All library users must have a valid StMU ID card to access library materials. If you do not have an StMU ID card, please make an appointment at the main office of the Administration Building to get one.

Loan Periods
The due dates for all loaned materials are noted in your StMU Library account. Borrowers are responsible for returning library materials on or before the due date. If a hold is placed on materials that you have borrowed, you will receive an email notification and the due date will be automatically updated in your StMU Library account.

  • Main Stacks, Undersize, & Oversize Collections – have a term loan period. There is no limit on the number of books you can borrow from the StMU Library. You can borrow up to 50 items each from the University of Calgary, Ambrose University and Bow Valley College.
  • Course Reserve Items – are loaned out for 3 days, 1 day or 2 hours. However, course reserve materials are not available to community borrowers.
  • Audio Visual Collections (CD ROMs, DVDs, VHS) – are loaned out for 14 days to students and have a term loan for faculty and staff.
  • General Reserve Collections – are loaned out for 3 days to students and have a term loan for faculty and staff.
  • Journal, Reference, & Special Collections – are available for in-library use only.
  • Education Lab materials:
    • these materials are are loaned out for 3 days to StMU students, staff, and faculty; and are not available to TAL and Community Borrowers
    • kits and manipulatives must be returned to the circulation desk.

Items can be renewed up to 3 times unless another user requests an item. Borrowers must renew their items before they become overdue.

Course Reserve materials cannot be renewed online. These items must be returned to the circulation desk. However, they can be borrowed again provided no other users are waiting to borrow them.

Items may be renewed through the online catalogue. Please use your StMU credentials to log into the Library website.

All circulating materials (excluding reserves, periodicals, reference materials,) can be placed “on-hold”. If an item that you need has been borrowed by another user, you can place a request for that item at the circulation desk or by using the online catalogue.

  • There is no limit on the number of holds that you can place on materials;
  • All holds must be picked up from the library circulation desk within 5 days;
  • Users will be notified via email and their Library account when requested items become available;
  • After a hold has been placed on an item, the borrowing user has 10 days to return it to the library.

Group work and collaboration is strongly encouraged. However, as the Library has limited study space available we ask that conversation is kept at a respectable volume. For intensive group work or gatherings of a more social nature, additional group spaces are available in the LeFort Centre and Classroom building.

For those who desire quiet individual study space, study carrels are available in the basement of the LeFort Centre.

Cell phones and devices are permitted in the library. However, audible alerts are disruptive to Library users. Please:

  • make sure that your cell phone is set to silent alert or vibrate, or turned off when in the library;
  • use headphones when watching videos or listening to audio materials. If you do not have your own headphones these can be borrowed from the circulation desk;
  • conduct your phone calls away from study and group work areas; and
  • do not conduct phone calls while on speaker phone.

You can bring food and beverages into the Library. Please ensure table surfaces and your hands are clean of food debris when handling library materials. Drinks must have a lid and spill proof containers must be used around computer stations in the library. Please clean up after yourself. If any surfaces require cleaning, please notify library staff.

All Computers on the StMU campus and in the Library are intended for use in accessing the library catalogue, electronic resources, course-specific software and productivity software tools supporting academic activities.

Students are advised not to save material to the C: drive or the desktop of a computer – saved material are deleted on a daily basis. Instead save materials to My Documents of your profile on the H: drive via My Computer.

Printing in the Library is 10¢ a page for black and white printing and 30¢ for colour printing. All students have a $1.00 balance to start their printing account. After that, you will need to pay for additional printing at the library circulation desk or online at

Library research has priority on the library work stations adjacent to the Library Service Desk.

  • Library research includes searching the library catalogue, electronic reference materials, and electronic article databases.
  • If a student is using one of these workstations for purposes other than those stated above, the student may be asked to move to a workstation in the Library Computer Labs (B104 & B105).

The computer labs in the library (B104 and B105) contain a total of 56 workstations.

  • Library Computer Lab workstations in B104 & B105 are classroom resources. That is, when B104 & B105 are booked for classes, these resources will be unavailable, except to those registered in those courses.
  • When B104 & B105 are not booked for classes, you are welcome to use these workstations to access email, the library catalogue, electronic resources, course-specific software and productivity software tools supporting academic activities.

Copyright refers to a set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. Copyright does not protect ideas, only their expression.

Copyright owners have the exclusive statutory right to exercise control over copying and other exploitation of the works for a specific period of time, after which the work is said to enter the Public Domain. Uses covered under limitations and exceptions to copyright, such as Fair Dealing, do not require permission from the copyright owner. All other uses require permission. Copyright owners can license or permanently transfer or assign their exclusive rights to others.

Fair Dealing is “the right, within limits” to reproduce a substantial amount of a copyrighted work without permission from or payment to the copyright owner. The Copyright Act of Canada clearly states that Fair Dealing for the purpose of research or private study does not infringe copyright.

St. Mary’s University and the StMU Library are not responsible for copyright infringement by an individual using a photocopy machine or scanner installed on the StMU campus.
The Library provides all StMU users with access to a wide variety of materials for personal research and study. However, this DOES NOT mean that you have a licence to photocopy and distribute entire works, regardless of whether it is a book, journal, play, DVD or CD. The following policies/guidelines on this page provide information on copyright law and what kind of copying/reprographic practices are generally acceptable under law.

When checking out library materials, you are responsible for returning the materials in the same condition you found them. A charge for damaged items may be applied to a borrower’s account for the following reasons:

  • items that have been written in or highlighted;
  • torn or ripped pages in items;
  • moisture damaged items;
  • damage caused by animals;
  • broken items; and/or
  • other damage to the cover, spine or pages of items.

The replacement cost of an item and a $15 administrative fee will be added to your account if damage occurs to the library books while they are loaned out to you.

However, the Library understands that general wear-and-tear occurs with the use and storage of materials from its collection. Borrowers will not be charged damage fees as a result of natural fatigue and circulation wear-and-tear.

Academic Libraries across Canada benefit from the gifts and donations of generous donors and patrons. St. Mary’s University Library acknowledges the benefit of such gifts that have enhanced the Library’s collections in support of the learning and teaching research goals of St. Mary’s University.

What Constitutes a Gift / Donation?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Income Tax Act Guidelines “IT-297R2 Gifts in Kind to Charity & Others” a gift in kind:

  • includes capital property, depreciable property, personal-use property including listed personal property, and inventory of a business; but
  • does NOT include a gift of services.

Donation Policy
StMU Library appreciates all offers of gifts and donations. However, the Library’s mandate is to support teaching and research. Donations of books, periodicals, and other materials that do not directly support the St. Mary’s curriculum, instruction, and research needs may not be accepted. To find out more about donating to St. Mary’s University, please consult:

The Library’s Donation Policy
Giving to StMU

Donation Acceptance Guidelines
Due to volume, the library is unable to accept donations without prior review. To submit items for review please prepare a list (word doc or spreadsheet) containing the author, title, year published, and if available, ISBN for each item.

To make an inquiry please contact us.

Contact Us

When an item is overdue or fines are owed, a notice will be e-mailed to borrowers. If you have:

  • overdue items or fines totaling over $10.00 your borrowing privileges are suspended until the overdue items are returned and outstanding fines are paid down to less than $10.00; and
  • overdue items or outstanding fines of any amount, you will be blocked from registering for future semesters, receiving transcripts and requesting final grades.

Fines can be paid only against books that have already been returned to the library. If you do not return an item by the due date the fine will be:

  • $1.00 per day for 1-day, 3-day and term loan materials;
  • $1.00 per hour for 2-hour materials; and
  • $5.00 per day for recalled materials; and
  • $1.00 per day for InterLibrary Loan materials.
  • Lost materials will incur the replacement cost of the item plus a $15.00 processing fee, in addition to any overdue fines owed against the item.

Fines levied against items borrowed from the University of Calgary, Ambrose University and Bow Valley College can be paid online or at StMU Library, provided that they were borrowed using your StMU Library account. For fines attached to a community borrower or TAL card, fines must be paid at the lending institution. If you have concerns regarding a fine against books from one of these institutions you must contact the circulation staff at that institution.

Special collections materials are accessible during reading room hours. Due to the delicate nature of these materials, St. Mary’s University requests that:

  • Patrons access special collections materials one item at a time;
  • Food or Drink be left outside the Reading Room;
  • All personal backpacks and bags be left at the Reading Room door. Storage is provided;
  • No pens, post-its or highlighters are not brought into the Reading Room;
  • Patrons only use the Reading Room to access Special collections;
  • Patrons allow a Library team member to reshelve special collections materials. Return all materials to the Reading Room service desk;
  • Patrons do not photocopy special collections materials.
  • InterLibrary Loans will only be processed for patrons that have a status of OK in our library management system;
  • If a patron has fines or overdue items they must return items and pay fines prior to the ILL request being processed;
  • The Library will accept no more than 5 InterLibrary Loan Requests from one person at a time. All 5 items previously requested must be returned on time before more requests will be processed;
  • There is no charge for faculty, staff and students to request items on InterLibrary Loan;
  • InterLibrary Loans cannot be processed for Community or TAL Borrowers;
  • The Library can readily process ILL requests for materials at other Libraries in Canada, and generally North America. However, we are unable to process requests for physical materials outside of North America. Document delivery requests will be processes if the service is available;
  • The Library will process ILL requests for materials within Alberta.