Although our building is currently closed, we can support you online. Learn about library services during COVID-19.

Library Services During COVID-19

Updated Monday April 5, 2021 - 10:31 am

To support U of G's efforts in protecting the health of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, our building is closed until further notice. You can still request library materials for curbside pickup and mail delivery. All our in-person services are available remotely. Please find information about the services and processes that are currently in place below. 

Visit U of G's COVID-19 page to find the most up to date information about the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Curbside Pickup or Home Delivery of Books

  • Current U of G students, staff and faculty can request physical books from U of G's collection, and from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
  • All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours upon their return to the library.

How to request library books

  • Place holds on books in Omni.

    • Once you have found the item you'd like to request in Omni, sign in and then click "Request."
    • Under "Pickup Location" select "Curbside Pickup" or "Home Delivery."
    • You will receive an email with further direction once the item has been processed. Please be patient as this email could take up to 3 business days.

How to receive your books

There are two ways to receive your library materials.

Curbside pickup

  • When your items are ready, you will get an email to book a curbside pickup time. Please wait until you receive this email before coming to the library.
  • Pick up your items from the McLaughlin Library loading dock accessed from the back of the building. Enter the laneway from Gordon Street. The loading dock is located past the Summerlee Science Complex receiving area. 
  • Please note, the loading dock does not have an accessible ramp. If you require assistance, when you arrive for your pickup call 519-824-4120 ext. 53437 and we will bring your items out to you.
  • We ask you to please wear a mask and respect physical distancing requirements.

Home delivery

  • When your items are ready, you will get an email to provide us with your mailing address.
  • We will pay the cost of shipping items to you. For those residing within Guelph, you will be responsible for returning the borrowed items. See Returning Books and Other Library Items below for more information.

Online Services and Resources

Research help

Workshops and programs

  • We will continue to offer all programs and workshops in an online format. 
  • Visit our Workshops & Events calendar to view what’s upcoming.

Online appointments

  • All appointments and consultations will continue to be offered online.
  • View all appointment types on our appointment booking page.  

Remote learning resources

Returning Books & Other Library Items

map showing access to the loading dock off of gordon streetThe book return bins can be found in two locations, the front doors or at the library's loading dock. Access to the loading dock is off of Gordon Street at the back of the library. Here is some more information:

  • You may return library books from the University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, or interlibrary loan. 
  • The bins are accessible 24/7. 
  • Please note that the book return bin at the loading dock is not wheelchair accessible. Patrons who require assistance can contact
  • For your safety and the safety of library staff, all returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours. Library staff will handle materials using gloves and masks. Please wait four business days before contacting the library with any concerns related to your returned items. 
  • You can renew your books online


Email of Scanned Material

Scanning services are available to current U of G students, faculty and staff. 

General collections

In accordance with the University’s copyright guidelines, you may request that a portion of a physical item in our collection be digitized. Most physical items including books, microform, and journals are available to be digitized.

  • Search in Omni. Limit your search using the facets on the left-hand side to “Available in U of G Library” which will return physical items in our collection.
  • Select the item you’d like to be digitized and click “Sign in.” You’ll be prompted to enter your U of G credentials.
  • Under the “Get It” heading, you will see “Request a digitized chapter/article/excerpt” if the item is available for digitization.
  • Fill in the form with as much information as possible.
  • Once the item is processed, you will receive an email with a link to the digitized content. This may take a few business days.
  • The link will expire after five views or 30 days. 

Please note:

  • Scanning is not available for materials in the Course Reserve collection. 

Archival and special collections

  • Search the archival and special collections in Omni
  • Find the “U of G Location” on the left-hand menu and limit your search to “Archival & Special Collections.”
  • Request a reproduction from our collections.


Branch Research Data Centre (BRDC)

The Branch Research Data Centre (BRDC) is open at the library. To accommodate physical distancing, workstations will be reduced. New rules and procedures will ensure the safety of those conducting research in the space. 

There is a three-step process in order to gain access to the BRDC:

1. Researchers require permission to access campus for research

  • This permission must be consistent with the University’s Research Phase-In Framework
  • As a researcher, your chair and/or dean will give you a letter of permission.
  • The process and requirements for this vary by college. 

2. Permission from the BRDC 

  • After college permission is received, you will need the permission of Kris Inwood, academic director of the BRDC at U of G.
  • To receive permission, forward the letter received from the college to and indicate why your work is a priority, if the letter itself doesn’t already state this.

Priority access will be given to:

  • COVID-19 related research
  • Graduate students
  • Early career researchers
  • Research subject to grants and contracts with time sensitive milestones
  • Research with very limited or intermittent needs in order to be completed

3. Making a reservation to use the BRDC

  • After you have the necessary permission, you can make a reservation to use the BRDC. 
  • You will be able to select a particular time using a new system that is being developed by Statistics Canada.  

Have questions about the BRDC? 

Email Kris Inwood, academic director, Branch Research Data Centre at U of G,


Annex (Offsite Storage Facility)

  • The library’s offsite storage facility, the Annex, is fulfilling all requests for library items.
  • The Annex is currently closed to all visitors at this time.


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