Michigan State University

Some areas of the Main Library are now open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday and 12pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. These areas include main-floor access to Circulation as well as our study and computing space on 1 East with access to MSU printing. As of Feb. 1st, we opened 1 West. Our total capacity at this time is 120 people. We also now have touchless lockers, where you may pick up materials. Outside of safety, our top priority is to provide access to all of our collections. We continue to offer virtual services. We also are paging materials and will continue to mail materials to faculty, staff, and students living off-campus. We encourage you to use our convenient distance services. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for more information.

Policies and Procedures

Please note, we are quarantining returned items for at least 24 hours before they are checked in.

Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities

Accommodation related to checking out library material may be requested by calling (517) 884-6458 or emailing LIB.atc@msu.edu.

Care of Library Items

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.

Checking Out Items

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.

Loan Periods

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.

Borrowers Most Books Dissertations, Theses Bound Periodicals Browsing, Careers, Travel, Children's, Business Popular, Business Audio CDs, Records, Videos, DVDs
MSU Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff 180 days 180 days 21 days 21 days 14 days

MSU Spouses & Community Borrowers

21 days 21 days 21 days 21 days 14 days

Laws 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.
  • 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.

Circulation Notices

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 msu.edu is not diverted to spam quarantine files.

Recall of Checked Out Items

Checked-out material may be recalled at anytime if requested by another borrower. 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.

Renewals, Overdue Fines, and Lost 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 recalled by someone else and marked HOLD on the screen in "My library account."
  • 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, 14-day checkouts (software, CDs, DVDs/Blu-ray, equipment, etc.), 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 the following high-demand items when returned after the due date.

  • Reserves, Collaborative Technology Lab material & Equipment: $1.00/hour
  • Recalled material, software, CDs, records, videos & DVDs: $1.00/day
  • Material borrowed from other libraries (ILLiad, or MeLCat): $2.00/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 $100.00. 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 LIB.circadm@msu.edu for replacement information.

Returning Items

We are quarantining returned items for at least 24 hours before they are checked in. Material will be backdated to the date of return to avoid fines.

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 $100.00 per volume.

Student Locker Use

  • Students may apply for a locker to use for a semester (all students) or year (Graduate students only) 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 Department of Police and Public Safety.
  • 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.