Michigan State University

Lending Policies & Borrower Responsibilities

Borrowers are responsible for understanding the policies related to any library material they check out. Disregard for library policies may result in permanent suspension of MSU Library borrowing privileges.

Items on open shelves are available for anyone to use in the library. However, to check out material (or use material on reserve, in the Digital and Multimedia Center or behind a service desk), an MSU ID or a library card and picture ID must be presented. Material may not be taken from the library without being checked out.

Borrowers are responsible for knowing the date material is due and returning (or renewing) it promptly.

Material may not be checked out for others. A borrower is financially responsible for all material checked out using his/her card. Therefore, theft/loss of an MSU ID or library card must be reported immediately by calling Circulation at 517.355.2333.

Contents:

Care of Library Material

Material must be returned in the same condition as when it was checked out. Borrowers may not write in books, turn down page corners, or use "post-it"-type notes/flags. Borrowers are financially responsible for damage that occurs while material is checked out to them. To protect themselves, borrowers who notice damage before checking out material should bring it to the attention of the Circulation Supervisor, who will note the damage and flag it for repair upon return. Borrowers are also financially responsible for material that is lost or stolen while checked out to them, so checked out items should never be left unattended.

Checked-out material will be recalled if requested by another and may be given an earlier due date. These must be promptly returned to avoid recall fines. To prevent recall fines while away from MSU (breaks between semesters, vacation, sabbatical, university business, etc.), material should be returned before leaving or arrangements made for someone to watch your mail for recalls, have access to your checked out material, and return recalled items.

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Returning Material

Please return DVDs, videos, CDs, records, ILLiad/MeLCat items, laptops and items from Reserve, Reference, Art, Maps, Music, and Software to the desk where checked out.

Place other material in any book return at the Main Library (24 hour drops at both entrances), drive-up book return on Red Cedar Road north of the MSU stadium, or a branch library: Business Library (in the Law College Building, on your right as you enter), Engineering Library, 1515 Eng, or Math Library, D-101 Wells Hall. Or you may mail material through campus mail (to Circulation, Main Library) or via UPS, USPS, FedEx to: Book Returns, MSU Libraries, 366 W. Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824; insurance of at least $50 per volume is suggested.

If you need confirmation of the return of library material, please take it to the Main Library Circulation Desk and request a receipt from the Supervisor.

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Address Responsibilities Regarding Circulation Notices

Borrowers are responsible for fines resulting from un-received or un-read mail or email. Therefore, you must keep the University/library updated with your current address. Library addresses for MSU students are loaded automatically from MSU Registrar records. MSU students are required to keep local and permanent addresses updated via the Address Change link at http://www.reg.msu.edu or 150 Administration Building. If a student does not move, the Registrar requires reconfirmation of local address at the beginning of each summer and fall semester. If a student does not reconfirm, the local address expires and mail is sent to the permanent address. Faculty/staff members must update home addresses in the Personal Information section of the ESS tab at https://login.msu.edu/?App=EBSP-SecPortal. Consult your departmental secretary to update your campus address. Community borrowers must report changes in e-mail and postal address at the Main Library Circulation Desk or via e-mail to CircAdm@mail.lib.msu.edu. (We cannot take address changes over the phone.)

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E-mail Responsibilities Regarding Circulation Notices

Borrowers must assure that email from msu.edu email addresses is not diverted to spam quarantine files. Notices about library material are sent to the MSU email addresses of students, faculty, and staff, so you must read MSU e-mail often or set your MSU e-mail to forward to an e-mail account that you read regularly.

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Renewals, Overdue Fines, and Bills for Replacement of Long-Overdue Material

Library material must be renewed to extend the due date; renewals are not automatic. Borrowers may renew eligible material online via "Your Library Account" at: http://www.lib.msu.edu/general/account - phone renewals are not possible. All material may be renewed except recalled items and reserves, software, CDs, DVDs, videos, records, videodiscs, special permission checkouts, laptops, and 7-day material.

Fines and bills are the responsibility of the borrower regardless of being away from campus for breaks between semesters, vacations, exams, illness, car trouble, sabbatical leaves, unread MSU e-mail, late or never-received reminder notices, etc. Fine amounts are not calculated until after material is returned. Material returned after closing is not considered returned until the next day the library is open.

If a borrower owes money, privileges are suspended without notice. Payment may be made by mail (address at the end of these policies), at the Main Circulation Desk, or by calling 517.355.2333 with Visa/MasterCard.

No fines are charged for most material in the MSU Libraries, but overdue fines are charged for the following high-demand material items when returned after the due date.

  • Reserves: $1.00 per hour. Laptops (available in some branches) and Collaborative Technology Lab material: $6.00/hour. NOTE: Our system considers an item that is one minute overdue to be a full hour overdue. Therefore, the full hourly amount is assessed for any portion of an hour overdue, even one minute.
  • Recalled material, software, CDs, records, videos, DVDs, 7-day items: $1 per day.
  • Material borrowed from other libraries (interlibrary loan, ILLiad, or MeLCat): $2 per day.

When an item is significantly overdue, the borrower is billed for its replacement and borrowing privileges are suspended without notice until the account is paid in full or material is returned or replaced by the borrower. Holds are placed on MSU student enrollment, registration, diplomas, and transcripts at the same time.

Minimum replacement charges are $50 for a book, $75 for a periodical, $100 for an item not found in Books in Print. Current market value is charged whenever it is higher than the minimum replacement charge.

  • Billed material cannot be renewed online. It must be brought to Circulation or a branch library for renewal.
  • When a billed item is returned, the replacement charge is cancelled but overdue fines may be charged.
  • Unresolved bills may be turned over to a collection agency any time after 30 days from date of issue.

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Recall of Checked Out Material

The library usually has only one copy of each title to support the information needs of the entire MSU community. Therefore, we will recall any checked-out material if it is requested by someone else. Recalled material cannot be renewed. If the original due date is more than fourteen days in the future, the recall notice will include a new due date (earlier than the original due date).

If a recalled item is not returned by the specified date (which is usually fourteen days after item is recalled), the borrower's library privileges will be suspended until it is returned and recall fines of $1 per day will be charged. Fines for items returned after the recall due date are the responsibility of the borrower regardless of being away from campus for breaks between semesters, vacations, exams, illness, car trouble, sabbatical leaves, off-campus university business, unread MSU email, late or never-received recall or reminder notices, etc. If a borrower will be away, that person must assure that checked out material will be available to others during the absence. Material should either be returned before leaving or arrangements made for someone to watch the borrower's mail for recalls, have access to checked out material, and return recalled items.

If you need an item that is checked out, please request a "recall" at the Main Library Circulation Desk, a branch library, or by using the recall request form (http://www.lib.msu.edu/howto/recall). Circulation staff will send the borrower a recall notice, indicating that the material must be returned within fourteen days or be subject to fines of $1 per day. When returned, the material will be held at its owning location for ten days and you will be notified where to pick it up.

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Library Cards/MSU ID Cards for MSU Students, Faculty, and Staff

Material may not be checked out for others. A borrower is financially responsible for all material checked out using his/her card. Therefore, theft/loss of an MSU ID must be reported immediately by calling Circulation at 517/ 355-2333. Library privileges expire when an individual leaves MSU.

MSU IDs (available for students, faculty and staff at the MSU ID Office, 170 International Center, just left of the Food Court) are issued with a library barcode. When a registered MSU student or a current MSU faculty/staff member with an MSU ID card activates his/her MSUnet ID, the barcode number is entered automatically into library records.

If a borrower's library card or MSU ID lacks a picture, another photo ID is required to check out material.

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Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities

Accommodation related to checking out library material may be requested calling 517.884.6458 or by e-mailing atc@mail.lib.msu.edu

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Library Cards for Michigan Residents

Michigan residents at least eighteen years old (who are not current MSU students, faculty, or staff) are eligible for community library privileges if they show a valid Michigan driver's license or State of Michigan picture ID card (available from the Michigan Secretary of State) containing the mailing address for the individual’s residence; cards will not be issued if the license/ID address is a Post Office Box. If the individual has no outstanding charges from a previous MSU library account, a library card will be processed within a few business days and mailed to the address on the license/id. No more than two items may be checked out until the library card is received. After receiving the library card, community borrowers may check out no more than 25 items at a time and are not eligible to check out laptops or use one-day lockers.

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Checking Out Material

Each time a borrower wishes to check out material, he/ she must present his/her own current MSU ID or library card and a photo ID card. One's library card and a photo ID are also required to use Reserve material, items in the Digital and Multimedia Center, or any other material requested from library staff.

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Main Library Loan Periods

Some materials cannot be checked out at all, including high-use periodicals published within the last ten years, Art journals, Reference material, Special Collections material, microforms, etc. Limiting use of these high demand materials to the library provides availability to all users. Reserve materials circulate to all borrowers for 2 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, or 7 days (as specified by the MSU instructor). NOTE: Reserve material with a "two hour no overnight" loan period is library-use only. Policies differ in some areas and in some branches.

Loan periods for most other types of library material are shown below:

Borrower type Books Dissertations & Theses High-use Periodicals
(less than 10 years old)
Other Periodicals Browsing, Careers, Travel CDs, Records, Videos, DVDs
MSU Faculty or Staff 180 days 180 days Building-use only 21 days 21 days 7 days
MSU Graduate Student 180 days 180 days Building-use only 21 days 21 days 7 days
MSU Undergrad Student 21 days 21 days Building-use only 21 days 21 days 7 days
MSU Student Spouse or Community borrower 21 days 21 days Building-use only 21 days 21 days 7 days

For detailed policies, call Circulation at 517/355-2333.

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Michigan Law and University Policies

  • Michigan Compiled Law (MCL750.391) defines damaging library material (or keeping it overdue) as larceny.
  • The confidentiality of library records in the state of Michigan is protected by "The Library Privacy Act," Michigan Compiled Law (MCL 397.601-606, Act 455 of 1982). Federal law may supersede Michigan Law.
  • Removing material from the MSU Libraries without checking it out may result in criminal charges.
  • MSU ID cards are property of MSU; if used by anyone other than the owner, an MSU ID will be confiscated.