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Frequently asked questions

Is the book/journal I need available at McGill Library?

To determine if the McGill Library owns the item (book, journal, map, DVD, etc) you need, you can search the Library Catalogue by the name of item (Title begins with…) or by the author/editor of the book (Author begins with…).

The Catalogue is the official source for listings of all the items for which McGill users have access, regardless of format (e.g., books, journal and newspaper titles, films, music, theses). Some books and journals are available online, while others are available in print in one of the McGill branch libraries.

Help using the Catalogue

My PIN isn’t working. Where can I change my PIN information?

You can use the PIN Reset form to reset your PIN (because you’ve forgotten it, because it is not working, because you’ve lost your ID)

Alternately, you can contact any McGill Library Loans Desk by email, by telephone or in person. Library staff are only authorized to provide new PINs to those with valid ID cards, or via the email address registered in your library account.

Why am I not getting Library notices by email when my items are due or have been recalled?

There are several reasons for which this problem may occur:

The email address in your Library account is not the email address you use.
Library notices are now sent to students' McGill Email Address (firstname [dot] lastname [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca), and faculty's McGill Email Address (firstname [dot] lastname [at] mcgill [dot] ca) when available. If you do not check your official McGill Email Address on a regular basis, please ensure that you redirect e-mail from that address to your preferred e-mail address. The instructions to re-direct your e-mail are in the McGill IT Knowledge Base.
You are a faculty or staff member without a McGill Email Address (firstname [dot] lastname [at] mcgill [dot] ca) and you are using Hotmail or another email service
Faculty and staff who do not have a McGill Email Address on file at McGill and who are using Hotmail or another email service for library notices may experience dropped incoming emails when their inbox is full. These email services do not inform us by sending the message back.
There is nothing we can do about this problem: you use Hotmail at your own risk. If you are a McGill faculty or staff member, we recommend you use your McGill Email Address.
Your email service has spam-filtering rules that classify our messages as spam and prevent them from reaching your inbox.
You may have a 'spam' or 'junk' folder that has some library messages in it, and you may have the option of modifying the spam-filtering rules to allow our messages to pass. Ask your system administrator or email service provider about spam filtering rules on your email account and how you can modify them.

Can I access McGill Library resources from home?

When accessing full-text journals or other online resources from home, you will be presented with a User Login screen asking you to login using your McGill email address and password. This service (EZProxy) allows you to access these resources without make any configuration changes to your computer.

Alternately, you can set up a VPN connection to the McGill network which will allow you to access all McGill Library resources as if you were on campus.

For more information, see Off-campus access to resources.

I'm logged in to MyMcGill. Why can't I get into the Library resources?

Logging in to the MyMcGill portal alone does not give you access to McGill-restricted resources. If you are connecting from home, you must be signed on to your DAS account or using the VPN service.

How do I find articles on my topic?

To search for journal or periodical articles on a topic, you can use WorldCat or more specialized databases. To find databases for a discipline or subject, visit our subject guides. You can then use keywords or subject headings to find references to articles.

Once you find relevant references, it is important to determine whether the article is available full-text online or in print in one of the Library’s branches. You can search the Catalogue (See Is the book/journal I need available at McGill Library?) or, if the database is enabled with the Find Full Text button, you can use this feature to search the Library’s holdings automatically.

Subject guides are available for every discipline and are useful tools for starting your library research. To learn more about searching the literature in your discipline, consider taking a workshop, or consult the liaison librarian in your subject area.

How do I view an electronic book in Books 24x7?

Books 24x7 requires users to register individually with Books24x7. Registration is free for McGill students and staff, but you must use a McGill email address to register, i.e. an email address that ends with mcgill.ca. A password will be emailed to you shortly after you register.

Where can I find e-exams?

In addition to signing in to the Catalogue, you must be connected via a McGill campus computer, DAS or VPN in order to view an exam in PDF format.

Instructions on finding e-exams

How do I renew my book?

You can renew your loans yourself by first signing in to the Catalogue and following the steps for renewals.

Instructions on how to sign in to the Catalogue

Instructions on renewals

Where do I return my books and other items?

In general, books may be returned to any McGill Library branch. Books that have been recalled by another user, course reserves, A/V material, journals and maps must be returned to the branch from which they were borrowed. After-hours book return facilities are provided at most branches.

Can I put a hold on an item?

If you have a McGill ID and a PIN, you can place hold requests on items that are currently out on loan by first signing in to the Catalogue and following the steps for making a request.

Instructions on how to sign in to the Catalogue

Instructions on how to place a hold request

The McGill Library doesn’t have the book/article I need. How do I get it?

To request an interlibrary loan (ILL) for a book or journal article not available at McGill, follow the instructions. McGill students and staff may receive ILLs at no cost, with some exceptions.

How can I recommend a purchase?

To make a suggestion to the Library for a purchase, use our form.

How do I find out a library branch’s location and opening hours?

Branch libraries and collections

Opening hours

How can I get help with EndNote or RefWorks?

Contact McGill’s citation software team at citations [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca for answers to your questions or to schedule a one-on-one consultation.


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