Retrieve from Shelf

While library stacks are closed to the public, users will be unable to access or browse physical collections.  KU students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and active resident and reciprocal borrowers may request specific eligible items to be pulled for pickup through our Retrieve from Shelf process.

Retrieve from Shelf is a service that will pull KU Libraries materials from the shelves and make them available for checkout at the service desks in Watson Library, Anschutz Library, Art & Architecture LibraryMusic & Dance Library, Spahr Engineering Service Desk, or Wheat Law Library. Requestors will receive an Item Available Notice via email when items are ready to be checked out.

Who can use Retrieve from Shelf service?

  • Any eligible KU Libraries patron may use this service.

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.  
  • Items are delivered to the selected library location for pickup.
  • Items will be available for pickup after you receive the Item Available Notice via email. 
  • Items will remain available for  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