About express retrieval

Woman looking at book from the hold shelf
Alert announcement

Due to COVID-19, we are no longer retrieving items from our shelves.

See the latest information at our library changes and support page.

About express retrieval

Express retrieval is a free service in which 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. Items from these libraries can also be requested to be sent to the Law Library's hold shelf.

How do I request items?

  1. Use library search to find the item you want.
  2. Be sure you are signed in (see upper right-hand corner of screen).
  3. Select the Request link in the Find It section of the item record.

It looks like this:


Who can request items?

UA students, faculty, and 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's 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 through Friday and once on Saturday and Sunday.

How will I know when my book is ready?

You'll receive an email saying your items are ready for pickup.

When in doubt, go to your library account and look at the "Requests" section to see if your book is ready.

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
  • Law Library: See staff at the circulation 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?

Ten 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 did I receive an email saying that my hold was canceled?

We'll send you a cancellation notice if we can't find the item.

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