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a woman's arms holding twelve books, with library in background

Borrowing Books

Everyone is welcome to borrow from the UC Library, as long as you have a current T-card or U of T library card. All our books are listed in the U of T Library Catalogue.

How can I borrow from the UC Library during the summer closure?

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

Loans in Summer:

Although we are closed in the summer, 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 email laidlaw.uc@utoronto.ca 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 email laidlaw.uc@utoronto.ca, 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 Bestsellers 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 email 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 Bestsellers collection is not eligible for interlibrary loan.)

Renewals in Summer:

  • Renewals continue to function as usual in the summer.

Book Returns in 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., 8 am to 9 pm; Fri., 8 am to 5 pm; Sat. 12 to 5 pm if the University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC) is open that Saturday (check UTAC hours on the Art Museum website).
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail laidlaw.uc@utoronto.ca or leave a phone message at 416-978-8107.

How long is my loan period from the UC Library?

Most Books:

  • undergraduate students: 2 weeks
  • graduate students: 8 weeks
  • staff: 8 weeks
  • faculty: 12 weeks
  • other borrowers: please see Loan services (U of T Libraries).

Bestsellers:

  • all borrowers: 3 weeks

Course Reserves:

  • all borrowers: 3 hours or 2 days or 5 days (depending on the book)

How many times can I renew each loan?

Most books:

  • undergraduate students: 5 renewals
  • graduate students: 3 renewals
  • staff: 3 renewals
  • faculty: 3 renewals
  • other borrowers: please see Loan services (U of T Libraries).

Bestsellers:

  • all borrowers: 1 renewal

About renewals:

  • You can't renew if another borrower has requested the book (i.e., placed a hold on it).
  • You can't renew Course Reserves - they're "first come, first served."
  • When you return a book to the UC Library because you've reached your limit for number of renewals: If the book is not on hold for another borrower, you are welcome to check it out again right away (except for Course Reserves).

Where do I return my UC Library books?

  • Please return your UC Library books directly to the UC Library.
  • UTM or UTSC borrowers can return UC Library books to the UTM Library or UTSC Library — except for course reserves.
  • There is a book return box just outside the UC Library doors (2nd floor of University College). You can return your loans to this box whenever the UC building is open. We will check them in the next day and backdate the check-in to 11:59 pm the previous day.
  • Please return Course Reserves directly to our service desk.
  • If you borrowed books from another U of T library on the St. George campus, please return them to that other library.

How can I place a hold?

  • If a book is currently checked out to someone else, you can click "request" in the library catalogue and place a hold on it.
  • After you've placed a hold, the current borrower will not be able to renew their loan.
  • When the current borrower returns the book, if your hold is first in the queue, we will hold it for you for up to five days and you will receive an automated email.

What are the fines for overdue loans?

Fines for Overdue Loans from U of T Libraries (as of 2018-19)

  • Most books: 50 cents per DAY per item.
  • Course Reserves: 50 cents per HOUR per item.
  • If you have $25 or more in unpaid fines (or in estimated fines on your currently overdue loans), you won't be able to borrow until you've paid your fines.
  • You can pay overdue fines online (U of T Libraries), or in person (at the UC Library or another U of T library).

How to renew your loans

  • ONLINE: onesearch.library.utoronto.ca
  • BY PHONE: 416-978-8450
  • IN PERSON: Bring your TCard or U of T library card