Borrow and renew

Students, faculty, staff and visitors may borrow books, journals, DVDs and more. You will need a valid library card to borrow materials. Cards are not transferable. Privileges vary according to borrower category.

Borrowing privileges

Select a category:


14 days (loan period), 50 items, 23 renewals


Session (loan period, subject to recalls), 100 items, 2 renewals


Session (loan period, subject to recalls), 100 items, 2 renewals

Part-time professors

Session (loan period, subject to recalls), 100 items, 2 renewals

Research assistants

28 days (loan period), 75 items, 11 renewals. Fill out a request form for research assistants.


28 days (loan period), 20 items, 11 renewals


14 days (loan period), 15 items, 23 renewals. Read more about our services for alumni and visitors.

Others: Canadian university students, professors or employees

14 days (loan period), 10 items, 23 renewals. Read more about the Canadian University Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement.

Others: SmartLibrary

14 days (loan period), 4 items, 2 renewals. Read more about SmartLibrary.


  • You may borrow up to 10 journals for 7 days, depending on your library policy and the category you belong to.
  • Theses and most government publications, maps, reference works, microforms, tests and rare books can be consulted in the library only.
  • The loan period for DVDs and games is 7 days. They may be renewed once. DVDs can be booked for a future date. Alumni cannot renew or book items. External users may only view them on site at the Media Centre.
  • If you are unsure if you are eligible, email


Log in to your account to renew your items.

You can renew your items for the same period as the initial loan period. The new due date is calculated from the renewal date and not from the original due date.

Books can be renewed as long as:

  • No one requested or recalled them
  • Your total fines are lower than the maximum amount
  • The number of renewals is under the allowed limit

Maximum fines under which renewals are allowed:

  • $9.99 for students, faculty and staff
  • $0.99 for other users


Courtesy notices are sent when an item is:

  • Soon overdue: 5 days before an item is due (except for items with a loan period of less than 7 days)
  • Overdue
  • Available following a request
  • Recalled

Students, faculty and staff: Notices are sent by e-mail to your address. Others: Notices are sent by e-mail to the address you entered on your library card application form. You are responsible for returning materials by the due date even if you fail to receive notice. Overdue fees will be applied for late returns.


All materials should be returned by the due date (or time) in order to avoid fines. See our rules on overdue materials.

To check the due date for an item, log in to your library account.

During open hours, most borrowed books may be returned to any library circulation desk or placed in the return chute available in each library, as well as in Desmarais Hall, Colonel By Hall and the Social Sciences Building.

After closing, items may be placed in the night return chute located outside of the library.

Exceptions: the following materials must be returned directly to the libraries where they were borrowed:

  • Reserve items
  • Journals
  • Non-book items (DVDs, maps, etc.)


University of Ottawa students, faculty and staff can use the catalogue to request:

  • Books already on loan
  • Books located at off-site storage facilities
  • Books in process

Click on the Request button, enter your information, and choose a pickup location. The book you have requested will be held for you for 5 days after it arrives at the pickup location. Your request may be cancelled if a faculty member requests that we put the book aside for a course.

Users affiliated with the University may also request that a book be transferred from the main campus libraries to the Health Sciences Library or Berkman Library, or vice versa. Send your request to

Users not affiliated with the University may request books located at off-site storage facilities. Send your request to


An item can be recalled when another user requests it and it is on extended loan, or overdue. If you have an item for an extended period and are planning to leave the region, make the necessary preparations to be able to comply with any recall during your absence.

Fines for recalled items are $1.00/day/item.

Outstanding accounts

Your borrowing privileges will be suspended if there are outstanding charges on your account:

  • Students, faculty and staff: $10 or more
  • Others: $1 or more

In order to graduate, or receive marks or transcripts, students must not have any outstanding charges. Unpaid accounts may be referred to a collection agency.

See our rules on overdue and damaged materials.

Acceptable forms of payment (updated July 2019)

After a successful 8-month trial period, the University of Ottawa Library is now officially cashless. In an effort to minimize risk and streamline their transactions, all Library locations will only accept debit, credit (Visa, Mastercard), cheques, or the uO Flex card as valid methods of payments from this point forward.

Back to top