Making requests

The Library has so many items – over two million and counting – that we need to store them in different places. The catalogue shows where items are stored and how to retrieve them. Information about the location appears underneath the title and publication details in your search results.

  • Available online – you can view the item online. Use the 'view online' link to access it.
  • Find on shelf in... – make a note of the call number, then go to the reading room listed and look on the shelf for the call number. A map of the reading rooms can assist.
    • Sometimes you'll see 'Find in microfilm cabinets' instead of 'on shelf' – just look in the cabinets instead of on the shelves.
  • Request from on-site storage – use your Library card to sign in (top right corner), then use the 'Request' tab to request the item for today or another day.
    • If you want the item for the same day, you'll need to send your request by 5.30pm.
    • You can request six items at a time for either the same or another day. You'll be able to request more items after the first six have been processed.
    • Requests for the same day are usually available within 30 minutes on the ‘Collect books and reserves’ shelves in the Information Centre.
    • Requests for another day will be available on the same shelves from 10am on the day you requested.
    • If you don't finish your research in one day, you can keep items on hold for up to a week by putting them back on these shelves.
  • Phone...to arrange delivery from Offsite Store – some items, usually older material, are stored offsite. You'll need to talk to us to request them.
    • If you're not at the Library, the fastest way to do this is by giving us a call on the number listed. You'll need to have your Library card ready.
    • If you're at the Library already, you can stop by one of our Information Desks to make the request in person.
    • You'll need to request offsite material in advance – make your request by 5.30pm Sunday–Thursday and it will be ready at 10am the next day. Anything you request on Friday or Saturday won't be ready till 10am Monday.
    • Some offsite material is delivered to the Information Centre and some to the Heritage Collections Reading Room. We will let you know where to go.
  • Phone...to arrange delivery from...– some items are part of a special collection such as Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps or Pictures. You'll need to talk to us to request them.
    • If you're not at the Library, the fastest way to do this is by giving us a call on the number listed. You'll need to have your Library card ready.
    • If you're at the Library already, you can stop by one of our Information Desks to make the request in person.
    • We'll advise you of the next delivery time. Usually it's safest to ring by 5pm the day before, or by 5pm on Thursday if you want to use the item over the weekend.
    • Special collection material is delivered to the Heritage Collections Reading Room.
  • Check other locations below – we may have multiple copies or it may be a journal that is stored in several different places. Click on the 'Locations' tab to see more.
    • For journals, clicking on the + sign next to each location will tell you more about which years we have. It's useful to check this, since sometimes we don't have every issue of a title.
  • Ask at Desk – this could be a variety of things, so it’s safest to ask a librarian about it and we'll figure out how you can use the item!