Find and Borrow

Search for books, articles, media, and other resources using LibrarySearch. Library Search is the University of Toronto Library’s discovery tool, allowing you to search for resources across multiple platforms.

The LibrarySearch Tips page will help you if you are new to LibrarySearch. This will introduce you to key concepts when searching the library’s collections, and walk you through some of the tools you need to find what you need.

To get help using library search, visit the Loans and Information desk, or contact the library. Subject librarians can also help you use the library collections.

Using the Library

A hold is a request to have a book, DVD, or other library item set aside for you to pickup.

You may want to place a hold if the item you want is:

  • Currently on loan (“checked out”) to another patron
  • Located at another University of Toronto campus (St. George, Scarborough, or Mississauga) library
  • Located at the University of Toronto’s Downsview storage facility
  • Available on the shelf at the library that holds the item (the “holding library”)

You can request items for pickup at the holding library, or at another campus. When the item is ready you will be notified by email. You will have up to five days to pick your item(s) up.

If the item is currently on loan (“checked out”) to another patron, you will be notified when the item has been returned to the library and is available for you to pickup.

If you have an item on loan, and another patron places a hold on it, you will not be able to renew the item.

To place a hold, sign in to LibrarySearch and find the item you want. Select the “Library Pickup” option under the “Get It” heading to request the item for pickup. If the item is located at multiple libraries, choose your preferred pickup location.

Exception: Course reserve and short-term loan items cannot be placed on hold.

Patrons may renew—or extend—the loan period on their items up to a maximum based on their patron category. Items can be renewed online by logging in to your LibrarySearch account and then selecting “My Loans.” Patrons may also call or email us to renew their items.

Renewals are also triggered automatically. Items will automatically renew at the end of each loan period until your maximum renewal period is reached. You will be notified by email when your items are automatically renewed.

You will be unable to renew an item if a hold—a request to use the item you have checked out—has been placed by another patron.

If your renewals have been exhausted, return your items to any University of Toronto library to avoid overdue fines.

Exception: Course reserve and short-term loan items cannot be renewed.

A recall is when you place a request to use a book that is on loan (“checked out”) to someone else. You can request that the item be returned early so that you are next in line to borrow it. You can only recall items that have already been on loan to someone else for longer than two weeks.

When the item is returned, you will be notified by email, and have up to five days to pick it up.

If a recall is placed on an item you have on loan, you will not be able to renew the item and will receive an email saying that you have 48 hours to return it to the library. If you do not return the item within 48 hours, you will be charged a recall fine of $2 per day.

To place a recall, sign in to LibrarySearch and find the item you want. Select the “GET IT IN PERSON” option to request the item for pickup.

Exception: Course reserve and short-term loan items cannot be recalled.

While library materials can be returned to any University of Toronto library, we strongly encourage you to return items to the library they belong to. Returning materials to the holding library reduces the chance of them being misplaced in transit and ensures they will be made available to other patrons more quickly.

Items may be returned to the Kelly Library 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Please use the outside book return slot if the library is closed.

If you are unable to find an item you need in the University of Toronto Libraries collection, you can request books, articles and more through a service called interlibrary loan (ILL).

All current University of Toronto students, faculty, and staff are eligible to submit requests free of charge. Fees may apply to other user categories. Users will be notified of any charges that apply before the request is processed.

You can place an interlibrary loan request by signing into the LibrarySearch platform.  

If you already know what you need, place your request using the blank interlibrary loan request form.

Alternately, you can expand your LibrarySearch results to include items beyond the Library collection and place a request on any listed items not held by the Libraries

Delivery times can vary based on the location of the item. Once ready, ILLs can be picked up at Robarts Library, UTM, or UTSC.

Please see the University of Toronto Libraries interlibrary loan FAQ for more information.

A proxy borrower is someone who has permission to borrow materials on behalf of someone else. Faculty and staff may designate another library user to checkout materials from the University of Toronto Libraries onto their account. This service is also available to any library user unable to visit the libraries because of a disability.

All proxy borrowers must first submit an application to have their name added to a specific account. Please complete this application form to request this service.