Place a HOLD in TOPCAT

Note: The information on this page has been updated to reflect changes during our temporary relocation, April 2017 - May 2018.

During this time, Bata Library collections are stored in temporary off-site locations and items can be requested using HOLD.
The "Bata Library" pickup location should be selected to have items delivered to the temporary Bata Service Point.

In TOPCAT, you place a HOLD on an item for one of two reasons:

  1. it's at a different library location and you want it delivered to your location, or
  2. it's signed out to someone and you want to borrow it when it's returned.

Start by searching TOPCAT for items of interest.

Search TOPCAT (opens in a new tab)

When you find a holdable item in TOPCAT, you'll see an option to "Place a HOLD". This triggers a process, depending on the item's current status.

The Item is at a Different Library Location

We have two library branches: Bata and Durham. (During the 2017-18 renovations, Bata Library items are stored in temporary off-site locations and they can be requested using HOLD.)  The Library has a process in place to move material between locations, using the HOLD feature in TOPCAT.

After locating a specific item in TOPCAT:

  1. Click the HOLD link for the item.
  2. Input your user ID and PIN, as prompted.
  3. Select a pickup location:
    • "Oshawa Branch" for Durham,
    • "Bata Library" for Peterborough.
  4. Click "Place Hold".
  5. TOPCAT informs you of the status of your hold.

HOLD items can be picked up at the Service Desk of the receiving location. They can be returned to either location.

While items are moving, their location will indicate they are IN TRANSIT.

When your item is available for pickup, you're sent an email with complete instructions.  You can check the status of your HOLD online anytime. If you experience a problem with this process, see "Having Problems Placing a HOLD?", below.

The Item is Signed Out

You can be placed in a queue to borrow an item that's currently signed out to someone else.  It will become available either:

  • at the end of the normal two-week loan period, by preventing the user from renewing it and initiating higher fine rates, or
  • by recalling the item if it's been signed out by the same person for at least two weeks, and initiating high fine rates.

If more than one person places a HOLD on an item, the first person is offered it when it's available.  If s/he doesn't pick it up within 5 days, it goes to the next person on the list. Check the status of your HOLD to see where you are in the queue.

After locating a specific item in TOPCAT:

  1. Click the HOLD link for the item.
  2. Input your user ID and PIN, as prompted.
  3. Select a pickup location.
    • "Oshawa Branch" for Durham,
    • "Bata Library" for Peterborough.
  4. Click "Place Hold".
  5. TOPCAT informs you of the status of your hold.

HOLD items can be picked up at the Service Desk of the receiving location. They can be returned to either location.

While items are moving, their location will indicate they are IN TRANSIT.

When your item is available for pickup, you're sent an email with complete instructions.  You can check the status of your HOLD online anytime. If you experience a problem with this process, see "Having Problems Placing a HOLD?", below.

Check the Status of a HOLD

Once you have placed a HOLD on an item, you can check the status to see when it is available.

In TOPCAT:

  1. Click on "Library Account" in the menu.
  2. Select "Review My Account".
  3. Input your ID and PIN, as prompted.
  4. Click on "Display User Information".
  5. TOPCAT will display each item you have on HOLD, and what position you are in on the waiting list.
  6. If you decide not to wait for the item, you can cancel your HOLD from this screen.

When the item becomes available for you, an email is sent to the email address we have on file for you with instructions on where to pick it up.  The item will be kept for you for 5 days after it becomes available.  After 5 days, the item goes to the next person on the list or returns to its home location.

Having Problems placing a HOLD?

Special Items

Some special items don't accept a HOLD, such as Reserve items or those that can't be signed out. 

  • Normally TOPCAT doesn't provide a HOLD option for these
  • TOPCAT might reject your request.
  • Contact Client Support if you need further information or assistance.

Location

Durham students can't place a HOLD on an item that's currently available at the Durham Branch. These items are first-come, first-served and can't be reserved.

External borrowers

Normally, only current students, faculty, and staff have the option to place a HOLD in TOPCAT.  During the 2017-18 Bata renovations, "External Borrowers" must follow the "Special Instructions" on the relevant page:

Current Periodical Issues

Current Periodicals are recent issues of journals.  TOPCAT doesn't allow a HOLD to be placed on a single issue.  During the 2017-28 Bata renovations, email your request for a current issue and we'll process it manually.  The email should provide the following details about what you need:

  • Periodical/Journal title
  • Date
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Pickup Location - Bata or Oshawa

The issue(s) will be delivered to the Bata or Oshawa pickup location within 1-3 business days. An email notification is sent when they're ready, but you won't see it in your TOPCAT account until it's available for pickup. We'll reply to your email if we need more details from you.

Creating the Library of the Future - Details about our exciting transformation