Request Item FAQ

General information about the Request Item service

  1. What is an item request?
  2. What is a hold?
  3. What is document delivery?
  4. What is an interlibrary loan (ILL) request?
  5. What is RACER?
  6. I can't log into the Request Item service. Why not?

How the service works

  1. How do I place a hold?
  2. How do I get an item delivered between campuses?
  3. How do I place an ILL request?
  4. How do I track my request?
  5. How do I cancel my request?
  6. How will I know when and where to pick up an item?
  7. If all the copies are signed out, which copy am I going to get?
  8. My email address was wrong in the request form. What should I do?
  9. What is the need-by or not-needed-after date on the request form?
  10. Who can request hospital delivery?
  11. How do I get my item if I choose hospital delivery?

What the service includes

  1. I want delivery, but my library is not listed as a pick-up location on the request form. Why not?
  2. I want delivery, and my item is not charged out. But the request form says that my item is not available for delivery. Why not?
  3. The form says the item is available on my campus, but I can't find it. What do I do?
  4. Can I request delivery of a printed copy of a book, when the library owns both print and online versions?

General information about the Request Item service

What is an item request?

The Request Item service enables you to place an online request for library material, from the library catalogue. You'll need a valid UofT library card to place your request, and the service includes the following:

  • Delivery of items from one campus to another.

     

  • Placing holds on items that are checked out.

     

What is a hold?

When all the copies of the item you need are already checked out, you can ask for a hold. This means that we won't allow the current borrower to renew the book, and when it is returned, we will hold it at our circulation desk for you to pick up. If you've given us your email address, we'll send you an email to let you know when it comes in.

What is document delivery?

Document delivery is the library service that moves books between UofT campuses for you, when they are not available on your campus.

What is interlibrary loan (ILL)?

Interlibrary loan is the library service that requests items from libraries outside the University, when the University of Toronto Libraries do not own the item that you need. ILL requests may take two weeks or more to fill. If you are requesting a book, the service is free, but if you are requesting a journal article, there is a service charge of $5.00.

What is RACER?

RACER stands for Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting. It is the Libraries' document delivery and interlibrary loan software system.

I can't log into the Request Item service. Why not?

If you can't log in, the Request Item service will tell you which of the following problems exist:

  • The barcode and PIN that you entered don't match our records
  • Your library card is blocked (more than $25.00 in fines)
  • Your library card has expired
  • Your library card does not allow you to request items or place holds. Current faculty, staff, and students can place holds and document delivery requests. Others may have limited privileges. For more details, see: http://www.library.utoronto.ca/services/libraryusers/loan.html

For further help with your library card, please visit any UofT library circulation desk.

How the service works

How do I place a hold?

To request a hold directly from the catalogue:

  1. In the catalogue, go to the Detailed Record page for the item you need
  2. On the Detailed Record page, click on the Request Item button

Your hold request will be processed by staff on the next week day. Please note that it will not take priority over any holds placed by others, either in person or on the telephone, in the interim.

 

To place a hold on a book, effective immediately:

  1. Call the First Stop telephone service at 416 978-8450, or
  2. Visit a library circulation desk

In some circumstances you may request a recall.

 

How do I get an item delivered between campuses?

To request delivery of an item from one campus to another:

  1. In the catalogue, go to the Detailed Record page for the item you need
  2. On the Detailed Record page, click on the Request Item button

Delivery requests are processed in the order received. Delivery between campuses can take up to a week.

 

How do I place an interlibrary loan request?

To request interlibrary loan of an item that we do not own at UofT, visit RACER. Interlibrary loan (ILL) requests often take at least two weeks to fill. For ILL of journal articles, there is a charge. Please visit the RACER page for more details.

How do I track my request?

Depending on the delivery option you have chosen, and the availability of the item, your request will be handled in one of two ways:

  • If we need to request your book from a different campus, we'll be handling it in our document delivery system, RACER. Please log in at http://racer.scholarsportal.info/ to track the progress of your request.
  • If your request is handled by placing a hold on a book on the same campus as you, we'll be handling it in our library circulation system. You can track it using my.account in the library catalogue.

How do I cancel my request?

If you have requested a book, but no longer need it, please let us know, so that we can release it for the next user.

If your request is listed in my.account:

  • If it is not yet available, please call the First Stop telephone service at 416 978-8450, or visit any library circulation desk.
  • If it is waiting for you, please contact the library at which it is being held for you.

 

If your request is listed in RACER, please contact the library that was listed on your request confirmation page, when you placed the request.

How will I know when and where to pick up an item?

When your item is ready for pick up, we'll send you an email telling you where it is.

If all the copies are signed out, which copy am I going to get?

We'll place a hold for you at the library where we expect it will be returned first. If that library is not on your campus, and you've requested delivery, we'll deliver it to your campus. We'll send you an email letting you know which library your book is at, when it comes in.

My email address was wrong in the request form. What should I do?

If you corrected it as you submitted your request, we will update our records with your new address automatically. Otherwise, please visit a library circulation desk or http://www.library.utoronto.ca/services/libraryusers/emailnotices.html to update your email address.

What is the need-by date on the request form?

If you won't need the item you are requesting after a specific date, give us that date. We'll let you know if we don't think the book will be back before then.

Who can request hospital delivery?

Hospital delivery is available to graduate students, faculty, staff, and Consortium members.

How do I get my item if I choose hospital delivery?

When filling out your request form, you will be asked to select a hospital library. We will ship the item to that hospital library. If you are requesting a journal article, you can also choose to have it faxed to you. Charges will apply for delivery of journal articles.

What the service includes

I want delivery, but my library is not listed as a pick-up location on the request form. Why not?

For document delivery, the only pick up locations offered will be on campuses where the item is not currently available. For deliveries to the St. George campus, there is a choice of eight pickup locations.

Note: In the catalogue, if you limit your search to a particular library, you will see information about the copies of your item at that library only. However, copies of your item may also be available at other libraries. The Delivery Request form will list all libraries where your item is currently available.

The form says the item is available on my campus, but I can't find it. What do I do?

If the system says that a book is available on your campus, you can't use the Request Item service to get it delivered to your campus. But sometimes, books go missing even though the system reports that they are on the shelf. In this case, please speak to document delivery staff about your request, or ask the library to search for the book.

I want delivery, and my item is not charged out. But the request form says that my item is not available for delivery. Why not?

To request delivery using this form, the item that you want must be in one of the following locations, within its library:

  • General locations: STACKS, STORAGE, CURREN_PER, PERIODICAL
  • Special collections: FIS SAS, OISE WERC, OISE MLC, OISE CFO, OISE JUVENILE, ROMFAREAST

To request delivery of an item from a location not listed above, such as Reference, Short Term Loan, or special collections, please contact our interlibrary loan staff.

Also, the following libraries do not participate in the document delivery service:

  • Astronomy, DMGIS, Gardiner Museum, Industrial Relations, Massey, Media Commons AV Library, New College (Ivey), Pontifical Institute, Royal Ontario Museum, St. Augustine's Seminary, Thomas Fisher Rare Book, University Archives, Victoria University Archives, Victoria University Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, and all hospital libraries

To borrow material from one of these libraries, please contact them directly.

Can I request delivery of a printed copy of a book, when the library owns both print and online versions?

Yes.