Circulation Services & Borrowing Library Materials

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Library Card & Borrowing Privileges

For York University students and faculty, including Osgoode: your YU-card is also your Library card and grants you borrowing privileges at the Osgoode Hall Law School Library and all other York University Libraries. Click here for more information.

All other users must register at the Circulation Desk as External Borrowers. Upon registration and payment of the appropriate fee, you will be given a temporary Library card.

Alumni (upon presentation of Alumni Association card). To obtain card click here. $25.00 annual fee
Members of the public (Excluding high school, community college and undergraduate students from other universities) $100.00 annual fee
Faculty, students and staff from universities which participate in the Direct Borrowing agreements No fee

Please note that alumni and external reader registration is valid for one year from the date of issue and is recognized at all York University Libraries.

Loans, Due Dates & Renewals

Before any materials may be taken from the Library, they must first be charged out at one of the Library’s self-serve checkout kiosks or at the Circulation Desk.

Loan Period Holds Renewals
Students Faculty & Grads
General & Fiction 14 days 100 days Yes Yes
Core Collection (Osgoode only) 24 hours 24 hours No No
Reserve Collection Law: 3 hours

Non-Law: in library use only

Law: 3 hours

Non-Law: in library use only

No No
Special Collections Library use only Library use only N/A N/A
Law Reports, Statutes, Journals Library use only Library use only N/A N/A
Accessories (laptops, power packs, etc) End of day End of day No Yes
Microforms Library use only Library use only No N/A

Loans are subject to immediate recall if needed for the Core or Reserve Collections.

Loans can be renewed using the following methods. Please note that 14-day loans are limited to a maximum of six renewals, while 100-day loans may be renewed twice provided there are no other requests for those items.

  • Online: You can renew your Library loans yourself using your MyLibrary Account. A YU-card and a Passport York account are required for you to take advantage of this service.
  • In Person: You can renew your Library loans at a self-serve kiosk or the Circulation Desk at any library on campus. You must have your YU-card and the materials to be renewed with you.

Current Email Addresses

Borrowers are requested to supply a current e-mail address to the Library. This e-mail address is used for communications such as courtesy reminders for materials becoming due and notices of availability of items for which a Hold was placed. Email addresses can be kept current using the online form:

Core Collection (24-hour Loan)

The Osgoode Law Library’s Core Collection supplements the Reserve Collection, but is self-serve and with a less restrictive lending policy. It is located on the Harris-Taylor Reading Room in the Upper Library. In the catalogue, items can be identified by their location “Osgoode Core Collection”.

Select items may be charged out at any time during the day and must be returned by closing time the following day. Loans cannot be renewed and only members of the Osgoode Community may borrow Core material.  The following reference resources in Core do not circulate:

  • Statutes
  • Law reports
  • Digests
  • Journals
  • Encyclopedias and dictionaries

If you are looking for the latest edition of a title, it may be on reserve at the circulation desk.


Reserve items can be retrieved from the circulation desk in the Upper Library. In the catalogue, they can be identified by their location “Osgoode Reserve Collection” and status “LAW-RESV”. Reserve status is temporary, and items on reserve are reviewed and updated regularly each term.

Items on reserve are identified as being in high-demand. They can include material that course instructors have requested the library make available to students in a particular course, or latest editions of popular titles. As such, they are available only on a short-term loan basis.

The loan period for Osgoode reserve items is 3 hours for in library use only. They cannot be renewed and a hold cannot be placed on them. Fines for overdue reserve items accumulate at a rate of $3.00 per hour per item to a maximum of $100.00 per item.

Holds, Recalls & Special Requests

Holds: If you locate an item in the Library catalogue that you need but that has been checked out to another patron and there are no other copies available, you may place a HOLD on the item. A HOLD request can be processed online by clicking on the HOLD ITEM button at the bottom or top of the screen while viewing the item record in the Library catalogue. If the item is out on a 14-day loan, a HOLD will be placed for you. If it is out on a 100-day loan, the item will be RECALLED.

You will be notified by email when the item is returned, and it will be held for you at the Library’s circulation desk for seven (7) days. If there is more than one hold request for any “held” item, the normal loan period will be reduced to seven (7) days.

Online HOLD requests are placed on the next working day. HOLD requests can also be placed in person at the Circulation Desk of any York University Library.

Searches: If the Library catalogue indicates that an item is available but you are unable to find it in the stacks, you can request at the Circulation Desk that a SEARCH be conducted to find the item. You will be notified by email when the item is found and it will be held for you at the Circulation Desk for 7 days. SEARCH request forms are available at the Circulation Desk.

Library Backlog: For items designated in the Library catalogue with the location LAWBACKLOG, please submit a request for retrieval at the Circulation Desk. Backlog materials will be retrieved and made available to you within two hours.

In-process: Materials designated in the Library catalogue as IN-PROCESS can be requested by following the online instructions.

On Order: Items designated in the Library catalogue as being ON-ORDER have not yet been received by the Library and are unavailable. The designation is for your information only.

Special Collections (Rare Books & Archives)

Requests for materials from the Balfour Halévy Special Collections can be submitted either online (using the link from the online catalogue record) or in person at the Library’s service desks. Items from the Special Collections may be used only under supervision in the Canada Law Book Rare Book Reading Room. Please allow one business day for your request to be processed and the requested items to be retrieved and prepared for your use. Library staff will contact you when your requrest is ready; please contact the library (416-736-5206) to make arrangements for viewing. Please consult the Guidelines for Using Special Collections Materials. No items may be removed from the Rare Book Reading Room under any circumstances.

Photocopying or other types of reproduction by borrowers is not allowed; however, arrangements can be made through the Library staff for any necessary copying.

Requesting Material from “Osgoode Storage”

To borrow material located in “Osgoode Storage”, you must request a pickup through the library catalogue:

  1. Find the resource that you would like to borrow by searching the catalogue,
  2. Click on the blue Request button to the right of the page,
  3. Choose the “Storage/Special Collections” option:

Requesting Osgoode Storage Material Example

In order to complete the request, you must have a valid Passport York account or active library account. Your request is then sent to Osgoode library where it will be processed for pickup. Normally, you will be contacted within one business day from the date the request was made.

Returning Library Materials

With the exception of items from the Core Collection (24-hour loan), Library materials can be returned at the Circulation Desk in the Osgoode Law Library or any of the other York University Libraries, or deposited in any of the book return boxes on the York University campus. Materials must be returned on or before the due date and time to avoid overdue fines.

To facilitate the return of Library materials when the Library is closed, a book return box is located outside the rear (west) door of the law school (Ignat Kaneff Building), adjacent to the parking lot. The after-hours book drop is cleared one hour after the Library opens.

Books from the Core Collection (24-hour loan) must be returned at the Library’s Circulation Desk, not to a book drop! Overdue fines on Core Collection items are calculated at $15.00 per day or any part thereof.

Any Library materials which have not been checked out but were used in the Library or at the photocopiers should be returned to the nearby “book return” shelves after use. Please do not re-shelve the books yourself.

Unpaid Fines & Suspension of Privileges

Borrowers registered at another York University library may borrow circulating materials from the Law Library unless their privileges have been suspended. Borrowing and service privileges may be suspended for failure to follow Library regulations, failure to pay fines and/or return books or failure to co-operate with Library staff.

Osgoode and York Students and Faculty: Borrowing privileges will be suspended for those who owe $25.00 or more in unpaid bills and/or accumulating charges for overdue materials. Graduating students may have their diploma and/or transcripts withheld until all outstanding Library accounts are settled.

External Borrowers: Borrowing privileges will be suspended for those who owe $5.00 or more in unpaid bills and/or accumulating charges for overdue materials.

All outstanding Library fines and/or fees must be paid before a borrower may re-register at the Library. Outstanding accounts may be referred to a Collection Agency.