On May 1, 2002, Canadian university libraries agreed to extend in-person borrowing privileges to students, faculty and staff from across the country (Canadian Universities Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement – CURBA). All that is required for borrowing is a valid university identification card or a valid participating regional consortia card. Students, faculty, and staff should check with the library of their home institution to ensure they have the appropriate identification before visiting another Canadian university library.
Reciprocal borrowing privileges are determined by each lending (host) library and usually provide shorter loan periods than those available at the individual’s home library. Some library materials such as periodicals, videos, and books on course reserve may not be available for loan.
Other library services may be available in addition to borrowing privileges and some fees may apply. Students, faculty and staff should inquire at each host library regarding services available to visiting library users.
The lending library’s regulations related to loan periods, renewal and recall procedures, and fines will apply to all loans. Lost or damaged materials should be reported to the library from which the item was borrowed. Students, faculty and staff are responsible for paying any fines, lost book charges or processing charges incurred.
How do I get a reciprocal borrowing card?
A reciprocal borrowing card is supplied by the library of your home institution, i.e. the university at which you are enrolled or employed.
- If your home institution is in one of the four western provinces (B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba), you will need a COPPUL card, with an expiry date, for reciprocal borrowing. Please contact the appropriate person at your home library to obtain a COPPUL card.
- If your home institution is in Ontario, you need to present a valid library card from that institution when you borrow from another participating libraries. Ontario libraries may require collateral picture ID (preferably a driver’s license) along with your library card. Please check individual library websites for their requirements. For questions about reciprocal borrowing, please contact the appropriate person at your home library.
- If your home institution is in Quebec, you will need a BCI card with an expiry date, for reciprocal borrowing. Please contact the appropriate person at your home library to obtain a BCI card.
- If your home institution is in one of the four Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Newfoundland & Labrador), you will need an CAUL card, with an expiry date, for reciprocal borrowing. Please contact the appropriate person at your home library to obtain a CAUL card.
Graduate Students, Faculty and Staff
Graduate students, faculty and staff are entitled to borrowing privileges at participating libraries. Charges may apply. NOTE: University of Toronto introduced fees for direct borrowers on October 1, 2009.
Undergraduate students are entitled to borrowing privileges at most participating libraries.
There are some exceptions in Ontario. The University of Toronto does not lend to undergraduates from other institutions (both inside and outside Ontario). The Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) also does not lend to undergraduates except for students from Ryerson University and York University. These two universities do not lend to undergraduates from the University of Toronto.