Frequently Asked Questions

| FAQs | Participating Libraries |


How do you find out what material other libraries hold?

To check whether a library you are planning to visit has an item you wish to use, search the online catalogue of that library.


Are you eligible?

Most students and staff from participating universities, institutes and TAFE colleges are eligible to use the program.  Enrolment at individual institutions is subject to the eligibility conditions applicable at each Host library.  Ask the library staff if you are unsure about your eligibility.

How do you obtain a CAVAL card?

In order to participate you must first register in the Reciprocal Borrowing Program. You can easily register at any CAVAL member library when you go there or ask at your own University or TAFE Library. You will be given a CAVAL card which is valid until the last date shown.

If you already have a CAVAL card and wish to enrol at a library after the date shown has passed, you must have your CAVAL card re-authorised. This can be done at any member library, and provided you are still in good standing, your card will be re-authorised. Please note that you will be required to present proof of your current enrolment.  You may do this as often as is necessary throughout the year.

How do you enrol at another library?

To enrol at another library you must present at the service desk with proof of current enrolment at your Home institution.  This can be done by:

  • presenting a current student ID card, photo ID, and proof of your contact details (preferred)
  • providing a letter that confirms your current enrolment (with photo ID and proof of your contact details)
  • demonstrating your ability to log into your institution’s student portal (with photo ID and proof of your contact details)
  • Library staff may also telephone your Home institution library  to verify your enrolment but you still need to present photo ID and proof of your contact details

It may be possible to register on-line at some libraries.

The staff will enrol you on the library system, give you a CAVAL card and attach a barcode label on the card for that library. If you need assistance with using an unfamiliar library ask at the service desk.

Your responsibilities

It is your responsibility to make yourself familiar with the conditions of loan at each of the member libraries from which you borrow.  This includes details of loan periods, fines, and how to pay your fine if you receive one.

If you are unable to return an item on time, or if you have lost or damaged it, report this immediately to the library from which it was borrowed. That library will advise you of the steps you should take. Reporting the problem will help in maintaining your good record.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you pay any fines incurred or the cost of lost books.  Refunds for items paid for and then found are at the discretion of the owning library.

If your CAVAL card is lost or stolen, ensure that you report it immediately to your Home library and to all member libraries at which you are enrolled.

If at any time you have any difficulty using the program, or should you wish to ask about the program, you should in the first instance contact the library staff at your own institution. If this is not possible, ask at one of the member libraries.

Privacy statement

The CAVAL Reciprocal Borrowing Program is subject to the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Privacy Act 1988 (C’Wealth). The participating libraries are committed to protecting your privacy. The personal information you agree to provide when you enrol will be shared between the libraries in relation to the provision of lending services, including mechanisms for the recording and payment of any outstanding debts in relation to overdue or lost items. You may access such information upon request at your Home Library.

Is there anything else you should know?

Be sure you understand and observe the regulations at any library from which you borrow. Some restrictions apply to certain services and collections: check before you visit. Return all materials by the due date to the library from which you have borrowed them.

Opening hours and weekend/public holiday access varies - either telephone or check the detailed information available from the websites of participating libraries listed here.

Parking is difficult at most large institutions. Each library website may include details about public transport access.

If your own institution ID card does not have a photograph, some libraries will require other suitable photographic ID.

Although most libraries have card-operated photocopying machines, cards are generally NOT compatible between libraries.


  • Your CAVAL card is designed to be used for the duration of your course, and should be retained for use in subsequent years (simply have it re-authorised).
  • To enrol immediately on arrival at a member library (some libraries have special requirements and may be unable to complete all enrolment procedures immediately).
  • To familiarise yourself with the conditions of loan and library use at each library you visit. A breach of regulations resulting in fines or penalties may result in suspension of privileges at your Home library as well as the member library.
  • After business hours there may be limited services. First-time borrowers should check with institutions before arriving for enrolment.
  • To present both your current ID card and CAVAL card each time you borrow.
  • To notify your own library, as well as all Host libraries at which you have enrolled, if you change your address, terminate your enrolment or lose your CAVAL card.
  • That use of the CAVAL Reciprocal Borrowing Program and other libraries is a privilege, not a right, and may be withdrawn if abused.

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