Borrowing Library Materials

Do you have questions about the OCAD U Library? Use the below FAQs to find out more about borrowing books, managing your library account and accessing other libraries. For detailed information about loan periods and library fines please visit Borrowing Policies.

Graduate Students, Faculty, AGO Affiliates and Continuing Studies Instructors
Special Members, Alumnae & Continuing Studies Students

Signing Out Library Materials

What do I use for a library card? Use your valid OCAD U ID card. AGO affiliates can use their special members cards Use OCAD U special members card.
How many books can I sign out? Up to 9 books and 3 AV items. Sign out unlimited numbers of library items. Up to 9 books.
How long can I have the materials for? Keep books for up to 2 weeks; AV items for 1 week. Ask circulation staff to extend borrowing period to 1 month for circulating books; up to 2 weeks for reference books. Keep books for up to 2 weeks.
Can I sign out Reference Books or Periodicals? Only for a short-term 4 hour loan, but not overnight. YES! but only for a duration of 1 week (which is not renewable online). Only for a short-term 4 hour loan, but not overnight.
Can I sign out Course Reserve items? Course reserves are for in-library use only; only 3 items at a time can be signed out, each with a 2 hour time limit.
Note: TAs and faculty members who have put items on reserve for their classes can sign out their materials for in-class use, for the duration of their classes.

Renewing Library Materials

Can I renew library materials? Yes! Everyone can renew circulating books up to 5 times; AV items up to two times. Reference books or Inter-Library loan materials cannot be renewed.
NOTE: Borrowers cannot renew items between 10:30 pm - 12:00 pm midnight (due to daily system upgrades).
There are no renewals for any inter-library loan materials.
How do I renew books? Use My Account and log in with the 14 digits from your OCAD U ID card or special members card. Follow instructions provided. Feel free to stop by the library as well to renew books in person.
Can I renew books if I have overdue books on my account? Yes you can, but note that once fines reach $20 or higher a block will be placed on your record and you will not be able to renew online.
NOTE: This is a courtesy to library patrons, but you are still responsible for bringing items back on time!
Can I renew books if I have library fines? You can renew books online if you have fines under $10; however, once fines increase above this amount, you will not be able to renew items. Come to the OCAD U Library and our circulation staff will help you with renewals.
How can I keep track of the loan period? We will send out notification emails to you just prior to the due date for your signed-out library materials. Be sure to ask our circulation staff if we have your correct email address.
Where can I check my status of my library account? Use My Account and log in with the 14 digits from your OCAD U ID card. You can view all items checked-out, fines, status of holds.
NOTE: Fines on overdue items will not show on My Account unless items are returned to the library or renewed.
Can I renew library materials 5 times in ONE day? Sorry! You cannot accumulate renewals on a single day. Books will be renewed for 2 weeks after the date when you accessed My Account, so if you renew books 5 times consecutively during one My Account session, you will lose all the remaining 4 renewals! Instead, wait until the item is almost due before renewing.

Library Fines

Why does the library charge fines? The OCAD U Library has built a unique collection of some of the finest art and design books in Canada; we have an obligation to preserve and maintain it for current and future researchers.
We are eager to sign out books so that all researchers can take them to their own study spaces to use them to create, learn and help make sense of the world.
Signing out books is an agreement between you and the library, so if a library item is returned late, we are unable to make it accessible to any other researcher.
Help us keep our library print and AV collections free and opened to all researchers; respect the loan agreements with the OCAD U Library and you can avoid EVER having to pay any fines at all!
How do I pay my fines? The library only accepts cash, so please bring sufficient funds when paying your fines. There is an ATM machine by the stairs leading to the library.
If you want to pay by credit or debit card proceed to the Cashier (230 Richmond Street W, Level 7) for the transaction; however, note that you MUST bring the receipt to the library circulation desk in order for the fine and/or block to be cleared from your record.
How long can I wait before paying library fines? The library has a policy requiring all members to pay any outstanding fines by the end of each term.
What happens if I lose a book? If you lose a library book, or your fines reach the maximum amount of $25, then the book is declared LOST. The borrower will then be charged:
  • the full replacement cost for the item
  • plus a $50 processing charge per item

NOTE: If an item is returned after declaring it lost, the maximum fine (of $25) AND processing charges ($50) are non-refundable
What happens when my library fines go above $20? Borrowers who do not return library materials within the scheduled loan period, or when requested, will have their Library privileges suspended until items have been returned and all fines and charges are paid. The non-return of Library property and non-payment of fines of $20 or more constitute a debt to the University and a block will be put on both your OCADU Library AND information records account. OCAD U students will be prevented from accessing the Student Information System, receiving transcripts, or graduating from the University.
But you can avoid having to experience this by effectively managing you signed out books using My Account!
Why are my library fines so high? Although the per-day fines seem low (50 cents per day for books) this can add up quickly. Monitor your account regularly; pay attention to our automated email messages about signed out books. With these simple proactive measures you can avoid EVER having to pay fines!

Using Other Libraries

Can I borrow materials from other university libraries? One of the best ways to effectively access all other Canadian university libraries, INCLUDING the University of Toronto is by using our online inter-library loans system (RACER/VDX). For more information see how to set up an account and request materials. Unfortunately, the inter-library loans agreement does not apply to OCAD U Special Members.
Can I renew inter-library loan materials? Unfortunately, the inter-library loans agreement does not allow renewals on any borrowed materials. Please note that fines will be charged for all overdue inter-library loan items. Unfortunately, the inter-library loans agreement does not apply to OCAD U Special Members.
Can I go to other university libraries and borrow materials on site?

Yes, all OCAD U members can go to any other Canadian university library EXCEPT the University of Toronto (all three campuses) and borrow circulating materials in person.   With a valid ID card, OCAD U students, staff and faculty are able to borrow circulating materials in-person from other university libraries in Canada with the exception of any University of Toronto Library which introduced fees for direct borrowers.

These privileges do not include access to databases or electronic resources at other universities.

All policies and procedures for the lending library, including penalties and fines, will apply. For more information on-site direct borrowing see Canadian University Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement : (

Note that items from other libraries may also be requested through RACER/VDX online inter-library loans/document delivery

Unfortunately, this “Direct Borrowing” agreement only applies to OCAD U students, staff or faculty. Special members and AGO faculty affiliates cannot request inter-library loan materials.

Visitors to OCAD U Library

Do I have to purchase a special membership to use the OCAD U Library collection?

The OCAD U Library print collection is accessible to any visitors who are free to use the materials on site; however, in order to sign out circulating materials, you will have to purchase a special membership for

  • $100 for one year.
  • $50 for OCAD U alumni
Can visitors use the OCAD U wireless network Unfortunately, visitors are not able to access the OCAD U wireless network or use our library desktop computers. If you need to scan materials or make photocopies, ask at the Circulation Desk for assistance.
Can students from other universities borrow books directly from OCAD U Library? Undergraduates from ONLY Ryerson or York Universities can borrow directly from the OCAD U Library; no other university undergraduates may sign out books on site.
Faculty and Staff from all other Canadian universities can sign out books directly from the OCAD U Library
What is the loan period for Direct Borrowers from other universities? All direct borrowers can sign out circulating materials for up to 2 weeks with up to 5 renewals online.

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