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Omni FAQ

Frequently asked questions about what Omni is, how to use it, borrowing, and requesting books.

About Omni

What is Omni?

Omni is the search tool for the Laurier Library’s print and other collections and a subset of our electronic resources. It also contains the print and circulating collections of 17 other Ontario university libraries, which can be requested by Laurier community members for delivery.

See What does Omni search? for more information and instructions on how to see other Omni libraries’ collections.

What libraries are included in Omni?

  • Algoma University
  • Brock University
  • Carleton University
  • University of Guelph
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • McMaster University
  • Nipissing University
  • OCAD University
  • Ontario Tech University
  • University of Ottawa
  • Queen’s University
  • Trent University
  • University of Waterloo
  • Western University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • University of Windsor
  • York University

Can I access electronic articles and journals in Omni?

You can search for and access electronic articles and journals in Omni, as long as they are openly available or Laurier subscribes to them. Omni does not contain all of the Laurier Library's electronic articles and journals, though. For more comprehensive article coverage, organized by subject, see the Library's Subject guides.

Can I access electronic resources from other Omni Libraries?

Omni searches print and other circulating collections from other Omni libraries. License agreements with vendors do not allow direct access to other libraries’ electronic resources. Laurier students, faculty, and staff will continue to have access to Laurier’s licensed e-resources through Omni, as they did with Primo.

Why a shared system? 

By implementing the system together with our partner institutions, we have the common infrastructure needed to work together in new ways, share expertise, collaborate more efficiently in managing and preserving our collections, and offer broader access to resources for our communities.

Borrowing and fines

How many books can I check out?

You can borrow up to 500 books and other circulating library items.

How long can I keep my books and other items?

The standard loan period for books is 120 days for students, faculty and staff.

Some materials (for example DVDs and government documents) have different loan periods (see Borrowing policies). If someone else requests an item you have borrowed, your loan period may be shortened.

How do I renew books and other items?

You can renew library books and other circulating items online by signing into your account, or in person at the Services and Help desk at your library.

How many times can I renew a book?

There is no limit on the number of times you can renew a books as long as another patron hasn't requested the item and is waiting for it to be returned.

Can I still place holds and recalls on books?

You can still place holds on books and other circulating items, though these are now called requests. You can request books from any of the Omni libraries. See Requesting books from other libraries in Omni for instructions.

If someone else has borrowed a book you need you can request (or recall) it. Library staff will find the quickest way to get it for you.

Will Alumni still be given access to specific e-resources?

Alumni access to e-resources is unaffected; alumni will still receive access to some e-resources as per current alumni access policy.

Will community borrowers get privileges across Omni libraries?

Community borrower privileges are specific to individual libraries, and do not apply at other Omni libraries. Community borrowers registered with the Laurier Library will continue to have access to Laurier resources.

What fines will I be charged?

  • Replacement costs for lost or damaged items: If an item you borrowed is more than 30 days overdue, it will be declared lost, and you will be charged a $125. If you return the book, the fine will be removed but a non-refundable administrative fee of $25 will be applied.
  • Requested items: if someone else requests a book you have borrowed, you have 7 days to return it. After 7 days, you will be charged a fine of $4 per day to a maximum of $56. For media, fines are $10 per day to a maximum of $100.
  • Course reserves: course reserves not returned by the due date and time $0.05 per minute (for hourly loans) or $20 per day (for day loans), to a maximum of $100.

How can I pay for fines?

  • Waterloo campus: Pay by Visa or MasterCard at the Library Services and Help Desk.
  • Brantford campus: Pay by cash, debit or certified cheque at the Brantford Public Library Circulation Desk.
  • Social Work campus: Pay by Visa at the Circulation Desk.
  • Pay by phone:Speak with the service desk to pay via credit card at 519-884-0710 x3222.
Course readings (reserves) (ARES)

Will the changes affect course readings (reserves) and interlibrary loan services?

Course reserves and interlibrary loan services will not be affected by the change to Omni.

How do I search for course readings?

Please refer to the Library’s course readings (reserves) page.

Can I link to materials in Omni for my course?

When linking, copying the URL in your web browser’s address bar will not work. You need to use a permalink from the Omni record. The permalink will work for users on or off-campus. Instructions on finding permalinks and linking to Library resources can be found on the Linking to Library Resources page.

Where possible, please include full citations for course materials in addition to links, so students can locate the content by alternate means if necessary.

For more info on course readings (reserves)

Please contact the Library’s Reserves team or your Subject librarian.

How to use Omni

For tips and instructions, see Omni help resources.

My Omni account

Why do I need to sign in?

Some Omni features are only available if you sign in. You need to sign in to:

  • Request books from other libraries
  • See some electronic resources, which are not displayed unless you sign in
  • Save Favorites beyond your current browser session

How do community borrowers sign in?

If you have a community borrower card, after you select the sign in button, choose the option for Community Borrowers. The first time you sign in, use your barcode as ID and your last name as password. You'll then need to enter your ID (barcode) or email, and to create a password. After you've done this, sign into Omni using your barcode as ID and your password.

How do I access my account to renew books?

For instructions, see Renewing books in Omni.

Requesting materials from other libraries

How do I request books and other items from other libraries?

For instructions, see Requesting books from other libraries in Omni.

How long will it take for me to receive my book or item?

  • If requested from another Laurier Library location, it will be available for pick up in 1-3 business days.
  • If requested from Guelph or Waterloo (“Borrow from another Omni Library”), it will be available for pick up in 1-4 business days.
  • If requested from Omni Libraries other than Laurier, Guelph, or Waterloo, it will be processed through Interlibrary Loan (RACER) and will be available for pick up in 5-10 days.

Accessibility in Omni

Questions and help

General questions

For general questions and help using Omni, please contact your Subject librarian or the Library’s Ask Us service.

    Report a problem with Omni