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Frequently Asked Questions: Robarts Library Curbside Pickup Service

What if I can’t make it to the library during my assigned pickup window? 

For your health and safety we have set aside a dedicated time for you to pick up your books. This helps to limit the number of people at the pickup location at a given time. However, if you are unable to attend during your assigned pickup window, your books will be held for you for one week. If you are unable to pick up your books during your appointment window, you will need to book another appointment. To do so, please contact Lari Langford, Head, User Services, Robarts Library at

What if I need to use the washroom when I arrive at the library? 

The Robarts Library building, including the washrooms, will be closed, except for the curbside pickup station. It will unfortunately not be possible to use the washrooms while at the library for a curbside pickup.  

What if the book I need is checked out to someone else or not on the shelf? 

For reasons of health and safety, we cannot recall books at this time. Many books that were on loan when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged have not been returned as due dates have been extended until at least August 31, 2020. Some books have been returned but have not yet been re-shelved because library staff have been working remotely for their safety. We will do our best to provide the books you request, but there may be some books that we are unable to provide access to at this time.  

How fast is this service? 

Pickups will usually be available within 1-2 business days. If the service is very popular, it may take longer to provide you with a pickup appointment window.  

How will physical distancing be maintained? 

Library users who have received confirmation of a pickup window will line-up outside the south St. George Street entrance to Robarts Library (Fisher Library side). Library staff will permit up to three people at a time inside the building to pick up their books. One library staff member will be inside the building at the pickup location. One  security staff member will monitor traffic. Everyone will be required to maintain 2 metres of physical distance from one another. Spacing will be indicated by floor decals.  

Can I request books from other libraries through the curbside pickup service? 

At this time, only books housed in Robarts Library stacks and storage locations, as well as the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library within the building, will be available through this service. Starting with a limited service will allow us to assess its safety and effectiveness, and make any needed adjustments before rolling it out more broadly.  

What if I use a mobility device and need to use the accessible entrance to pick up my books? 

When you place your request through the library catalogue, you will be prompted to indicate if you need to make accessibility arrangements. If so, we will arrange to bring your books out to you at the main St. George street entrance at street level.   

Is there a limit on the number of books I can request through the curbside pickup service? 

There is no limit, except the limit normally associated with your library account.  

Can I request journals, course reserve books, government publications, reference materials or books that have not yet been catalogued? 

Curbside pickup is not available at this time for course reserves, microtext and other media, government publications, reference materials and items that have not yet been catalogued. 

What if I need to request a volume from a multi-volume series? 

The request form will prompt you to indicate this.  

Can people return books to Robarts Library? If so, can other U of T library books be returned as well, or just Robarts Library books?  

Yes, books can be returned to Robarts Library. Since we currently have no means to move books to other libraries, we suggest holding onto them if they belong to another library, if possible. All due dates have been extended to the end of August. 

Will the due date for the books checked out using the Curbside Pickup Service be August 31?

The due date for students who borrow books using the Curbside Pickup Service will be August 31. The loan period for faculty is six months, so items borrowed by faculty via the Curbside Pickup Service will be due in December.