Notice: The East Wing of the Main Library is closed until 3pm on Wednesday, June 19, as we continue major construction work.  We apologize for this inconvenience. For more information or for assistance accessing library resources, please visit any of our information desks, or call 517-355-2333.
Notice: The East Wing of the Main Library is closed until 3pm on Wednesday, June 19, as we continue major construction work.  We apologize for this inconvenience. For more information or for assistance accessing library resources, please visit any of our information desks, or call 517-355-2333.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.
Notice: Due to ongoing construction, 4 East is currently closed to the public.  To obtain items located on 4 East, please place an online request for the item to be paged for you using the ‘Place Request’ button in the catalog. Please visit our Circulation FAQ page for assistance in using our catalog.
Michigan State University Libraries
366 W. Circle Dr.
East Lansing , MI 48824
United States

Policies and Procedures

Accommodation related to checking out library material may be requested by calling (517) 884-6458 or emailing

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. A fine may be issued for material returned with this type of damage. Borrowers who notice damage before checking out material should inform Circulation, who will note the damage and flag the material for repair upon return. Borrowers are financially responsible for material that is lost, damaged or stolen while it is checked out to them.


Material may not be checked out for others. A borrower is financially responsible for all material checked out using their card. Theft/loss of an MSU ID or library card must be reported immediately by calling Circulation at 517-355-2333.

MSU IDs (provided to MSU students, faculty and staff) are issued with a library barcode. If a borrower's MSU ID lacks a picture, an additional photo ID will always be required to check out material. Replacement ID cards are available at the MSU ID Office, International Center, 427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 170, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Michigan residents at least 18 years old are eligible for community library privileges. Prospective borrowers must present current, government issued photo ID and proof of Michigan residence to obtain an MSU library card. If the individual has no outstanding fines or bills from a previous MSU library account, a card will be issued. Accounts expire two years after creation, and community members must reapply for a library card before material can be checked out. A photo ID must be presented at every check out. Community borrowers are not eligible to check out one-day lockers.

Some materials cannot be checked out at all. Reserve materials circulate to borrowers for 2 hours, 24 hours, 3 days, or 7 days (as specified by the instructor). Reserve material with a “two hour no overnight” loan period is library-use only. Loan periods for most other types of library material are shown below.

BorrowersMost BooksRemote Storage Bound PeriodicalsBrowsing, Travel, Children's, Business Popular, Business AudioCDs, Records, Videos, DVDs
MSU Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff180 days180 days21 days21 days14 days
MSU Spouses & Community Borrowers21 days180 days21 days21 days14 days

Borrowers are responsible for fines resulting from un-received or un-read mail or email. You must keep the University/library updated with your current mailing address and email address. Mailing addresses for MSU students are updated via the MSU Registrar. Faculty/staff members must update mailing addresses via departmental secretaries. Community borrowers must bring proof of address changes to the Circulation Desk.

Notices about library materials are sent to MSU the email addresses of students, faculty, and staff. All borrowers must assure that email from is not diverted to spam quarantine files.

Checked-out material may be recalled at anytime. Recalled material must be returned by the new due date to avoid 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 check your mail for notices, have access to your checked out material, and return recalled items.

Library material must be renewed in order to extend the due date; renewals are not automatic. Borrowers may renew eligible material up to five times online at Your Library Account— phone renewals are not possible.

Some MSU Library material cannot be renewed:

  • Items that have been recalled 
  • Items long overdue and already billed for replacement; these must be brought to a library for renewal.
  • Items whose loan policies do not allow renewal, such as reserve readings, equipment, media, and material checked out by special permission.

After five online renewals, borrowers must bring the material back to the library to renew. Faculty and staff have 6 months to renew overdue MSU material (excluding above exceptions) before they will be billed for replacement of the material, and their library privileges will be suspended.

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.

If a borrower owes money, privileges are suspended without notice. Payment may be made in person at the Circulation desk, by phone (517-355-2333), or by mail (Michigan State University Libraries, ATTN: Circulation, 366 W. Circle Drive, East Lansing, MI 48824).

No fines are charged for most material in the MSU Libraries, but overdue fines are charged for Reserve Material, Equipment & Overdue Recalled items.

  • Reserves: $1.00/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.
  • Various equipment (whiteboard markers/erasers, phone chargers, calculators, locks, some Makerspace equipment, etc.): $1.00/hour
  • Recalled material and various equipment borrowed from Makerspace or Digital Scholarship Lab: $1.00/day

When an item is significantly overdue, the borrower is billed for its replacement. Borrowing privileges are suspended without notice until material is returned or replaced or the borrower pays for the material. Until the bill is resolved, holds are placed on MSU student enrollment, registration, diplomas, and transcripts.

Minimum replacement charges are $150.00. Current market value is charged whenever it is higher than the minimum replacement fee. Please note, billed material cannot be renewed online; it must be brought to Circulation for renewal. When a billed item is returned, the replacement charge is canceled but overdue fines may still be charged. Unresolved bills may be turned over to a collection agency any time after 30 days from date of issue. Lost items may be replaced. Email Circulation at for replacement information.

Return DVDs, videos, CDs, records, and items from Reserve, Reference, Art, Maps, Music, and Software to the desk where they were checked out. Place other material in any book return at the Main Library or a branch -- or mail it to Book Returns, Circulation (23), MSU Libraries, 366 W. Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824; please arrange for tracking and insurance of at least $150.00 per volume.

  • Students may apply for a student locker to use for one year at Circulation.
  • Locker contents will be inspected frequently for policy compliance. A single violation of any policy may result in immediate termination of locker privileges and may affect eligibility for future locker assignments.
  • An individual may have only one locker at a time.
  • If a key has not been returned within thirty days after the due date:
    • Locker contents will be taken to Lost and Found. The lock will be changed and the individual’s future locker eligibility may be affected.
    • The locker holder will be billed a $20.00 key replacement fee. Registration, enrollment, diploma, and transcript holds will be issued.
  • Library material stored in a locker must be checked out. Any non-checked out or non-circulating material (i.e., reference books, current journals, microfilm) will be removed from the locker and re-shelved.
  • Absolutely no food or drink may be left in a locker. Any food/drink found in a locker will be discarded and locker privileges will be revoked.
  • Locker keys may not be shared, traded, loaned or given to anyone else. If you no longer need your locker, please return the key.
  • Illegal substances/material may not be stored in lockers. If such items are found, they will be confiscated and turned over to the MSU Police.
  • If your locker appears to be consistently unused or used for nonacademic storage, locker privileges will be revoked.
  • Library lockers should not be considered secure storage. The MSU Libraries cannot be held responsible for loss or damage of locker contents.

  • 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.
  • Copyright Guidelines: Under certain conditions specified in United States copyright law (USC Title 17), nonprofit libraries are authorized to lend, lease or rent copies of computer programs and audio/video recordings to patrons on a nonprofit basis and for nonprofit purposes. Any person who makes an unauthorized copy or adaptation of the computer programs or audio/visual recording, or redistributes the loan copy, or publicly performs or displays the loan copy, except as permitted by the USC Title 17, may be liable for copyright infringement. MSU Libraries reserves the right to refuse to fulfill a loan request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would lead to violation of copyright law.
  • For information on Michigan State University’s Privacy Policies, visit Privacy Statement

It is the policy of the Michigan State University Libraries that books, journal articles, or other channels for scholarly communication acquired as part of the Libraries’ collections will not be withdrawn from the collections based on allegations of false, misleading, pejorative, or potentially harmful information. We also recognize that terminology used in cataloging practices may be problematic. In certain cases, updates, corrections, reviews, or letters of caution – whether issued by the author, publisher, or third parties – may be added to the text or referenced in the cataloging record or other links to the item.

It is understood that scholars may misstate facts, reach erroneous conclusions, or make claims that in fact or perception can be hurtful to other parties or lead future researchers astray. Perspectives, available knowledge, and conclusions change over time. Contested or opposing viewpoints are protected by the values of academic freedom, and older information retains value for historical research. Where possible, our collections set materials in context, by offering a range of works on any topic. Similar protections apply to non-scholarly publications as well.

Specific challenges, inquiries and requests should be directed to the Associate Dean for Collection Strategies & Preservation, who may confer with others about the situation. Our review will be guided by principles of academic freedom and principles contained in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association, which says in part:

  • “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  • “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  • “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”

The decision will be communicated to the inquiring party once the review is completed.

Approved by EC 3/23/2022. This statement is based on text written at the UIUC Libraries, with permission.