Book Loans

Everyone is welcome to borrow from the UC Library, as long as they have a valid T-card or U of T library card.

Loan period

The regular loan period is two weeks for undergraduate students, eight weeks for graduate students and staff; and twelve weeks for faculty. (For information about loan periods for alumni, research readers, and other borrowers, please see Loan Privileges at Most U of T Libraries.)

But for our Best Sellers collection, the loan period is three weeks for all borrowers.

Most items in Course Reserves have a three-hour loan period, but a few have a two-day or five-day loan period instead.


For regular loans: Undergraduates may renew each book up to five times (unless another borrower has placed a hold on it);  graduate students, faculty, and staff may renew each book three times (as long as there is no hold on the book).  (For the number of renewals allowed for other types of borrowers, please see Loan Privileges at Most U of T Libraries.)

For our Best Sellers collection, all borrowers may renew once (unless another borrower has placed a hold on the book).

Books can be renewed:

  • via the Web
  • by phone: 416-978-8450 (operator-assisted).
  • in person at the UC Library or another U of T library (you do not need to have the book with you, but you do need to have your T-card or library card.)

Please note that Course Reserves (short-term loans) cannot be renewed.

Returning your books

Items borrowed from the UC Library must be returned there, except that regular loans (not Course Reserves) may also be returned to the UTSC and UTM libraries (Scarborough and Mississauga campuses).

There is a Book Return box just outside the UC Library doors (2nd floor, Laidlaw Wing, University College). You can return your loans to this box whenever the building is open (even if the Library is closed), and they will be checked in by the next day. If you would like to have your books checked in right away, please bring them into the library, to the circulation desk. Course reserves (short term loans) should be returned directly to the circulation desk. Only UC Library books may be returned to the UC Library; we will make an exception for UTSC and UTM books, but books from other U of T libraries on the St. George campus must be returned to the library from which you borrowed them.

Holds (requests)

If a book that you would like to borrow is currently checked out to someone else, you can "request" it, i.e. place a hold on it. Once you've done so, the current borrower will not be able to renew the book. When the book is returned, we will telephone you, and we will hold it for you (usually for five working days). More than one person may place a hold on the same title. When the book is returned it will be lent to the first person who placed a hold; then, when the first person returns it, it will be lent to the second person - and so on.

It's easy to place a hold via the U of T Libraries online catalogue, by clicking the "request" link next to an item that is listed as checked out.

Fines for overdue materials

Regular loans: 50 cents per day per item.
Course Reserves (short-term loans): 50 cents per hour per item.

Borrowers who have unpaid fines of $25 or more at U of T Libraries (or who currently have 20 or more overdue items) are blocked from borrowing.

Please note that fine rates are subject to change.

Loans and returns during the summer

The UC Library closes each summer from early May until early September.

Although we are closed, we do still lend books (including our Bestsellers) during the summer (by appointment or delivery):

  1. University College faculty & staff: You are welcome to borrow any of our books during the summer! Just e-mail laidlaw.uc (at) with your request, and we will check the book(s) out to you and deliver them to your UC mailbox or UC office, usually within a couple of days.
  2. Other borrowers on the St. George campus: Although we are closed, if there's a book you want, and we have the only currently available library copy on the St. George campus, you can still borrow it! Just e-mail laidlaw.uc (at), and we should be able to arrange a specific time (usually within a few days) for you to pick it up. But please be patient due to limited staffing in the summer -- unfortunately we are NOT able to provide same-day service.
  3. UTSC and UTM borrowers: During the summer we continue to participate in the intercampus delivery system, so UTSC and UTM borrowers are welcome to request books. (But please note that as usual, our Best Sellers Collection is not eligible for intercampus delivery.)
  4. Borrowers with holds: If you have a hold on a UC Library book, and it becomes available during the summer, we will contact you to arrange a specific time for you to come pick up your book.
  5. Other institutions: We continue to participate as a lending library in the interlibrary loan system. (But as usual, our Best Sellers Collection is not eligible for interlibrary loan.)

Renewals continue to function as usual in the summer.

If you have books to return, please put them in the Book Return box just outside the UC Library doors (2nd floor, Laidlaw Wing, University College). This box is accessible whenever the Laidlaw Wing of UC is open (normally Mon. to Thurs. 8am-9pm; Fri. 8am-5pm; Sat. 12-5pm if the Art Museum is open that Saturday (see If you are not able to return your summer loans at a time the UC building is open, you may return them to Robarts Library. If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail laidlaw.uc (at) or leave a phone message at 416-978-8107.

Please rest assured you will NOT receive any unfair overdue fines. We do our best to empty the book return box once each weekday during the summer, but there may an occasional delay due to very limited staffing. But don't worry, since we "backdate" the returns. (For example, imagine we had last emptied the box on Wednesday, and the next time we emptied it was Friday; in that case, on Friday we would "tell" the computer that all the books in the box had been returned on Wednesday.)

Library cards

For information on how to obtain a library card or T-Card, please see:

More information about borrowing

Please see About Loan Services (U of T Libraries).