Michigan State University
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Starting on Thursday, December 23, 2021, MeLCat Borrowing and Lending will be suspended while the MSU Libraries undergoes a significant software transition.

MSU students, staff, and faculty can continue to utilize interlibrary loan by placing requests through the MSU Libraries Interlibrary Services department. Community patrons will not be able to use MeLCat through the MSU Libraries during this time, but they can continue to do so using their local public library.

Borrowing @ MSU

The Circulation desk at the MSU Main Library. This image shows a patron checking out material at the Circulation desk, where two patron services employees are assisting them.The Circulation team is committed to providing equal access to information and spaces within the MSU Libraries, supporting the many educational, teaching, and research needs of MSU students, faculty and staff, and community members.

Information on borrowing privileges, policies and procedures, and frequently asked questions is available below. Additional inquiries and requests may be directed to the Circulation desk by calling 517-355-2333.

 

Student Privileges

Michigan State University Borrowing

Students who are enrolled in at least one credit may use their MSU ID cards to check out Library material. The loan period for most books is 180 days, but books can be recalled at any time by another borrower.

Students may apply to use library lockers to store checked-out library material related to class assignments and research. Locker applications, policies and procedures are available at the Main Library Circulation desk.

Reciprocal Borrowing

There are reciprocal borrowing programs available for students who intend to visit other institutions:

  • MSU students may apply for borrowing privileges at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University through the Michigan Research Libraries Triangle. Please see the Main Library Circulation desk before traveling to Wayne State University or the University of Michigan. 
  • MSU students may apply for short-term borrowing privileges at most of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Universities and selected other universities through a reciprocal borrowing program. If you are planning to spend an extended period of time near another university and would like to borrow materials there, see the Main Library Circulation desk before traveling to inquire about qualifying libraries and to find out what is needed for borrowing privileges.

Borrowing Material from Other Libraries

If MSU material is unavailable, it can be requested from another library. Please use InterLibrary Services to request material from other institutions.

Faculty and Staff Privileges

Michigan State University Borrowing

Faculty and staff members may use their MSU IDcards to check out Library material. The loan period for most books is 180 days, but books can be recalled at any time by another borrower.

Reciprocal Borrowing

MSU faculty members may apply for borrowing privileges at most Big Ten Academic Alliance Universities and selected other universities through reciprocal borrowing programs. If you are planning to spend an extended period of time near another university and would like to borrow materials there, see the Main Library Circulation desk before traveling to inquire about qualifying libraries and to find out what is needed for borrowing privileges.

Borrowing Material from Other Libraries

If MSU material is unavailable, it can be requested from another library. Please use InterLibrary Services to request material from other institutions.

Faculty Authorization

Faculty members may authorize MSU staff or MSU student assistants to check out material in their names through the Faculty Authorization program. To authorize an individual, the faculty member must complete the Faculty Authorization Request Form online or fill out a Faculty Authorization request form at the Main Library Circulation Desk. Please review the Faculty Authorization policies and procedures (pdf) before submitting an authorization request.

Community Borrower Privileges

Michigan State University Borrowing

Michigan residents at least eighteen years old may apply for community privileges by showing a valid Michigan driver’s license or State of Michigan picture ID card 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. Two books can be checked out on the day the card is created. Additional books cannot be checked out until the library card is received in the mail. Community borrowers may have no more than 25 items checked out at one time and are not eligible to use one-day lockers. Community borrower cards expire after two years, at which time a community borrower must reapply for a library card.

Community borrowers may use MSU online electronic resources on "Selected Resources" computers in the Main Library and Business Library.

Visiting Scholar / MSU Visitor Privileges

Individuals with MSU Visitor or Visiting Scholar identification cards are welcome to use resources in the library, specifically:

  • May read books and journals in the library (but may not check them out).
  • May use MSU online electronic resources on "Selected Resources" computers in the Main Library and Business Library.

MSU Visitors and Visiting Scholars are not authorized to request material from other libraries through MSU Libraries' Interlibrary Services. If additional library privileges are desired, there are two options:

  1. MSU faculty/staff privileges (including borrowing, interlibrary loan and off-campus access to online resources) are available only to visiting researchers who have an academic appointment with MSU.
    • MSU Faculty/Staff ID cards may be obtained after the sponsoring MSU department has initiated (in the EBS/SAP system) an official MSU academic appointment. This can be an adjunct/unpaid appointment.
    • Once the academic appointment has been initiated in EBS/SAP, MSU department staff may contact the MSU ID Office for information on how the visiting researcher may obtain an MSU Faculty/Staff ID card and MSU NetID (for email only until the appointment is finalized) while waiting for the appointment to be finalized: IDOffice@msu.edu, (517) 355-4500, or 170 International Center (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm).
  2. Community library privileges may be obtained by presenting the following at the Main Library Circulation Desk:
    • a passport OR a U.S. driver's license OR a State of Michigan Identification card and
    • an official copy of a signed lease for local housing or an MSU housing contract (obtained from the residence hall or apartment director)

Community privileges allow a 3-week loan period for no more than 25 books through the end date of the housing lease. Community privileges do not include ILLiad or access to eResources from outside the library.