StaffGuide: User Services

FAQ - Holds / Recalls / Reserves

Can patrons pick up hold items for each other if they have the other's ID?

No, items placed on hold can only be checked out by that patron and we are not allowed to check out items to patrons using someone else’s ID.

Can patrons checkout reserve items for longer?

Reserve items checkout for a limited amount of time so that it gives other students in the course an opportunity to check it out. 

Why does this reserve item only checkout for 2 hours?

The instructors decided on the amount of time the item checks out from a selection of checkout times ranging from two hours to two days. If a patron believes the checkout time too be to short they may ask their instructor about requesting a change.

Can a patron pick up items for other patrons?

Yes. For ILL items the patron must be an authorized user and have a valid photo ID. A UofA ID is preferred but the patron can also pick up ILL items with a valid government issued ID. If the patron is picking up items belonging to the University Libraries, the patron must have a valid UofA ID and have Faculty Authorization, creating a linked patron account. 

Holds / Recalls / Searches

Holds / Recalls / Searches

Holds -- A service of the circulation department for patrons to request items to be placed on the hold shelf to be checked out within the current week.A patron completes a hold request  online by selecting the request button or at the circulation desk which is processed by a library staff member. When the item is located, it is placed on the hold shelf and the patron is notified. Holds are not placed on journals.

Recalls -- A service of the circulation department to place a hold / request an item that has been checked out by another patron. Once the item is returned, it is checked in and a hold should be fulfilled and placed on the hold shelf.

A patron who wants to borrow an item that is checked out or in process may place a hold or recall on the item. For holds, the library notifies the patron when the item is returned and holds the item to be picked up by the patron. The item is then placed on the HOLD shelf, for a minimum of seven days, to be picked up by the patron. When an item is recalled, the system sets a new due date and produces a notice for the patron instructing them to return the item for use by another patron. Recalled items give the current patron two weeks to return the recalled item. All holds and recalls will be managed by circulation personnel.

A search may be placed on a main library item that a patron is unable to locate. A staff member or the patron should be asked to check the sorting area before completing a search request. A hold may also be placed on a new book if the status of the item says “in process”.  A rush hold for a new book will be processed and available within 48 hours. 

To process a request for a hold or a search:

            Manual  Process:

  • Conduct a search using the online catalog ( and print out the item information. Stamp the printout with the hold/recall/search stamp, and have the patron complete the information. Verify the information regarding the item, (volume, location, etc.) and the patron's address/e-mail (in patron record).
  • Ask the patron to supply a “not needed after” / cancelation date, a date which will allow the hold to be canceled if not received, located, or no longer needed by patron.
  • Check whether the request is for a recall, hold or a search. Initial the form and place in the appropriate box for processing.

A patron is guaranteed a minimum two week loan period, and recall notices will allow the patron a week to return the needed item. Manual Hold and search requests are not accepted for other departments (e.g. Performing Arts/Media) or for the branch libraries at Mullins. Requests can be made online or at the location in which the item belongs. Patrons should go to the appropriate department to inquire about holds/recalls and searches for those items.

Online Holds:

  • Holds can also be placed online via the Online Catalog.
  • Search a title or call number and in the search box, select the record and click the “Request” button.
  • Click request and enter patron UARK user name and password (affiliates enter name and ID #).
  • Patron continues by selecting the appropriate boxes for the Cancellation Date and other information as applicable.
  • When all information has been entered, patron will select the submit button for processing.
  • This process initiates a hold request email that is processed by library staff.

Holds management will be conducted by full time staff members. Holds on materials can be viewed in Sierra in the patron record by clicking on the “HOLDS” tab. Holds can be deleted from the check-out screen by staff if requested by the patron (i.e. patron no longer needs item).

Searches – Quick Guide

Search -- A service of the circulation department to locate missing items.  A patron completes a search request at the circulation desk which is processed by a library staff member. If the item is located, it is placed on hold and the patron is notified. Holds are not placed on journals.Daily Searches.

All searches are conducted by the Stacks Department, throughout the entire University Libraries system. The following is just a brief break down of the basics of what a search may consist.

Search daily for 1 week

  • After first day of searching, status is changed to “on search”
  • After 1 week, status changed to “missing” and searches go into weekly search folder

Weekly Searches

  • Search weekly for 3 weeks for a total of 1 month of searching (first week was the week of the daily searches)
  • After the 3rd week, change the status to “missing 2”, decide if the item information should be given to the Director for Collection Management Services & Systems for fast track replacement
  • Searches are given a date of six months from the date they were originally searched and then go in the six month search folder

6 month Searches

  • Items are searched according to date at top of form
  • Searches are discarded.  Items are searched again in 6 months when yearly search lists are made

Yearly Searches

  • Lists are created for items that have had a status of $ (lost and paid), M2, and n (billed) since the previous month of the previous year (In October of 06, we will be searching for items with this status since September of 05)
  • M2 items that are not found are given the status of M4.  “Sent for replacement decision” is written in the note field
  • $ and n items retain their status.  “Sent for replacement decision” “not eligible for refund” and “WD fiscal year” are put in note fields
  • All yearly items not found are sent to selectors for replacement decision.

For additional information on the search process ask the Stacks Manager.


Reserves Info & Procedures

The University of Arkansas Libraries Course Reserves service allows faculty and instructors to make recommended or required course materials available to their students, whether those materials are print, electronic, video, or audio.

Course Reserves are made available to students in two different ways:

  • Electronic Reserves (e-reserves) are items such as journal articles, book chapters, lecture notes, or test examples, that are converted into digital files and made available through your Blackboard course.
  • Print and Media Reserves are placed at the appropriate service desk with limited checkout times to allow all students in a particular course to share the materials equitably. 
    You may search for print and media reserves by instructor or class in our online catalog.

    During Fall 2020 the emphasis will be on electronic reserves.  Search or browse these in our new reserves system.

The Course Reserves service operates within copyright and fair use guidelines and is not intended to replace course packs sold through the University bookstore.

All course reserves are processed by the Reserves and Periodicals Specialist. All questions about course reserves and/or making requests should be referred to the Periodicals desk.

Contact Information: 
Reserves and Periodicals Specialist

Olivia Wood 
(479) 575-5312 


Reserve Collection

Reserve materials are books and electronic files that have limited circulation because of their priority use for a class or project. Reserves are Items that have been requested to be placed on Reserve by a Faculty or library member. Reserve materials may include library books, personal copy books, electronic files, and any other item that has been barcoded and scanned into Sierra such as sample tests, journal articles, or other course materials. 

The length of the loan time on a reserve item is determined by the professor when the book is placed on reserve. The label on the item will identify the length of the loan period.

  • Many items are labeled "For Library Use Only". These items may be loaned for two hours and are not to be removed from the library.
  • Some items are 2 hour/ overnight loans. This means that the item may be taken out of the library during the day (for two hours or less), or checked out within two hours of closing and due the next day within one hour after the library opens.
  • There are also items that are loaned for "One Day," "Two Days," and "Seven Days."  These may be checked out and taken out of the library. Reserve items may NOT be renewed.

Course Reserve items are normally searched by course number and/or instructor's name. Circulation Desk staff can search for these items using the online catalog or Sierra. From the library’s home page ( click on “Course Reserves.” Search by instructor name or by class (course number or name of class).

The patron should identify the item needed. For books and/or other material in the reserve collection, the library staff will retrieve the item, as all course reserve items are typically housed behind the desk of the lending library. Generally, only one reserve item may be checked out a time. Instructors my check out items longer if it is for a course in which they are teaching and was the one that placed the item on course reserve.

If a patron insists that an item should be on Course Reserve, but is not listed in the online catalog or Sierra, search the item by its title and/or ask the patron to check Blackboard under the course in question. If the item is listed in Blackboard, it will be in the in a course reserve folder listed on the page for that specific course.

To check out items:

  1. The patron must have a current UA I.D. card.

NOTE: A one-time I.D. exception may be made for reserve check outs. A full-time staff member should enter a message field indicating “ID EXCEPTION USED” if an exception is granted for this purpose.)

  1. Scan the patron's I.D. card and verify patron’s information. 
  2. Scan the barcode of the item being checked out by the patron.
  3. Give the patron the item and if the item is an in-library use only item, tell him/her remind the patron the item must remain in the library and to return the item before [the due time]. (The due time will be displayed on the screen.)
  4. Be sure to close the patron's record. Always give the patron the receipt with the due date/time.


From the check-in screen, scan the barcode to check in the item.

Do not put the item in transit.

Re-sensitize the item if necessary (materials used outside the library).

Re-shelve the item in the reserve collection by call number order.