Borrowing Policies and Procedures

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Access Services Department

The Access Services Department is responsible for the following services:

  • Circulation
  • Course Reserves
  • Document Delivery
  • Inter-Library Lending
  • Novanet Express

Location: directly across from the main entrance. (See map for location)


  • Borrowers are responsible for the replacement costs of lost and /or damaged items, fines incurred and processing fees.
  • Damage to or loss of library material must be reported to the Access Services Desk.
  • Registered students may request that their fines be transferred to the StFX Business Office for payment.


  • All registered students, faculty and staff at St. Francis Xavier University are eligible to borrow library material. This includes retired faculty.
  • Alumni and members of the community, eighteen years of age or older, may apply for a borrower's card at the Access Services Desk. Two pieces of ID are required.
  • The StFX library card is free of charge and enables the user to access materials available in the library's collection and online catalogue.
  • Remote access to electronic library resources is restricted to StFX faculty, students and staff.

NOTE: Please have your card updated at the Access Services Desk.

CAAL Cards

The Council of Atlantic Academic Libraries (CAAL) borrowers' card allows StFX students and faculty in-person borrowing privileges from libraries outside of the Novanet consortia (See complete list of Novanet member libraries). This enables individuals living outside of the province, or traveling within the country to borrow from local university libraries.

For more information about the CAAL borrower's cards, please read this document.

For more information on the Canadian University Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement (CURBA), please see the following: CURBA

Please visit the Access Services Desk of the Angus L. Macdonald Library to apply for a CAUL borrower's card or contact

Course Reserves

The Course Reserves collection is designed to provide short-term access to required course readings. Articles and books are held at the Circulation Desk. Faculty may place books on 3-Hour, 1-Day, or 3-Day reserve. Photocopies may be placed on 3-Hour reserve only.

Reserve forms are available:



  • From the Circulation Desk of the Angus L. Macdonald Library
  • From your Library Collection Coordinators


Phone: 902-867-5345
Text: 902-908-0632

Course Reserves: Faculty Guidelines

  • Please limit the number of items for each course to a maximum of 50.
  • A maximum of four copies per individual item will be accepted unless a demand is demonstrated.
  • Reserve items should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of classes to ensure that material is available for the beginning of term.
  • Faculty members are responsible for retrieving and providing items to be placed on reserve.
  • Forms must be filled out for items placed on reserve or removed from the Course Reserves collection.
  • The following information is required for Course Reserves:
    • Monographs: Author, Title, & Call number
    • Journal Articles: Author, Title of Article & Journal Source (i.e., Journal Title, Volume, Issue, Pagination & Date)
  • Items to be placed on Course Reserves from other institutions may take up to six weeks to be delivered. Please contact us as soon as possible if your item is not available from our collection.
  • Photocopied material must abide by the Copyright Act and the CanCopy agreement. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to obtain written permission from the author/publisher before material which exceeds the Copyright guidelines can be placed on reserve. A copy of these guidelines is available at the Circulation Desk and on the Bookstore CanCopy information page.
  • Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received.
  • Requests that do not follow these guidelines may be returned.
  • All reserve material will be returned at the end of each academic session.
  • Paper copies of electronic journal articles, to which we have access, will NOT be placed on reserve.
  • Articles submitted to Course Reserves will be checked for electronic availability. The URL and database name will be emailed to faculty to forward to their students.

Courtesy Notices

As a courtesy to our patrons, notices are emailed one week before items are due.

The following is a notice schedule for overdue items:

  • 1st OVERDUE NOTICE: on the 6th day
  • 2nd OVERDUE NOTICE: on 9th day
  • 3rd OVERDUE NOTICE: on the 12th day
  • BFR (Bill for replacement of the item): on the 14th day.

Please ensure that the library has a current email address.

Document Delivery

Also known as Interlibrary Loans (ILL), the Document Delivery department supports the instructional and research needs of the St. Francis Xavier University community by borrowing materials which are not available within the libraries at StFX. Document Delivery also participates in lending our resources to other institutions.

Requesting Material

Please use our online web form to initiate a document delivery request (barcode and phone number required).

If a problem arises, please contact us for assistance.

Status check

You may use the RELAIS web form to keep track of the progress of your requests or you can call 902-867-2421 or email for assistance.

Materials Availability:

Some items are not available via Document Delivery. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Reference books
  • Specialized collections
  • Rare items
  • Most audiovisual materials


  • Fines are no longer charged for materials owned by StFX, however replacement charges will still apply should StFX materials be lost or damaged while in your possession.
  • Items belonging to other libraries not returned or renewed on or before the due date are subject to overdue fines and/or replacement charges as outlined below. Please consult with the lending library as to the fine amounts and schedules on their materials
  • Patrons will be notified by email or mail when items are overdue.
  • The non-receipt of overdue or recall notices does not relieve the borrower from liability or sanctions.
  • A total of three overdue notices will be sent. If the third notice does not result in the material being returned a Bill for Replacement (BFR) will be sent to the individual.
  • Borrowing privileges are automatically suspended when amounts outstanding reach $20.00.
    • Note: these charges can be incurred from any of the NOVANET libraries.
  • Fines may be paid at the main service desk of the Angus L. Macdonald Library, or any of the Novanet member libraries. 

Food and Beverage Policy

The consumption of food is allowed within the Library, but it is the responsibility of each user to remove their garbage to the receptacles provided.  We ask everyone to respect our space and keep it clean for all users. 


If one of our books is checked out to another patron or if the book you need is available but you can't make it to the library right away, you may be able to place a hold on the item (certain conditions apply).

More information about holds.

International Baccalaureate Students

The Angus L. Macdonald Library is very pleased to extend access to their collections and services at no charge to all IB students in the area as external borrowers. The following are privileges and conditions.

Borrowing privileges:

General Loan period -- 3 weeks

Renewal is possible on all materials for which no other borrower is waiting
Borrowing is limited to two books per subject
Holds may be placed on materials that are currently signed out
Searches – request searches for material that you are unable to locate
Photocopying and printing – a visitor’s debit card may be purchased at the Access Services Desk.

Please note: Electronic databases including full-text journal databases - In library use only.


A valid Student I.D. card must be presented to exercise borrowing privileges
Seating / Study Space – Priority is given to St. Francis Xavier University students.
Use of reserve material, Novanet Express, document delivery and recalls is not available.
Fines are charged on overdue materials (25 cents /day for regular material and $1.00/day on recalled material).

Loan Periods

Loan periods depend upon the type of material as well as the status of the card holder. Some categories of patrons have different privileges. Books may be renewed up to three times.

Students, Staff and StFX Library Card Borrowers:

  • BOOKS: circulate for 3 weeks
  • CDs: circulate for 3 days
  • DVDs and Videos: circulate for 1 day
  • BOUND PERIODICALS: For use in the library only, but may be copied within copyright restrictions.
  • RESERVE: collection consists of articles/books which circulate for 3 hours, 24 hours and 3 days

Faculty (including non-StFX faculty):

  • BOOKS: The set period for books is a term loan (January 30th, May 30th & September 30th) which may be renewed up to three times. At the end of that period the book must be returned.
  • CDs, DVDs and Videos: may be borrowed for a limited time period.
  • BOUND PERIODICALS: may be borrowed for photocopying purposes.
  • CURRENT PERIODICALS: may be borrowed by staff and faculty for seven days. Current issues must be signed out at the Circulation Desk.

Graduate Students:

  • BOOKS: The set period for books is a term loan (January 30th, May 30th & September 30th) which may be renewed up to three times. At the end of that period the book must be returned.
  • CDs: circulate for 3 days
  • DVDs and Videos: circulate for 1 day
  • BOUND PERIODICALS: For use in the library only, but may be copied within copyright restrictions.

Off Campus Borrowers:

  • BOOKS: circulate for 3 weeks
  • CDs, DVDs and Videos: For use in the library.
  • BOUND PERIODICALS For use in the library only, but may be copied within copyright restrictions.
  • RESERVE: do not circulate to off campus borrowers


Detailed information about photocopying within the Angus L. Macdonald Library.


All library materials that circulate are subject to recall by another patron.

  • If a book you have borrowed is recalled, you will be notified of the new due date (10 days from the date of the recall). Fines for late return of recalled books are $1.00 per day per item.
  • Recalls must be placed at the Access Services Desk.
  • The recall option reduces the loan period for the person holding the book, so this should only be used if no alternative options are available. When the book is returned you will be notified. The item will be held at the Access Services desk for seven (7) days.


  • Books may be renewed online or by bringing them and your library card to the Access Services Desk.
  • To renew online, login to your library account and select the item/s you wish to renew. Items must be renewed on or before the due date indicated on the back of your book.
  • Books may be renewed for three weeks, if no holds or recalls are in place.
  • All member libraries within Novanet have a limit of three renewals with the exception of the Kellogg and the Dalhousie Law Libraries which allow two renewals.

Retrieval Requests

We provide daily retrieval of library materials from our limited access areas (i.e., Basement, Serials Office, and Remote Storage areas).

  • Material from these areas is for use In the library only.
  • Forms are available at the Access Services Desk.
  • Please refer questions to Acess Services staff or to a Reference Librarian.
  • Unsigned requests will not be filled.
  • All requested materials are held for seven (7) days.

*Please note that we will make every effort to retrieve items right away, however you may be asked to pick up your request at a later time if staff are not available.

Return, Renew & Pay Anywhere

StFX patrons may return books, renew books and pay fines incurred, at any of the Novanet Libraries.

We are unable to accept payment for fines from libraries outside of Novanet.

A complete list of Novanet Libraries may be found through the following link:

Returning Materials

  • Library materials must be returned on or before the date and/or time due.
  • Items must be returned to the Access Services Desk. These can be placed in one of the two book drops at the front desk or items may be left in the 24 hour ‘Book Drop' located at the front entrance of the library.

Study Rooms

Information on how to reserve a study room.


If you are unable to find an item in the library stacks and "in library" appears in the status line in the library catalogue, please fill out a tracer request at the Access Services Desk. You will be asked to provide a 'need by' date and we will notify you when the item is found.