Using Document Delivery

COVID-19 Notice (September 18th update)

We are pleased to announce that the Document Delivery Service at the Dalhousie University Libraries has resumed processing borrowing and lending requests for physical items (books, DVD’s etc).

Though the service is back and we will endeavor to fill all requests that we receive we ask that you keep in mind that many libraries are still not lending from their print collections and those that are will still be operating at reduced staffing levels so it may be more difficult and may take longer to get requested items.

If you currently have an item that we borrowed for you through Document Delivery prior to the COVID-19 shutdown please arrange to return it to any of the Dalhousie Libraries:

Killam Library (University Ave, Studley Campus)

Kellogg Library (Tupper Building, Carleton Campus)

McRae Library (Truro)

If you have any questions please contact us directly at



Types of items which may be requested

Document Delivery handles requests for material such as journal articles, books, conference proceedings and theses done at other universities. Reports, newspaper articles, microforms, DVDs and CDs are also requested although some of these items can prove difficult to borrow.

Please check Novanet for local digital holdings before submitting a Document Delivery request. If you’re not sure whether the item you need for your research can be requested please contact Document Delivery or 902-494-3612.  

Number of requests which may be submitted

Although there are no set limits on the number of requests that may be submitted at one time, staff time, other individuals’ requests and costs must be taken into consideration. If a large number of requests are received from one requester staff may stagger the processing of those requests or may consult with the requester.

If you know that you are going to be requesting a large number of items over a set period of time please contact the Document Delivery staff (902-494-3612) to discuss the options for processing your requests.

Delivery time

Delivery times vary depending on the type of material you have requested, how it is delivered to us and the location of the supplier. Books can take from 3 days to 3-4 weeks to arrive. Articles can take a few hours to 2-3 weeks to arrive.

If you have a deadline for your material please either use the “Need by date” calendar available on the web request form or add a note in the Notes field.

You can also email the staff at and they can check where the item is coming from and give you an estimated time of arrival.

Rush Requests

If you need something urgently please call 902-494-3612 and speak with a Document Delivery staff member who will be able to advise you whether this is possible.  If you have a non-urgent deadline please use the “Need by date” calendar on the web form or add a note in the Notes field.

How to Track Your Requests

  • Login to the request form
  • Select “Open Requests” from the menu on the left side of the page
  • Scroll down the page to view the request you are looking for.
  • Once you have the request on the screen you will see a grid of information generated from the document delivery system.
  • If the request is for a book and it has arrived, the due date will be given under the “Due Date” column and the “Status” column will say “On Loan”.
  • For copied material, the words “Article Sent” will appear in the “Status” column and, depending on the age of the request, a link to the scan titled “download” will appear in the “Article Link” column.

Requesting a Renewal

  • Login to the request form
  • Click “Open Requests” and scroll to the item you wish to renew. 
  • Click on the request number and look at the bottom right-hand corner of the request record for the “Message” link.  Send a message asking for the renewal.  

Canceling requests

  • Login to the request form
  • Select “Open Requests” from the menu on the left side of the page
  • Scroll down the page to view the request you want to cancel.  Click on the “Cancel” link in the lower right-hand corner of the request window.
  • Or, you can send an email to the Document Delivery staff

Contact Document Delivery

If you have any questions regarding document delivery please contact the Department.