, if NPALS was chosen as the collection point and the group has been notified that the set is ready.


Can I collect from any library?

A full list of library locations that are available, with the estimated transfer time and any charges, appears on a drop down menu during the ordering process. Only libraries on this list can be used. The group can change their chosen location / delivery method online via the group account at any time before payment has been requested.


Can you send my order to my home address?

Select ‘HOME DELIVERY’ on the list of collection / delivery options when placing your order. Please estimate the number of boxes. Courier charges will be confirmed once your order has been processed at NPALS. Courier charges may differ from your estimated values, as they are based on the weight of stock being ordered. We aim to dispatch items by courier, on the next working day (once payment has been received). Tracking information will be provided once a courier has been booked. Please see our about page for more information.




How do I return a set?

You can return sets:

·         In person at NPALS during open hours.

·         Via any Nottingham City or Inspire Library (please ensure all items are packaged and addressed to NPALS, before drop off).

·        By courier (please check our opening times before booking) 


IMPORTANT: Once physically returned you must go on to your account and mark each set as returned on the loan detail page.


Do I have to return my order from the same place it was collected?


No, you can choose any of the methods listed above irrespective of the where the order was collected.

Are there any charges for late returns?

Fines will apply for unreturned items (sets or parts of sets) at 50p per title per day (not per copy).  

Orders should be returned complete on or before the due date and marked as returned on the group account to avoid paying fines. There is a 14 day ‘grace period’ before fines are applied to allow for the travel time from other library locations, however, the set should still be dropped off on, or before the due date.


What if NPALS or my drop off library is closed on the due date?




We understand that some libraries only open on specific days, if possible take the set before the due date but we accept some will be on the next day after the due date. There is a two week ‘grace period’ before fines are applied to allow for the travel time from other library locations. Don’t forget to mark as returned as soon as you can after dropping off, then we know it is on its way back to us.


What happens if I lose copies?

Wherever possible, we prefer to have our original copies returned, please notify NPALS of any delay in achieving this. If a copy/part is lost or damaged, a new (exactly matching), replacement must be obtained within 28 days of the due date. If an item is likely to take longer, proof of ordering should be sent to NPALS. Items that are out of print, or hire only, will be charged for. After 28 days, where no attempt has been made by the group to resolve overdue items, replacement charge(s) will be applied plus an administration fee. See terms and conditions for full details.


Can I still place orders and borrow my next set if I have copies or money outstanding?

Any group with money owing above £5 or where there are unresolved overdue / lost copies will be unable to use the service until all issues are resolved.


How do I know if the copies I sent back have reached NPALS and been checked off the group account?


As soon as copies are unpacked at NPALS each barcode is scanned to check items back into stock. You can see that items have been checked back in, by logging on to the group account; titles that have had all copies / parts checked in, will no longer appear in the loans window (titles with copies / parts outstanding will still appear in the loans window).


How do I ‘mark a set as returned’?

You can do this by: logging into your NPALS account, go to my account, choose orders, from the dropdown menu, view the item you wish to notify us as being returned, click mark as returned. This will prevent the system from applying automatic overdue charges to your account.





Can you help me advertise my event and promote my group’s activities?


NPALS strives to work with groups to promote the enjoyment of cultural activities. To help sustain music and drama events by providing an award winning service. We actively use social platforms and encourage groups to post their events there, as well as displaying posters and leaflets.


Can you help me recruit new members?


Your group can post adverts for new members on our social pages, where we aim to connect groups to each other and potential members.


Can I ask NPALS buy a certain title if they don’t have it already?

NPALS has a small budget to buy new titles and replace copies; we actively encourage suggestions so that we can meet the needs of our users. We cannot promise we will fulfil every request, but we consider each one carefully.


Will there be a member of staff to answer enquiries?


During opening hours there will usually be someone with specialist knowledge and staff trained in enquiry skills. We also have a network of partners providing support to solve queries. NPALS has close relationships with Making Music, the International Association of Music Libraries, Samuel French and Nick Hern Books.




How do I close my group account?


If you wish to close your NPALS account, please inform NPALS by email stating the name of the group account you wish to close. Please be advised that closing an account will affect ALL borrowers registered to that account.


I no longer wish to be a registered borrower, what should I do?


You can update the registered borrower information via your NPALS account, at any time. Visit ‘My account / My contact details’ to update registered borrowers. Please be aware that each account must have at least one borrower registered to it. If you are the sole registered borrower, you will need to register a new representative for your group, or close your group account (please see above).