Checking Out Materials

Borrowing of materials is limited to current Ohio State faculty, staff, and students; Ohio State University Libraries Courtesy Card; or OhioLINK, Big Ten Academic Alliance affiliates.  A valid university or government issued picture ID must be presented for any transaction.  

Using the Catalog

Search the Ohio State catalog for books, ebooks, and other materials owned by University Libraries at our Columbus and regional campuses.

  • Digital items, such as ebooks and digital content, can be viewed online directly from the catalog.

    See Article Express for requesting document delivery of scholarly articles from Ohio State's collection or elsewhere.

  • Physical items (such as books, DVDs, or CDs) can be requested online for delivery.

    You may place requests for most items with a status of “available”.  Items that are checked may be obtained from other sources (OhioLINK, SearchOhio or Interlibrary Loan). Non-circulating items, such as reference materials, magazines and newspapers, or Special Collections items must be used in the library.

    To check out an item, click Request This Item and sign in with your name and University/Password. Then, choose a pickup location from the dropdown list of options. 

Searching Beyond the Ohio State Catalog

If the book you need is not available or not listed in the Ohio State University Libraries Catalog:

  • Search the statewide OhioLINK catalog next. Click on the blue "OhioLINK catalog" button at the top of the Ohio State catalog results page.
  • If the book isn't available in OhioLINK, search the statewide SearchOhio Catalog next. Click on the "SearchOhio" button at the top of the OhioLINK catalog results page.
  • See Interlibrary Loan for details on requesting materials from beyond Ohio State, OhioLINK, and SearchOhio.

Finding books at Thompson Library

Bound Journals (non-circulating)

2           A - GV

2M       H – ML

3          N – Z (and oversized bound journals)


Book Stacks (circulating)

3M       East Asian Stacks

4          A – D, Oversize

4M       DA – DZ

5          (No Access)

6          E – HE

7          HF – KZ

8          L – PK

9          PL – PR

10        PS – Z

For more information about Call Number classification see the Library of Congress classification on their website

This image shows you how to use call numbers to find books. It starts with reading the first part of the call number in alphabetical order. The second part should be read as a whole number. The third part is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal. For example, dot GGG equals dot 66. The last part is the year the book was published and is in chronological order.
Image of Library of Congress Call Number