Though our buildings are closed, KU Libraries continues to offer services and resources for remote teaching, learning, and research. Please visit for more information.

Retrieve from Shelf

Retrieve from Shelf is a service that will pull KU Libraries materials from the shelves and provide them for contact-free pickup in Watson Library, Anschutz Library, Art & Architecture Library and the Music & Dance Library.

Who can use Retrieve from Shelf service?

  • Any eligible KU Libraries patron may use this service with the exception of Resident Borrowers.

How do I place a Retrieve from Shelf request?

  • Find an item in Quick Search or the Catalog
  • Sign in to your account
  • In "Get It" (Quick Search) or "Recalls & Requests" (Catalog), choose "Retrieve from Shelf"
  • Complete the form and select the library pickup location.  

Where are materials delivered to for contact-free pickup? How long will they stay there?

  • Items are delivered to the selected library location for contact-free pickup. 
  • Items will be available after you receive the Item Available Notice via email and make an appointment for contact-free pickup.
  • The Item Available Notice email contains a link to our appointment system where one will select a 30 minute time slot for contact-free pickup of the items.
  • Please make sure your pickup location matches the location in our appointment system. 
  • Pickup details by each location are indictated on the appointment system page.  
  • Items will remain available for contact-free pickup for 10 days from the day that you receive your Item Available Notice.

What items are eligible for Retrieve from Shelf?

  • KU owned items including most books, some bound journals, some micro format materials, and some videos.
  • All items located at the KU Libraries Annexes.

How long will it take to receive my items?

  • Items should be available to you typically within 3-5 working days.
  • Turnaround time excludes weekends and university holidays.

Is there a limit on the number of items I can request?

Although it is not our intent to limit the number of items an eligible person may request, the library will reserve the right to process no more than ten items per person per day when there is a heavy demand for the Retrieve from Shelf.

I got the following error: "Your Patron Initiated Call Slip Request failed. You have placed the maximum number of Call Slip requests." What do I do now?

As stated above, there is no limit imposed by the system on the number of requests that you may place. In most cases this error happens when you either miskeyed your barcode or last name when logging in to place your request. To clear the error you will need to completely close out of your browser window and start over. If you still have problems then please contact us.

I received a cancellation notice. What are my options for getting my materials now?

  • Most items that are canceled by this service are items that couldn't be located on the shelves and have been declared missing by staff and placed on search. Some items will turn up after extensive searching but it is suggested that if you need the item quickly to request it via Interlibrary Loan using WebRetrieve. When placing your Interlibrary Loan request please choose the Request a Loan -> Not Available at KU.
  • If you ever have a question regarding a cancellation notice please contact us at

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Staff who handle Retrieve from Shelf requests can be contacted via phone at 785-864-3960 or via email at

Contact Acquisitions & Resource Sharing
Watson Library, Rm 210
Ask a Librarian

We can help with your research questions -- contact us by chat, phone, email, text or at a Research Help desk.

KU Today