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Borrower Services Guidelines: Home

Borrower Services Guidelines


Seneca Libraries collections are developed to support college programs. Priority is given to the information needs of current students, staff, faculty and the college's Board of Governors. The surrounding community is welcome to use library facilities and individuals may register as a Community Borrower.

Seneca Libraries recognizes and honours the intellectual freedom and right to privacy of all persons. Seneca College protects the confidentiality of borrower records including the circulation of material, interlibrary/intercampus loan transactions, reference queries, reserve requests and the use of new media materials as collected under the legal authority of the College and Universities Act, R.S.O. 1990 c.M19, section 5 Reg. 770.

Who Can Borrow?

All full- and part-time students, faculty, and staff can borrow library material and access online resources using a valid Seneca ID or library card. Please note that these ID cards are non-transferable.

The libraries' general collection is not open to Alumni, retirees, or community borrowers.

Loan Periods

The majority of collections circulate for two weeks. High demand materials have shorter loan periods. 

What should I know about borrowing from the general collection?

  • Loan Period: 2 weeks
  • Item Limit: 20 items at a time; 3 books per subject
  • Holds Permitted: Yes
  • Renewals: Unlimited (unless a hold is pending or patron has outstanding fines)

Are faculty and staff allowed extended loans on General Collection materials?
Yes, faculty and staff may request extended loans on any item in the General Collection. Seneca Libraries reserves the right to recall extended loans prior to the due date.

Can I borrow materials between semesters?
Students enrolled in the term immediately following the current one may borrow material during the 2 week period between terms. Full-time students must show a copy of their timetable to staff and returning part-time students must show their registration papers. New students must wait until the first day of the term to borrow items.

Can I borrow material from the legal reference collection?
Unfortunately, items from the legal reference collection do not circulate and are for in-library use only.

Renew, Return, Recall

How can I renew my materials?
Renewals can be done online, in person at the Self Check station, or by contacting us on AskUs Live.

Where can I return my books?
Books and DVDs can be returned to any campus location.

What are recalled items?
If a hold is placed on an item that you have checked out, and if the item requested is overdue, Seneca Libraries will recall the item. When the item is returned, the requester who placed the hold will be notified and the item will be held for up to three days.

Lost or Unreturned Items

What happens if I lost or don't return an item?
Items not returned or renewed after 6 weeks past their due date will be considered lost. You will be required to pay the cost of the item plus a $6 processing fee to replace a lost item.

Other Borrowing Options

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loans (ILL) allow Seneca students, faculty and staff to borrow materials such as books (excluding textbooks), reports, theses and some periodical articles from libraries outside of Seneca College.

  • Requests: Requests may be submitted using the Interlibrary Loan Form.
  • Delivery Times: Requests take 7-15 days to arrive, with some material taking longer. If the request is time-sensitive, material from Ontario colleges may be borrowed directly, as covered by the Direct Borrowing agreement.
  • Costs: Library staff look first for free loans. If a free source is not available, loans typically cost between $5-$25. Library staff always check to confirm the cost with borrowers before ordering. All charges incurred through interlibrary loans are the responsibility of the borrower.
  • Limitations (including max. number of requests): Students can request up to 3 books and 4 periodical articles at one time. Faculty and staff can make special arrangements for loans.

Direct Borrowing from Outside Seneca

All current Seneca students, staff and faculty may borrow materials directly from Ontario Colleges through the Direct Borrowing agreement. Students who are enrolled in joint Seneca College/York University programs, and all faculty, may borrow directly from York University.

External Libraries Borrowing from Seneca

Requests may be submitted using the Interlibrary Loan Form. Reference, reserves and serials are not for loan. Seneca is a reciprocal loan institution; for full information please see Symbols and Interlibrary Loan Policies in Canada.