Express retrieval

Woman looking at book from the hold shelf

Express retrieval is a free service where we pull items from our shelves and put them on the hold shelf for you. Use this service at our Main, Science-Engineering, Fine Arts, and Health Sciences Libraries.

How do I request items?

  1. Search the catalog
  2. From your results list, select the title you want to request
  3. Select the Request this item link (you may be prompted for NetID and password)
  4. Select the Request selected item button
  5. Choose your preferred pickup location from the drop-down
  6. Hit Submit

Who can request items?

  • UA students
  • UA faculty
  • UA staff

Your account must be in good standing (no overdue materials or outstanding fees).

What items can I request?

Most materials found on our shelves: books, bound journals, and media items (DVDs, CDs). Since most media items are locked up, you have to use Express Retrieval to borrow them. To browse online, see Find Films, Videos and DVDs.

If you just want an article or book chapter, get it faster with Document Delivery

How many items can I request?

There is no limit, but we reserve the right to process no more than ten items per person per day when there is heavy demand.

How long does it take?

Turnaround time is 24 hours, but often sooner. We pull items two times per day Monday - Friday and once on Saturday and Sunday.

How do I know when my book is ready?

You'll receive an email saying your items are "Ready for Pickup." If you're signed up, you'll also get a text message alert.

When in doubt, go to your library account and see if your item is "Ready for Pickup." If it says "Available" or "In Library," we haven't pulled it yet.

Where do I pick up my item(s)?

You'll get to select your preferred library as your pickup location when you make the request, and your email notice will confirm it. Our hold shelves are at:

  • Main Library: Across from the 1st floor Ask Us desk
  • Science-Engineering Library: 2nd Floor, near the Ask Us desk
  • Fine Arts Library: Across from the Ask Us desk, center shelving unit
  • Health Sciences Library: See staff at the Ask Us desk

Not at the Tucson campus? You can request books from the UA catalog through document delivery and we will ship them to the address in your ILLiad account.

How long will items stay on the hold shelf?

Seven days. If not picked up, we'll return the item to the regular shelves or transfer it to the next person who has it on hold.

Why does my receipt say the book is due back in seven days? I usually get three weeks.

This means someone else has also placed a hold on it, so you get a shortened check-out time. Always check your receipt for the due date.

Why did I receive an email saying that my hold was cancelled?

We will send you a cancellation notice if the item can't be found.

If we can't find an item where it's supposed to be on the shelf, we first cancel the hold to make the item MISSING. We then do a more thorough search for the book, and if found, reactivate your hold. While we're trying to track down the item, you can request it through interlibrary loan.