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Omni Library Searching & Lending: Frequently Asked Questions

All about the Libraries' new search system, Omni. This guide will continue to grow as we launch Omni.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Omni?

Omni is a new multidisciplinary academic search tool that enhances discovery and delivery of information resources at TMU Libraries and at our Omni partner institutions.

Developed through the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), Omni aims to foster collaboration across Ontario academic libraries and facilitate the sharing of collections across the province.

Why Switch to Omni?

The goal of moving to Omni was to provide our users with a seamless academic search tool that helps in searching and retrieving from collections across the province. TMU Libraries search interface is integrated with the collections of 18 partner university libraries across the province providing easy access to nearly 26 million additional academic print materials for TMU students, researchers, faculty and staff.

Omni also uses the same software as many libraries throughout Canada. Therefore, if you move from one university to another, you will be familiar with how to conduct a search at other university libraries.  

Note: Omni launched on June 12, and additional features will be added during the summer, such as easy borrowing from our partner locations. 

How can I borrow / access books from Ontario academic libraries?

How does the procedure for Interlibrary Loans change?

Does this improve the Interlibrary Loans process?

What is the difference between interlibrary loan and borrowing books from other institutions through Omni?

Does this affect the availability of print books at TMU?

Does this affect my electronic access to books and articles?

Does this change how I login into my library account?

Is the old catalogue still available?

Does Omni integrate with citation management tools (e.g., Mendeley, Zotero and EndNote)?

Which library collections am I accessing when I use Omni for my searches?

What is “Expand search beyond Toronto Metropolitan University's collection?"  

Does Omni change how I request course reserves as an instructor?

Do I need to update my course reading links in D2L or elsewhere?

Who do I contact for further information?

How can I borrow / access books from Ontario academic libraries?

Using Omni, you can search for print books from libraries across Ontario as easily as you search for books from TMU Libraries. If there is a book at another library that you would like, we can bring it in to you quickly and for free. 

How has the procedure for Interlibrary Loans change?

The RACER software, a long-standing support for interlibrary loan activity, is being discontinued after over 20 years. Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries, along with 18 other Ontario universities, are transitioning to the Omni platform, which will now exclusively manage interlibrary loan operations. This change ensures no loss of services, as Omni is fully equipped to handle all requests. When using Omni, you have the option to select 'Get it from another library' to request an item that Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries do not possess. Alternatively, you can bypass the searching process altogether and submit your request using the Omni blank request form, accessible on the library website and our Interlibrary Loan staff will handle the searching on your behalf.

Does this improve the Interlibrary Loans process?

Interlibrary Loans will be even easier to use in the new system. You will no longer be required to create and keep track of a separate ILL (RACER) account/login;  all of your activity will be reflected in one consolidated library account that you can access from Omni directly.

As well, for many titles you used to have to access via ILL will be available to find and request without additional steps with our Omni libraries partners throughout Ontario. Print materials requested from Omni Libraries also come with a longer 120 day loan period. 

What is the difference between borrowing from a partner institution through Omni and Interlibrary Loan?

In both cases TMU Libraries will bring a book from another library for you to pick up at TMU. If you are borrowing from Omni partner institutions, you may have a longer loan term. You can also browse books more easily, since print books from all 18 partner institutions are easily searchable through TMU's Omni interface. If a book TMU owns is checked out to another person, you can put the same title on hold through Omni, and we will bring it to you from another institution, unlike traditional interlibrary loans, which are available only for titles not in our collection.

Does this affect the availability of print books at TMU?

While many of our print books are now available to be loaned to our partner libraries, we have reserved our most sought-after materials for TMU use only. These include items on course reserve, special collections and archives material, electronic resources, laptops and equipment.  This arrangement will allow more of our collection to be used by outside researchers while ensuring our TMU patrons will not be adversely impacted.

Does this affect my electronic access to books and articles?

Access to electronic resources will remain the same - TMU users will continue to only have access to  electronic resources available to them via TMU Libraries.  Omni will allow users to more easily access print collections at other university libraries in the province.

Does this change how I login into my library account?

You arestill be able to log into your library account using your TMU login credentials. Once you are logged in, the display of information looks different, but you will still be able to see your loans, fines and requests. 

Is the old catalogue still be available?

No, the old catalogue is unavailable. The old catalogue relies on software that is being decommissioned by the Libraries.

Does Omni integrate with citation management tools (e.g., Mendeley, Zotero and EndNote)?

Yes it does.

Which library collections am I accessing when I use Omni for my searches?

The default search in Omni will be the electronic and print collections of TMU, and the print collections of the other 18 Ontario university libraries.  You will have the option to “scope” your search to just TMU resources or all Omni libraries.

What is “Expand search beyond Toronto Metropolitan University's collection?"  

This will expand your search to include resources that the library and Omni network don't have full-text access to, but we may be able to get it for you upon request via interlibrary loan. This search is useful when you require comprehensive results on a topic.

modify your result image from Omni

Does Omni change how I request course reserves as an instructor?

We do not anticipate any changes regarding print or electronic course reserve requests.

Do I need to update my course reading links in D2L or elsewhere?

We have looked after updating the links in your Library-managed course readings.  If you have created links to records in the current catalogue (urls that start with catalogue.library.torontomu.ca), you will need to update these. We have a tool that will help you create new links for some catalogue items.

Who do I contact for further information?

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