Borrowing Books from York University Libraries

Posted by Jamila on February 18, 2014

Diary of an Undergrad

Last week, I wrote a post about exploring York University libraries and now, here are some things you need to know about borrowing books and other resources. When I first started coming to YorkU, I didn’t know much about the process for borrowing so I was always asking my friends for help but after this blog post, I’m hoping you’ll be better equipped for when you’re trying find course texts.

Firstly, you’re going to need you YU card and it is going to function just the way a library card usually works. The card allows you to borrow up to 50 items. This limit is extended to 80 for graduate students and faculty. External borrowers are limited to 15 items only.

york university library1

Before you go to the library, find out if the book you are looking for is available by visiting the library website and searching for it using keywords such as the title or author name and copy the call number that’s provided on the search results page. This number is like an identification code that tells you where the book is located amongst the maze of books in the library.


The call number usually begins with a letter followed by a series of numbers and more letters. Each floor in the Scott library is numbered with signs according to the call number such that you are able to find what floor the book is on and on the shelves. I know this may sound a bit confusing but don’t worry. If you get confused along the way, simply ask one of the librarians for assistance. Once you’ve got the books you need, check them out at the circulation desk or at the self-serve stations using your YU card.


When the due date is near, all you need to do is return the books to the any of the appropriate drop boxes at the library. You can borrow books for up to 14 days and unless requested by another person, you can renew them online or in person at the library’s circulation desk for a maximum of six times. No renewals are allowed for items on reserve. If you’re looking for a book but someone else has borrowed it, you may request to have a hold placed on the item that’s already been charged out. If there is more than one hold on the item, it will be loaned out for seven days between all the people who have requested it and is not renewable.


Always return items before the due date or you might be charged a fine. These late fines could range anywhere from $5 a day to $100 per hour. Once your total charges exceed $25, you will be blocked from borrowing. Check out the lending code for a full list of the fine rates and other policies that ensure fair access to the libraries’ resources, services and facilities.