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Borrower Services Guidelines: Home

Borrower Services Guidelines

Originator: Seneca Libraries, User Services Team
Approved By: Joy Muller, Director, Libraries, Learning Centres & Test Centres
Last Updated: January 12, 2024


Seneca Libraries Borrower Services guidelines outline the permissions and responsibilities associated with borrowing materials from the library's physical collection.

Who Can Borrow?

All students and employees currently registered with Seneca can borrow library material and access online resources using a valid Seneca ID (OneCard). Please note that these ID's are non-transferable.

Loan Periods

Materials from the General Collection 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 fees)

Are employees allowed extended loans on General Collection materials?
Yes, employees 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. Students must show a copy of their timetable or proof of registration to staff. New students must wait until the first day of the term to borrow items.

Can I borrow reference materials? 
Reference materials (e.g., 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 SelfCheck station, or by contacting us on AskUs Live.

Where can I return my books?
Books can be returned to any campus library 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 seven days.

Lost or Unreturned Items

When are items considered lost?  
Items not returned or renewed after 8 weeks past their due date will be considered lost. Seneca Libraries allows for unlimited renewals of items unless a hold is pending or a student has outstanding lost items. Scheduled email notifications are sent out to remind students to renew or return borrowed items.  

What happens if I lost or don't return a library item? 
When an item is considered lost (after 8 weeks), a block is placed on your library account and your i3 student record. These blocks will be removed when you pay the replacement fees for the lost item.  

The block on your library account means that you will not be able to borrow additional items from the library’s collection.  

What are replacement fees? 
Replacement fees are the amount that the library pays to purchase a new copy of the lost item plus the costs associated with processing that new item. 

Replacement fees are determined by the current market value of the item plus a non-refundable $10 processing fee for each lost item. 

How can I pay? 
Replacement fees can be paid via your OneCard in person at King, Newnham, Seneca@York, and SIA libraries. Students who wish to pay online can contact the library via our Ask Us Live chat service. 

What happens if I find a lost item after paying the replacement fees? 
If you find the lost item, you may be eligible for a refund of the replacement fee if you meet the following criteria: 

  • The item is returned within four months of the date of payment  

  • The item is deemed to be in good condition by library staff 

  • You are a current Seneca student 

Refunds must be charged back to your OneCard. Please note that the $10 processing fee is non-refundable.  

Why is the processing fee non-refundable? 
The library incurs costs when replacing a lost item regardless of whether that item is later found and returned. Processing fees cover the costs that the library pays to acquire, ship, label and catalogue items purchased for the collection.  

I’m certain that I returned the lost item. What can I do?  
You can contact the library via Ask Us Live to discuss any concerns over an item marked as lost in your account.  

Other Borrowing Options

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loans (ILL) allow all students and employees currently registered with Seneca to borrow materials such as books, reports, theses and some periodical articles from libraries outside of Seneca Polytechnic.

  • 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. 

Direct Borrowing from Outside Seneca

All students and employees currently registered with Seneca may borrow materials directly from Ontario Colleges through the Direct Borrowing agreement. Students who are enrolled in joint Seneca Polytechnic/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 materials, audio-visual items, and serials are not for loan. Seneca is a reciprocal loan institution; for full information please see Symbols and Interlibrary Loan Policies in Canada.