Library Services FAQ

Please check this space often as information is subject to change. Last updated May 24, 2022


Reference services and teaching/instructional services

Borrowing, returns, course reserves & fines

Interlibrary Loans (ILL) & document delivery

Can I visit a McGill Library branch? Can I use a printer?

Yes. Visit the hours webpage for a full listing of opening and service hours. You can scan, print and copy in almost all locations.

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What are the health and safety guidelines for entering and working in Library spaces?

Masks are not obligatory at McGill as of May 24. We still strongly encourage you to continue to wear a mask after May 24. Mask dispensers and hand sanitizers will remain in place at library entrances. Read more here.

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Can I eat and drink in the Library?

Reusable water bottles or other sealed drink containers are permitted in Library spaces. Water fountains are available. Food is not permitted in the Library. Please visit McGill Food & Dining Services or McGill Flex Spaces for more information regarding where to eat on campus.

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Can I book a group study room?

Group study rooms can be booked online. Masks are not obligatory at McGill as of May 24. We still strongly encourage you to continue to wear a mask after May 24. Mask dispensers and hand sanitizers will remain in place at library entrances.

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Where can I go to attend a class on Zoom?

The Cyberthèque (Redpath Library Building, ground floor) and the main floors of the Redpath and McLennan Library Buildings serve as designated Conversation/ Zoom Zones. Students can attend/participate in online activities on these floors. First come, first served. Earbuds/earphones are required in the Zoom Zones. Please note that students who attend classes virtually but do not need to speak can do so from any library work area.

Looking for other flex spaces on campus? Visit the dedicated webpage.

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Can I book a library locker or carrel?

Bookable lockers and carrels are available in selected library branches. Some previously bookable carrels in McLennan-Redpath have been converted to general seating.

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Is there a way to track how full Library spaces are before I visit?

Yes, you can check how busy McLennan-Redpath is in real-time before heading to campus with the Waitz space use service. Visit the Library’s Waitz visualization page or download the free Waitz mobile app (available for both Android and iOS devices) to know before you go!

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Can the general public access the McGill Library?

Yes, the general public can visit all Library branches during opening hours

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If I’m not a current McGill student, faculty or staff member, can I consult rare and special materials in the ROAAr Reading Room?

Yes, visitors who are not current McGill students, faculty or staff can consult rare and special material in the ROAAr Reading Room by following the process outlined here.

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I need help from a librarian. What do I do?

We are here to answer your questions and help you find what you are looking for. Chat, email or text a librarian. You can also book a virtual appointment with subject-specific research experts who will help you find what you are looking for. On-site reference services are available. Please consult the hours page for more information.

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I am a faculty member and need help linking to ebooks, ejournals and other library resources. Where can I go for help?

Visit our Teaching Services page for step-by-step-instructions on how to create persistent links in WorldCat Discovery. Your liaison librarian can also assist in this process and help you locate materials to support your teaching.

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Are the stacks open? Can I borrow a book?

Yes, stack areas are accessible. 

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I have a book that was due during the closure. What do I do with the book? Will I get fined?

All library branches are open and you may return your book to any branch. No fines were accrued during the library closure (March 2020–September 2021). An unlimited automatic thirty-day renewal policy was implemented in January 2021, and your materials will be renewed automatically as long the account is in good standing and no one else has requested the material.

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I have outstanding library fines. Will I be blocked from graduating or from registering for future courses?

While the Library was closed 2020-21, students were not blocked from graduating or from registering for courses due to outstanding library fines. Starting in September 2021, outstanding fines can be reconciled in person at most library branches. McGill Library users can pay their full fines balance online via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) through their library account. Visit the dedicated webpage for more info and fee payment instructions. Some users may see “lost item” fees on their account; however, these fines will be cleared when the items are returned. For questions about library fines or any issues related to your library account, check with your branch.

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Can I return books?

Yes, books may be returned in the bins located at each branch library. Loans will be discharged by library staff at our earliest opportunity. Please note, you may continue to receive automated notices from the circulation system. For questions about returning books, or any issues related to your library account, check with your branch.

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I need to access an e-book and electronic journal article. How to I do this?

Yes, you can access online resources 24/7 off campus. McGill students have access to millions of electronic resources. The Library has almost 3.5 million books available online; 232,000 e-journals; 111,000 e-videos; more than 1,000 online databases; over 101,000 e-music recordings, and more. Students can access electronic items in the Library’s online catalogue. To learn more about accessing online resources, visit the dedicated webpage.

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I am a McGill student. Can I access print course reserves?

Some physical course reserves were accessible in the fall of 2021. As of January 2021, the McGill Library is single point of access for course-related materials. This allows the Library to provide students with access to course material through the Library’s collection or by licensing the work for use by classes at no additional cost to the student. As part of this transition, the Library is combining the course packs service with our electronic course reserves program, under the new name Course Readings Service. This sustainable approach will offer the greatest flexibility for McGill students, wherever they are located for the winter semester. Students may print the electronic readings if they prefer to work from paper.

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I would like to submit a request for materials from another institution via McGill interlibrary loans. Is the service available?

McGill students and faculty may order articles or book chapters that are not owned by McGill Library or other Quebec university library through the Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL). The ILL system is integrated into the Library catalogue/Sofia Discovery tool. Find out how to use it and how to view and manage your ILL requests.

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I would like to request a scanned copy of a journal article from the print collections of the McGill Library. Is this service available?

Yes. Please submit your article/chapter scan request following these instructions. Please note that this service is open to current McGill students, faculty and staff only.

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