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Ask a Librarian FAQ's: Home

Searching for information
LibrarySearch helps you find resources including books, e-books, course reserve, full-text journal articles, videos, databases and RMIT research publications.
  • Log in to LibrarySearch and type your keywords that best describe your topic.
  • In your search results, use the options on the left of screen to refine your results.
  • Place a hold if the item is on loan or you need to collect it from another campus library.
To place a hold, you need to be logged in to LibrarySearch.
For additional information on LibrarySearch, go to LibrarySearch videos or Help with LibrarySearch.
For additional information on other places to search, have a look at the subject guide for your area of study.

Use LibrarySearch to look for a specific title.

  • Type the whole title as a phrase (inside double quotation marks) into the search box. Select "Books and multimedia" from the drop down box and press enter. E.g.: “Style manual”
  • If not found it can be worth trying again by removing the quotation marks, using just a few keywords from the title and adding the author’s name.
  • Once you have found the correct item, if it is available as an ebook, use the ‘Online access’ link to view.
  • For physical books, check the availability, and note the call number. Use the map link to show where to find it on the shelf. 
  • If the item is on loan or at another campus, place a hold via the link under the locations heading. You need to be logged into LibrarySearch to place a hold and access online resources.
For additional information, go to LibrarySearch videos or Help with LibrarySearch or Help with ebooks, or our self paced guide, How to find books
If you have the citation details of the article, a quick way to see if the Library has it is by doing a phrase search. This type of search uses the exact wording of the title, and has double quotation marks immediately before and after it.
  • Go to LibrarySearch and log in.
  • In the search box, enter the exact title of the article, enclosing it with double quotation marks. E.g. "Consumer rights awareness of young Australians".
  • If this search doesn't find the article, check that:
    • you have entered the title without leaving out any words, and
    • there are no spelling errors.
  • If this search doesn’t find the article, search for it in Google Scholar (found under the heading “Launch” on the Library’s home page). Enter the same search that you used in LibrarySearch.

For additional information, go to our self paced guide, How to find journal articles.

The Library has a limited collection of exam papers. They are available online and in print. To find them follow these steps :
  • Go to the Library’s home page.
  • In the search box, enter the word ‘exam’ and the course code, e.g. exam MIET2116.
  • If the exam you want is online, click on the “online access” link.
  • You may have to log in to the Learning Repository (Equella) to see the link to download the PDF .
  • If it is in print, click on the “Available at..." link to see the Library location. It will be in the Reserve Collection.
  • Sometimes, a course may have had a change to the course code used in previous years. So, you can also try searching by course name, e.g. exam "Mechanical Design 1".
For additional information, go to Past examination papers.

Search for e-books in LibrarySearch.
If searching by topic, you can limit your results list by choosing Resource Type 'ebooks'. 

  • Open e-books by selecting the 'Online access' link. If there is more than one version, 'see all versions' and then the 'Online access' link.
  • In the View Online section of the record, click on the link that appears next to 'Full text available at...' Note any additional notes.
  • Use your RMIT ID and password when asked to login.
  • Ebooks can be read online or downloaded ('borrowed') to read offline.

You can also browse the Library's main e-Book collections from our Databases A-Z page.

Note, not all books are commercially available as e-books. ;When a title has been published as an e-book, the Library purchases program-relevant titles within budget parameters.

For additional information, go to our e-books guide

There are 3 options to track down a title we don't have.

  • Use Document Delivery Services
    You can request items held outside of RMIT University Library collections through our Document delivery service. Login to LibrarySearch and select 'Document Delivery' from the options at the top of the screen. A request form will open. Fill in as much detail as you have and submit.
    You can check or cancel your requests in your My Library Account via LibrarySearch. They will be listed under 'Holds'.
    You will receive an email when the item is available for you.
    Loans from other libraries and postal loans are not available to students and staff residing overseas (offshore)
    For additional information, go to Document Delivery
  • Borrow it yourself
    You may find the item is at another organisation's library service and you can then borrow it yourself. Access our page on other library catalogues  to research which other library has the book. If it is held at another academic library, you may be able to borrow from them using a CAVAL card.
  • Use CAVALborrow
    Another option is to request the book using a service called CAVALborrow. Log into LibrarySearch and search for the book you want. If we don't hold it, select the CAVAL borrow button and choose the RMIT Library site you wish to collect the book from.

For additional information, go to borrowing from other libraries or try our self paced guide, How to obtain items from other libraries.

Borrowing, renewals and holds

Your RMIT University student card is also your library borrowing card. Staff will need a barcode from the library to borrow print books. If you need assistance placing holds, contact the Ask a Librarian service

To borrow physical items from the Library, scan your card and the item using one of the self-checkout units.

More information on borrowing can be found on the borrowing page.

E-books can be read online or downloaded ('borrowed') to read offline. Use your RMIT ID and password to download.

For additional information on e-books, go to our e-books guide.

  • at another Library site?

  • already on loan?

  • in “off-site storage”

You can place a hold on a physical item at another site or an item already on loan.

  • Search LibrarySearch and select the title of the item you wish to borrow. Open the record fully by clicking on the title to view the details
  • If you haven't already, login to LibrarySearch. You will return to your search page
  • Under the ‘ Locations ’ heading, locate 'HOLD OPTIONS:' Once you have logged in, you should also see the 'Place a Hold' link.
  • Select the location you wish to pick up the item from and press 'Submit'.
  • You will receive an e-mail when the hold is ready for you to pick up. Items are kept on the ‘hold’ shelf, alphabetically under your family name. You’ll have 7 days to collect and borrow the item.
  • More information on borrowing can be found on the borrowing conditions page

Note: Items from Temporary Off-site storage generally arrive within one business day. Available items arriving from one site to another generally arrive within two days. (Items with the location of "Off-site storage" can only be borrowed by placing a hold)

We have a system of automatic renewals. We will automatically renew your items 3 days before the due date, provided:
  • There are no holds placed on these items.
  • You have not reached your maximum borrowing time.
    RMIT students and staff - 12 months
    CAVAL and Special Borrowers - 3 months
  • Your accrued fine is less that $25 for students, or $50 for staff

If there are holds placed on any of the items, or if you’ve reached your maximum borrowing time, you will receive a library notice. Please return these items by the due date in the notice.
All other items will be automatically renewed unless your account is blocked due to overdues or fines. You can also manually renew items via your My Library Account after logging into LibrarySearch.

For additional information, go to More information on renewals or take a look at our  Borrowing brochure

Log in to LibrarySearch. Select the item to view the details. Under the  ‘ Locations ’ heading, locate 'HOLD OPTIONS:' and the 'Place a Hold' link. This link will only be visible if you are logged into LibrarySearch.

Select the Library location you wish to pick up the item from and press ‘ Submit ’

You will receive an e-mail when the hold is ready for you to pick up. Items are stored on the ‘hold’ shelf, alphabetically under your family name. You have 7 days to collect and borrow the item.

For assistance or to change a pickup location, contact us via Ask a Librarian. To cancel a hold request, login to LibrarySearch and hover over your name in the top right hand corner, to see My Library Account.

Staff need to have a barcode attached to their staff card to borrow print books. Library staff can issue the barcode when you collect your hold.

For additional information, go to the Holds page.

General questions
Please check the Library website for the current opening hours and locations. There is a calendar available for each site.
Bundoora East

Yes, there is lots of help available. The Easy Cite Referencing tool provides guidance and examples for the Harvard, APA, AGLC and Vancouver styles and IEEE styles.. We also have 'referencing guides' available via the Library website. Our online referencing tutorials, such as in the Learning Lab, and in iSearch may also be helpful. You can contact your teaching staff for help and Library staff can also provide basic referencing advice.

For additional information, go to our self paced guide, Find out about referencing, our other referencing tutorials and the Harvard referencing guide for Visual Materials. Individual subject guides may also have referencing advice for your area of study.

Scholarly articles are in-depth, accurate, well researched, written by academics, and published in academic journals. They are good and credible sources of information because the articles have been through a peer-review process. This process involves formal evaluation by equally qualified academics and experts.

Some databases will give you the option to only see results in your search from 'peer reviewed' or 'scholarly' journals.

If you want to know if the article you have found is in a scholarly and/or peer reviewed journal, use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. The video and handout will show you how:

How to tell if a journal is scholarly (video)
How to use Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (PDF)

Prefer to speak to someone?
Talk to library staff at a service desk or chat with a Librarian via Ask a Librarian.
A librarian may be able to sort out the problem or find an alternative source for you.

Need some tips on using LibrarySearch?
Try the search tips and video tutorials on the Help with LibrarySearch page or our self paced online library tutorials.

Having access problems from off-campus?
Check the Troubleshooting Access to Online Collections page for instructions

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