Category Archives: requests

Welcome back!

Welcome to all of our new and returning students, staff and faculty.

The library is offering a series of workshops about library services and resources for all interested students in 2017.  Please see our website for more details and to register:

There is help available at the Wesbter and Vanier reference desks and on ask-a-librarian live chat:

Please note, Webster’s LB4 is now closed and is set to reopen in Fall 2017.  The books from LB4 are being sent to offsite storage, from which faculty, staff and students can request their retrieval, starting Jan 12, 2017.  For more details about the LB4 book move and storage, please consult our website:

A reminder that details about all library renovations are available on the Webster Library Transformation blog: 

We hope you have a great winter semester!

Paper wraps on public holds at Webster Library

You wrote:

I see that for requested items (e.g. items on the holds shelf), an entire piece of paper is wrapped around the book. I think this is incredibly wasteful, especially given that some people request items but end up not needing them, meaning that even more paper is wasted. I think it would be better to just include a receipt-sized piece of paper in the book with the student’s last name/ID digits. It would probably save you money, too.

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the paper used in processing holds placed on the Webster Public Holds Shelf. You express a valid concern and we appreciate your feedback regarding the sustainability of Concordia Libraries’ services.

Your suggestion was discussed at a recent meeting about circulation services, but for the time being it has been decided to maintain this process as is. There are a couple reasons for this:

–          The sheets of paper, which include information to allow patrons to recognize their holds, are generated by the Library Management System (LMS) and there is at present not a lot of leeway for adjusting the formatting of the print-outs

–          More importantly  though, the paper is wrapped around the spine of books to make it hard for patrons to browse books others have placed on reserve. Because books are shelved in a public space, we believe this is important in order to maintain the self-service aspect of the public holds shelf.

Please know that we try to make sure that this paper is subsequently recycled or re-used as scrap paper. We will keep your comments in mind when the opportunity presents itself to review this service.

Andréa Harland, Chair, Circulation Services Committee


Public holds

You wrote:

Dear Concordia Library,

I would like to comment on the Public Hold Shelf system that was put in place at the end of the summer. Since its inception, books have gone missing.

Specifically, I can cite 3 books which I had checked out, which were recalled by another user, and then which subsequently, upon my returning them to the library as required, had gone “missing” when I later tried to access them through the library. These books are still listed as “missing” on the library database – and who knows when or if they will turn up.

When this happens once, it’s unfortunate. But when it happens 3 times to 3 related texts, it makes me think that others are abusing the public hold shelf for their own gain or for mischief.

Further, the “code” on the books is not exactly anonymous (again, allowing books/users to be targeted).  A random letter/number would be a better option. Finally, the elastic bands and paper is, while perhaps an easy option for library staff, also an embarrassing solution in this day and age.

While I understand that some users prefer the convenience of having the holds accessible, I believe that you could give users a preference of having their book held publicly or having it held behind the desk.  ILL books are already held behind the desk, why can’t Concordia books also be, like they were previously?

Please do something about public holds!

Thank you for sending us comments about this pilot project.

I believe that the main objectives of this service are to encourage students to use the holds option and to not have to wait in lengthy line-ups to pick up the items once they are ready for them. You mention that you know of three books that went missing after they were recalled by another user. Unfortunately, library books go missing for a variety of reasons and in these three cases, we cannot assume that it is because of the public holds shelf.

In coming up with the letter-number code, we were trying to come up with a compromise between using a user-friendly code and a strictly anonymous one. Our goal is to encourage students to use the system and if the code is difficult to remember, that may discourage them. Using elastics and paper is considered to be the simplest and most effective identifying method available.

It would be nice to give students the choice between mediated or self-service. Unfortunately, a dual system would be too cumbersome to manage.

Perhaps in the future, with building renovations, we may be able to keep these books in a seperate room, like the Webster Reserves Room, with a gate. This would allow for self-service and yet provide some level of security, so that no one could pull something off and walk off with it without checking it out.

We appreciate any feedback about this and all our services.

Select Books Closer to Home

You wrote:

It would be convenient if the system could automatically pick a copy of a book available in the library corresponding to the circulation desk where the book is supposed to be held. For example, I requested a copy of a book to be held at the SGW circulation desk, and there are two copies available at Webster, but the system chose to assign me the Vanier copy. It is not very convenient, especially on weekends when there are no trucks going from Loyola to the downtown campus.

Thanks for the suggestion.  As you stated, currently if a book is requested through CLUES and there are copies available at each campus library, the copy on the campus specified as pick-up location will not automatically be the one chosen by the system.   It certainly would make sense for CLUES to assign copies of requested items in this way – a possible systems enhancement, though further investigation and testing would of course be necessary first.  On the whole, though, the problem you describe will not occur very often:  duplication of books between Webster and Vanier is quite rare, at least for newer items in the collection. Thanks again for bringing up this interesting point.

For more details about using the CLUES Request option, see our info page.

Ideal book not on the shelf

You wrote:

I was doing some research on genocide prevention and found an ideal book which of course, was not on the shelf, though according to CLUES, it was. However, I found an online version that it would be great if you could add onto the library site for this book, as that saved me a lot of hassle. It’s called “Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities: International Norms
and U.S Policy” and the link is  Hope this can help someone else!

Thanks for letting us know about this. Doesn’t it feel like that is always the way? You find the perfect book, CLUES tells you “Availability: IN LIBRARY”, but when you go to find the item on the shelf  it isn’t there!  It’s nice to hear that in your case the publisher is actually offering a free version of this particular book online — a link to it has been added in CLUES as per your suggestion.

For anyone faced with a similar predicament, but without the good fortune of finding a legitimate version online, here are some tips that might help:

  1. Ask for assistance at the Information/Reference desk. Sometimes it turns out that the book is actually there on the shelf, and that you simply misunderstood what CLUES was trying to tell you. Librarians and staff at the Desk can let you know if that is the case.
  2. Look up the book in CLUES and use the online Request link to initiate a search and reserve the book for yourself if found. (Just don’t use a computer workstation from within the library in which the book belongs, as the Request link will not appear there. Any other computer will work, including your laptop, phone, or a library laptop.) I used the Request link to initiate a search for the book mentioned here, and it has now been declared MISSING in CLUES. In the coming weeks and months the book will be searched again several times, and if not found, declared LOST in CLUES.
  3. If the book you want does turn out to be missing or lost, you can request it from another library by using our InterLibrary Loans/COLOMBO form, or you can ask for a CREPUQ card at the Circulation desk and go borrow the book in person if it is available at another local library.

Hope some of this helps!

Cancelling “requests” made in CLUES

You wrote:

Sur la page ”Clues Library Catalogue”, il serait bien d’avoir une page où l’on pourrait voir les livres que l’on a ”request” et ainsi pouvoir les annuler si le
besoin est.

Merci pour votre suggestion. En fait, en vous connectant à MyCLUES, vous avez accès a votre dossier d’usager, incluant toutes vos demandes de réservation (“requests”). Ainsi, vous pouvez les annuler n’importe quand.

Thank you for your suggestion.  In fact, if you login to MyCLUES, there is a page there where you can see all your requests and you can cancel them at any time.

When is my book due?

You wrote:

Good day. I am a little confused about the return date of a book I had checked out. The print out form I received when I took the book out was due to be returned on 27-03-10. I received a message from you stating I needed to return the book on 20-03-10. How is this possible when I have the receipt saying that the book is due back the 27th. I took the book out on 06-03-10 and I have yet to begin to read it.  How did I go from the 27 to the 2oth!!!!

It looks like the book you borrowed has been requested by another student. This can happen. Our loan system is designed so that students can equitably share library resources that may be needed by more than one student.

A book that one student borrows can be requested by another student. It means that the first student may be asked to bring their book back a little earlier than the original loan period of three weeks. You will always be guaranteed two weeks with the book. If someone else requests your book, you will receive an email from the library. The due date of your book may change as a result of the request. The email you receive will advise you of the due date. When you get the message from the library that your book has been requested by another student, you will have at least 4 days to return it to the library.

If no other student requests your book, you get it for the full three weeks.  You can even renew it up to three times.

You can keep track of when all your books are due by checking your library account in MyCLUES.

Maximum number of requests

In our library catalogue, CLUES, you can request up to ten books at a time.

One person sent us a potential improvement to make with the online

When you try to make an online request for more than 10 books, a very ambiguous/misleading message pops up saying “THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR LIBRARY RECORD, PLEASE SEE A LIBRARIAN.” One librarian I spoke to thought it may have happened due to an overdue book/fine (no); another one thought that the cookies in my browser should be deleted (no). The problem is that I’ve exceeded the maximum number of requests
allowed by the syetm but the message does not say that, and most of the circulation staff also didn’t know that either. Change the message to reflect the reality!

Thanks, we would really like to change that message to reflect different realities! We understand it can be confusing. Unfortunately, this is a system-generated message which occurs when a variety of situations are encountered, such as when someone has fines or when someone has reached the maximum number of requests. A number of libaries using this system have asked for the ability to change the message, and we hope it will be more customizable in the future.  Thank you for writing, and we are sorry for the inconvenience.

Animation Books

You wrote:

Hi, I wanted to know why half the animation related collection is at the Vanier Library when the school of animation, as a part of the Cinema School is downtown. It’s very hard to use any of them as quick reference when you have to request them every time you need to consult them and then have to wait a day or two to actually get the book.

Some books on animation are housed at the Vanier Library because they have been purchased to support courses and research in Communication Studies, a department that is on the Loyola campus. Many books in the Libraries’ collections have relevance to students on both campuses. It sounds like you are already familiar with the “Request” feature in the CLUES catalogue, which is the best way (other than the shuttle bus!) to get the library books you need when they are at the other campus.

Thank you for writing.

Placing a request on a book

You wrote:

Hello, I’m a student at Concordia University, and I’m trying to reserve a book Essentials of negotiation /Roy J. Lewicki … [et al.]  3rd ed but I can’t . The request verification inform me  that:  Sorry, only Concordia students, faculty, staff & some CREPUQ users may place holds.  I need this book, so what do I have to do?
Thank you.

Sorry you are having difficulty requesting this book.  Please get in touch with the Circulation Desk at 514-848-2424, ext. 7706, or you can e-mail  In  order for us to know what might be preventing you from making that request, we’ll need you to get in touch with us so we can look up your file. I hope you can get the book soon.

For other students out there who might have a specific question about a particular item they are trying to request or borrow, it might be faster to contact the Circulation Desk directly, especially since we will need your ID number in order to see what might not be working.