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Ask the Library


Hours of Operation

Days Hours
Monday to Thursday 10 am - 5 pm
Friday 10 am - 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday N/A

This collaborative online research help service is staffed by Library personnel from various Ontario university libraries, including Laurentian. For more information, see About Ask the Library.

Zoterois a free, web-based citation manager that allows you to:

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment

To enable Zotero's Library Lookup service to find full-text documents licensed by Laurentian University, set Edit->Preferences->Advanced->General->Resolver to

Getting started with Zotero:


Title Post date Summary
Searching the Archives got easier 2024-04-19 Laurentian Archives are excited to announce that they have joined the Archeion archives platform. Archeion is an archival...
Statista is now available through the LU Library 2024-04-05 With access to Statista, Laurentian researchers now have access to a large collection of statistics, market research, and...
Outstanding Contribution Award 2024-04-05 The Ontario Council of University Libraries announced the recipients of the OCUL 2023 Outstanding Contribution Award. The...

Direct Borrowing

Students who visit other university libraries in Canada may borrow directly from these libraries with a valid student photo ID, and may return these books at Laurentian at no charge. For further details contact:

Accessibility Services

Working in co-operation with Accessibility Services,  the J.N. Desmarais Library provides research and library services and assistive technologies to students with disabilities. For specific information,  please email Accessibility Services.

Centre for Academic Excellence

The Library is home to the University’s Centre for Academic Excellence, a hub of resources for students located on the second floor.  Its customized approach includes Academic Advantage, Learning Assistance, Degree Exploration and Career Planning, Student Engagement, and Tutor Training programs. For further information, please email

Research Help & general information

Library Hours 

Visit our Library Service Counter on the second floor for research assistance, help with library services, and for general information about the Library.  You can also call us at  extension 4800 or dial 705-675-4800.

Photo of J.N. Desmarais Library circulation desk

Research Consultations

You can make an appointment with a Librarian or the Archivist for in-depth assistance with your research. Contact the Librarian responsible for your subject area.

Assistance by email

If you need assistance, you can also email the Librarian responsible for your subject area. We try to reply to email inquiries within one business day (Monday through Friday) of receiving your question.

If your question refers to the Special Collections housed in the archives, or pertains to an archival fonds, send your question to and the archives will answer it. Depending on the complexity of your request, it may take up to a month to satisfy your query.

J.N. Desmarais Library Lockers

The lockers at the J.N. Desmarais Library are available for daily use and are located on the 3rd floor of the library. The lockers are available to all photo of library lockersLaurentian University students on a first-come, first-served basis. A valid student card must be presented in order to pick up the key at the “Library Assistance” counter.

There is no charge for locker use, but the user is responsible for any fines payable for not returning the key on time; the key is due back before the closing time of the library. A user is responsible for removing all items before returning the key.  All unclaimed items will be sent to Security.

The J.N. Desmarais Library is not responsible for any items stored in a locker. The user is responsible for his/her belongings; the use of a locker is at the user’s own risk. The J.N. Desmarais Library assumes no liability for any items stored in the lockers.

Floor Plans

floor plan image of 1st floor

Floor plan image of 2nd floor





Floor plan image of 3rd floor


Brenda Wallace Computer Centre

The Brenda Wallace Computer Centre is located on the second floor. You may use the computer room when it is not being used by a scheduled class. Brenda Wallace Reading Room and Computer Centre Usage Policy​. Please note--like the third floor, the BWCC has been designated as a quiet area.

Visit our Brenda Wallace Computer Room Google Calendar to view scheduled room bookings.

Search "Brenda Wallace Computer Room" or "J230"

photo of Brenda Wallace computer room

Brenda Wallace Reading Room

Brenda Wallace Reading Room is situated on the third floor. Come to the reading room to read, study, or relax with a book or periodical. Brenda Wallace Reading Room and Computer Centre Usage Policy​.  Please note--like the third floor, the BWCC has been designated as a quiet area.

Visit our Brenda Wallace Reading Room Google Calendar to view scheduled room bookings.

Search "Brenda Wallace Reading Room" or "J375"

photo of Brenda Wallace reading room

Graduate study rooms

Graduate students may register at Borrowers Service Desk for their own private rooms located on the third floor.

photo of graduate study room

These rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis for the week, but because of large waiting lists, rooms unused for a week will be re-assigned. Five have been set aside for daily use. The rooms are checked regularly to see that library material in them is signed out; if it is not, room privileges may be revoked.

For further details, contact Borrower  Services, ext. 4800.

Group study rooms

The library has private study rooms that will seat from 2 to 12 people and these may be reserved at the Borrower Services Desk for up to 3 hours.

photo of study room


Facilities are located near the elevators on each floor of the library. All washrooms are fully accessible.

Angus Gilbert Reading Room (Archives)

Located on the first floor of the library, the Angus Gilbert Reading Room is accessible to everyone, and is a great place for people looking for a quiet environment to study, read and work. No food or drink is permitted in the Reading Room.

photo of Angus Gilbert Reading RoomThe Reading Room can accommodate up to 40 researchers.



Located  just outside the main entrance to the library, the Rotunda is available 24/7 for those who like to talk, eat lunch, access the Internet--and even study. 

photo of the main stairwell leading up to the Library with the Starbucks café


The reserve collection, periodicals, the reference collection,  newspapers, as well as indexes and abstracts are located on the second floor.

Circulating books, recreational paperbacks and the government documents collection are located on the third.

photo of rare books

The Archives, located on the first floor of the Desmarais Library, houses the following special collections: Regional; Faculty; Mining Environment Vertical Files; Rare Books; 4th Years Honours Essay and Graduate Theses; and Archives.

The J.N. Desmarais Library & Archives also contains several specialized collections spread throughout the building such as the Collection franco-ontarienne and the Mining Environment collection.


Numeric and geospatial data are also available for teaching and research. Laurentian has a site licence for software such as SPSS and ArcGIS Desktop. For assistance, contact Dan Scott or


E-books are located in two different places:

  1. Many ebooks may be located with the library’s catalogue. These records will say they are Available online on the search results page.
  2. Ebooks can also be located by searching in e-book collections. Some recommended ebook collections include:
    • Scholars Portal Ebooks (over 250,000 ebooks in multiple subject areas. Select Full Text Only to find only those ebooks with full text)
    • Ebook Central (close to 40,000 ebooks in multiple subject areas)

Access to the Collections

Access to the library's collections is available from terminals throughout the building. The library is also wireless, so you may work on your own laptop.

photo of study area

Books within the library are accessible through the catalogue in various ways including by author, title and subject. So too are all the special collections housed in the Archives as well as government documents . If you need help finding government information in print or online, consult Dan Scott.

Periodical articles are found using online indexes and abstracts from the library’s home page from on- and off-campus. We list recommended databases and other online and print resources by subject.

The library subscribes to 50,000 periodicals in full-text electronic format. For those available only in print or in microformat, use the catalogue to see whether the J.N. Desmarais Library has the periodical title containing the article you want. Like books, periodicals in print are organized on the shelves by Library of Congress call number; periodicals in microformat are organized by title.


The archival fonds are all on or from Northern Ontario. These primary sources mostly pertain to (by alphabetical order) : Arts, culture and communications media; Clubs & social organizations;  Economy; Education; Labour; Mining industries and related activities; Politics & Politicians; Population & socio-ethnic groups; Religious communities; and Sudbury.
photo of archives area

Finding aids for Laurentian’s archival fonds are most easily accessed from the Archives or contact


A selection of popuphoto of paperback collectionlar paperbacks is available on the third floor.  In 2011,  graphic novels were added to this collection.




photo of dvd collection

DVDs are located on the second floor of the Library. 


The library has a large collection of 33 1/3 rpm (long play) recordings comprised mostly of classical music from the baroque era through to the twentieth century.

photo of music LP collection

There also is a selection of jazz and popular music recordings. The loan period is one week.


External DVD drives

The Windows workstations in the J.N. Desmarais Library & Archives (both in the Learning Commons and in the Brenda Wallace Computer Lab) do not have internal DVD drives. Students who wish to watch a DVD at the J.N. Desmarais Library & Archives and who do not have a laptop with an internal drive can borrow one of the five external DVD drives available from the Borrower Services desk:

Note: The user must supply their own headphones or earbuds with a 3.5mm jack to listen to the DVD.

Printers / Scanners / Photocopiers

One card Printers / Scanners / Photocopiers are located  on the second floor and the equipment is capable of producing in either colour or black & white. Your student photo ID card serves as your access card. Visit the "One Card" machine in the Learning Commons to add money to your card, or go to to add funds electronically. With a card, the cost per page is 10 cents for black & white printing or photocopying, or 25 cents in colour. There is no charge to scan and when you scan you can save your output on Google Drive or email it to yourself.  

Microform Readers

photo of microfilm machines

New equipment which gives you the option of converting pages on microform to .pdf documents has been placed on the second floor by the washrooms.



A valid student photo identification card must be presented before books can be borrowed.


Undergraduates, graduates, staff and faculty of Laurentian  may borrow up to 500 circulating books for 120 days.

photo of book stacks

All books may be renewed and unlimited number of times unless requested by another borrower. Please know that if a book is requested by another patron, a borrower will normally have seven days to return the book, notwithstanding the original due date.  The due date stamped into the book at the circulation counter serves simply as a courtesy reminder of the due at the time the stamp was applied.  If a book is recalled before the date stamped into the book, the new recall due date takes precedence.  For greater clarity, the due date listed in the library’s online catalogue is the official due date of the book at any time. 

Reserve Material

Your professor may request that the library place material on 1, 2 or 4 hour, 1, 3 or 7 day reserve. The Reserves list enables you to search for reserve material.

Special Processing and Searches

All items on order are indicated in the online catalogue. If there is a particular title that has been received but is not yet available for circulation, please fill out a CAN'T FIND A BOOK? form available on the pods containing library chromebooks. Under normal circumstances, you will have the book in your hands within 48 hours. You may also use this slip to request that the library search for a book missing from the shelf.

For further information about User Information Services, contact us.

Your LU Library Account

Login to your library account through the catalogue to renew your books, to see which books you have out, to place holds, and to verify whether you have fines owing.

Your username and password are the same as your LaurentianID account.


Library digitization service

To request digitization of a print book chapter or journal article:

  1. Type your search on the Omni search bar (example: All our Relations: Finding the Path Forward):

    Omni search bar

  2. Click on the item on the results page:
  3. search results

  4. Sign in using your Laurentian ID and password (if not already signed in):

    sign in link

  5. Under the Get It heading, click on Digitization:

    digitization link

  6. Fill in chapter or as much article details as possible and click Send Digitization Request  (Optional: enter Comment and Not needed after date).

    In keeping with copyright law we can “make copies of up to ten percent (10%) of a work (e.g., a book, whether monographic or a collection of shorter works) OR provided that it is no more than ten percent (10%) of the work in which it is found, we can make copies of an entire chapter from a book”.  We cannot provide digitization of a complete book, or of a complete periodical volume or issue.


    book details to complete

  7. You will receive an email when the item has been digitized, with a download link to the scanned material. The link will be active for 30 days.

Other Campus Libraries/Resource Centres

Campus libraries and resource centres

J.N. Desmarais Library & Archives

Exterior photo of J.N.Desmarais library

The J.N. Desmarais Library & Archives is located adjacent to the Classroom Building. The entrance is on the 2nd floor.

Phone: 705-675-4800
Toll-free: 1-800-661-1058

Hours of Operation



Interior photo of Archives main entrance

Phone: 705-675-1151 ext. 3306

Hours of Operation

If your inquiry pertains to the opening hours of the special collections (Regional, Faculty, Rare Books, Essays and Thesis), they are accessible during our regular hours of operation. No appointment is necessary.

Please be advised that an appointment is required prior to your visit to the Archives for all search requests concerning archival fonds. Access to and reference for archival materials will be offered only on Thursdays and Fridays.

Architecture Library

Exterior photo of McEwen School of Architecture

The Architecture Library is located at Laurentian's McEwen School of Architecture in downtown Sudbury, serving the students and faculty of the Architecture program.


Phone: 705-675-1151 ext. 7273

Hours of Operation

Education Resource Centre

Exterior photo of Curriculum Resource Centre

Located in room AR-102 of the Alphonse Raymond Building, the Education Resource Centre houses provincial curriculum documents, educational methods and strategy texts, specific texts for all subjects covered under the Ontario Curriculum.

You can also find picture books, DVDs, instruments, and other manipulative resources specifically used in today's classroom.

Location: Alphonse Raymond Building, Room AR-102 

Telephone: 705-675-1151, extension 5024

For further information, please contact the librarian responsible for Education


Greater Sudbury Public Library

Students possessing an active photo identification card from Laurentian University are entitled to a Greater Sudbury Public Library card free of charge. The Library offers a variety of services and programs, in addition to providing access to a large print and electronic collection. Here are just a few examples of resources that might be of use:

  • Hoopla: instantly borrow free digital movies, TV shows, music, ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, comics, and more!
  • Lyndalibrary: online education service that offers courses and video tutorials to learn business, technology and creative skills. Popular tutorials include Programming Foundations, Photoshop, Project Management, Time Management, HTML, etc.
  • Mango Languages: online resource for learning over 60 languages, including French, English, Spanish, and Italian.
  • Local History Collection: resources that highlight the rich history of Greater Sudbury.

For more information, visit the Greater Sudbury Public Library website.

Library Instruction Course on Video

Welcome to the J.N. Desmarais Library and Archive

This course was created by Leïla Saadaoui, French Language Services Librarian and adapted to English by Alain Lamothe, Chair, Department of Library and Archives.

The following videos will enable you to:

  • Familiarize yourself with the services offered by the Library and Archives (in particular during the current pandemic);
  • Discover research guides associated with your subject area;
  • Discover online dictionaries and encyclopedias, in both English and French;
  • Learn how to conduct simple and advanced searches in Omni;
  • Learn how to borrow books in person and from off-campus;
  • Learn how to use our various e-book collections (locate appropriate e-books and e-book chapters);
  • Learn how to retrieve articles from e-journals and chapters from e-books;
  • Evaluate if an article is from a peer-reviewed journal and is a scholarly or academic article;
  • Learn how to search various online databases (Ebsco, ProQuest, Web ofKnowledge,...);
  • Learn how to format citations based on a variety of standards such as APA,MLA,...;
  • Familiarize yourself with Zotero, a citation management tool.

Virtual Tour of the J.N. Desmarais Library

Link to the video

You will be able to:

  • Identify the J.N. Desmarais Library building

  • See where the Library Help Desk and the IT Help Desk are located

  • See where the Centre for Academic Excellence is located 

  • Locate the Periodical, Microform, Circulating and Government Documents collections.

  • Find the Brenda Wallace Computer Centre and the Brenda Wallace Reading Room

  • Locate the Archives

  • Find the offices of the librarians

  • Navigate the library's three floors

  • To see where you can work and study while in the library

Session 1 - Introduction to the Library

Link to the video workshop

You will learn about:

  • The services and resources available to you at the library

  • The J. N. Desmarais Library and Archives web site

  • Current library services, updated on the Covid-19 FAQ and our News section

  • Points of access to library resources

  • Research guides by disciplines

  • Omni

  • Find a book (Borrow the book or Digitize a section of it)

Session 2 - Library Research Skills Tutorial on D2L

Link to the Video Workshop

You will learn how to:

Access the Library Research Skills Tutorial on D2L

Navigate through the Modules

How to successfull complete all quizzes

How to access your Certificate (Proof of course completion).

Session 3 - Omni

Link to the video workshop

You will learn about: Omni

  • Your library account

  • Simple search, advanced search

  • Search Laurentian University’s collection / search all 16 partner libraries

  • Author search, title search

  • Search based on a citation:

(article, permalink on Omni) Hagège, C. (2000). La vie secrète du langage. La Linguistique, 36(1/2), 63‑69.

(book, permalink on Omni) Gervais, G. (2000). Les jumelles Dionne et l’Ontario français, 1934-1944. Prise de paro

For the purchase of required course textbooks: Visit Laurentian Bookstore, your local bookstore, online store like Amazon or directly on the publishers’ websites.


Session 4 - Online Databases

Link to the video workshop

You will learn:

  • How to access online databases

  • How Ebsco online databases work

  • How Proquest online databases work

How to search for articles in a specialized online database (Web of Knowledge)

Session 5 - E-Journals

Link to the video workshop

You will learn:

  • How to search for peer-reviewed academic articles

  • What makes an article academic in nature

  • How to search a subject in a specialized online database.

  • Scholars Portal - E-journals

  • Periodicals - newspaper (daily, weekly), bulletin, magazine, academic journal.


Suggested reading: Chapter 6 (p. 138-140) in Smale, B. and J. Fowlie. (2009). How to succeed at University: An Essential Guide to Academic Skills and Personal Development. SAGE  Publications.  (access restricted to LU)


Session 6 - E-Books

Link to the video workshop

You will learn:

  • How to access e-books via Omni

  • The different e-books platforms available to you (Ebsco, ProQuest, Scholars Portal, etc.)


See the «Electronic book collections» on the library’s Research Guides.


Session 7 - Citation Styles and Zotero

Link to the video workshop

You will learn:

  • How to cite sources (Citation Style Guides)

  • The different citation styles currently used at the Laurentian.

  • The tools available to store citations and generate citation lists

  • How to use Zotero, the citation manager (Zotero)


We advise you to create a free account on Zotero to download your Zotero library (click on Download and follow the instructions:

You can also create groups in Zotero in order to share your references with others (see further information below on Zotero Documentation).

The University of Ottawa also has an excellent series of instructional videos at

We are available to help you with your research needs:



Have a great academic year!


D2L Library Research Skills Tutorial

D2L Library Research Skills Tutorial

bust of Jean Nöel Desmarais, in front of library shelvesThe Research Skills Tutorial can teach you how to use library resources and efficient strategies for successful academic research.

To register for the Research Skills tutorial, log in to D2L and add it to your course list:

  1. Click the Self Registration button at the top of the page.
  2. Select "Research Skills Tutorial" from the course list
  3. Click Register. The form should be pre-filled with your information.
  4. Click Submit and then Finish to complete the registration. The course should now appear in your course list.

If you run into problems, have any questions, or are interested in getting customized research skills instruction in your class, please contact the Librarian responsible for your subject area.

NOTE: The Ask the Library online chat service cannot help you with the Research Skills Tutorial, as the chat operators do not have access to this D2L course.

Renewing books

Students, faculty, and staff may renew items an unlimited number of times. After 3 renewals, you will have to renew your items in person.

Due dates on renewals will not extend beyond the expiry of the borrower’s account, nor will renewals be allowed if the item has been recalled.

To renew your items manually:

  1. Sign in to your Omni account and select My Loans from the menu.
  2. Check the items to renew, and click Renew. The items display the new due date.
  3. If you can’t renew an item, email the library that loaned you the item:

Returning borrowed books

Please return borrowed books by dropping them into the book return bin at one of the following locations: 

  1. The outdoor book return bin, located near the south-facing west doors of the Arts Building (facing parking lot 4), near the Tim Horton’s entrance.
  2. The blue book return bin, located in the lobby between the Classroom and J.N. Desmarais Buildings (near the Starbucks entrance), from the entrance facing the Science Building.
  3. The book return bin located near the main entrance to the J.N. Desmarais Library, on the 2nd floor.

Please do not place Chromebooks or other fragile items in the book return bin; instead, contact us to make arrangements.

If you live farther than 50 km from Laurentian University campus

Please contact us by email at and we will email you a prepaid shipping label to return your books by Canada Post. You must provide the following information so that we can prepare the shipping label:

  • Your name:
  • Address:
  • City, Province:
  • Postal code:
  • Telephone number:  
  • The number of books you are returning to us:
  • The total weight of the package (kg):
  • The size of the package in cm, including:
    • Length:
    • Width:
    • Height:

Contact us

J.N. Desmarais Library
705-675-1151 ext. 4800

Architecture Library
705-675-1151 ext. 7273


We are always interested in your opinion about our collections and services. If you have a suggestion, you may leave it on a compliments / questions / suggestions sheet near the exit to the library. You can request the addition of books, journal subscriptions, or research databases to the Laurentian University library collection.

You may also visit, phone or write:
Natasha Gerolami
Chair, Department of Library and Archives (interim)


Alain Lamothe
University Librarian (interim)
705-675-1151 ext. 4841 or