Policies and Procedures

Borrowing Privileges

Please carefully read this information to help you borrow The Ohio State University Libraries materials. Most Ohio State library locations are open for use of materials and other available services; however, 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.  

You are responsible for all materials borrowed on your ID. To meet this responsibility, you should monitor your borrowing record on a regular basis (we suggest weekly) by logging in to My Library Account. The libraries send email notices (see below) as a courtesy to patrons to aid you in keeping track of all your transactions and to renew items, but you should check My Library Account regularly. In monitoring your use, please follow these guidelines:

  • Understand that Ohio State items due dates may vary by library location, item type (book, journal, etc.) and patron type (faculty, undergraduate, graduate, etc.). Also, a due date may be changed if someone else requests a book that you have checked out. OhioLINK materials circulate for 3 weeks to all students, 6 weeks for faculty and staff and may be renewed up to 6 times provided the item has not been requested by another patron.
  • In order to avoid fines, please return or renew your materials on time. Items cannot be renewed if they have been recalled, are non-renewable or if you have received a bill for them. You may request a receipt for items you return.
  • Please keep your address current and be sure to check your Ohio State e-mail to facilitate receiving courtesy, overdue, recall, hold and billing notices. To help us maintain your correct address please view your patron record regularly and take appropriate action if we have an incorrect address:
  • FACULTY/STAFF:  To keep this complete address, including room number, in your library record PERMANENTLY, you'll need to make sure it's on file in Workday with Human Resources.  We ask you to please make the necessary changes to your on-campus address before requesting materials to be sent to your office.  Please see Workday instructions for how to change your Work Space (Deliver-to) address
  • UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS:  To keep this complete address, including room number, in your library record PERMANENTLY, you’ll need to make sure the information is in the Student Information System (SIS).  You’ll need to go to Buckeye Link and click on the My Student Center link to do this.  For a complete guide to the system and how to use it, visit the Student Center Reference Guide.  We ask you to please make the necessary changes to your on-campus address before requesting materials to be sent to your on-campus residence.
  • GRADUATE STUDENTS:  You will need to make these changes in BOTH the ESS and the SIS to make them permanent.  We ask you to please make the necessary changes to your on-campus address before requesting materials to be sent to your office or on-campus residence.

Requesting Materials

You may request most circulating items listed as available. Available items will be retrieved and held for you at the library you select. An item that is currently checked out may be available from OhioLINK or via Interlibrary Loan.

An item may be recalled from you by the library at any time, which may change the item's due date. An e-mail notice will be sent notifying you of any recall(s) on your item(s) with a due date within 10 days from the date the request was placed on the item, or 21 days from the date of check-out, whichever is greater. Please respond to these notices promptly. Overdue fines accrue at the rate of $10.00/day per recalled item. Items that have been recalled may not be renewed.

If the book you need is not available or not listed in The Ohio State University Libraries Catalog, you may want to check availability by following these steps:

1.  Search the statewide OhioLINK catalog next.

  • You can get to OhioLINK after you do a search in the Ohio State library catalog.  Click on the blue ‘OhioLINK catalog’ button at the top of the Ohio State catalog page from step one above. 
  • Display the record for the title you want in the OhioLINK catalog.
  • Click on the green ‘Request’ button to place a hold on an item and have it delivered to Ohio State for you.
  • Select the institution with which you are affiliated.
  • Type in your name and ID number and select the library where you would like to pick up the book. OhioLINK delivery typically takes 3-5 days, not including weekends.
  • If you cannot locate the item through OhioLINK, go to step 2.

2.  For items not available at Ohio State or OhioLINK, you may make an interlibrary loan request through ILLiad if you are an Ohio State faculty/staff member or student.   

Requesting Materials from the Book Depository

The Book Depository houses lesser-used materials from the library collections on campus. This high-tech, low-cost facility features the most modern technology for storing and retrieving enormous quantities of books in an economical and efficient manner, while at the same time providing a physically secure and optimum preservation environment for little-used yet permanent and important parts of the libraries' collections.

The Book Depository is not open to the public; materials in the Ohio State catalog with a location of “Book Depository” can be requested online by library users or can be requested at any circulation desk on campus by Ohio State and OhioLINK users. Library staff will pull requested materials from the Depository and deliver them to the pickup location designated by the requesting individual. Local library patrons may also request that Depository material be sent via campus mail to a campus office.

Note: Materials in the Ohio State catalog with a location of “Book Depository” and a status of “Ask at Desk” need to be requested through the appropriate special collection area. These items will be delivered via Depository courier to the special collection area and must be used in-house during the hours that the special collection area is staffed.

Book Depository Delivery

Delivery time for the material depends on the schedule of the campus courier service. The quickest way to receive an item is to designate Thompson Library as the pick-up location for the book. 

Renewing Items

To renew books and other library materials, login to My Library Account. Click on "Items currently checked out."  You can then renew all items checked out to your library account, or identify individual items for renewal. 

Remember, loan periods (see below) vary depending on library location, patron status (faculty, undergraduate, graduate, etc.) and type of item (book, journal, etc.).

Loan Periods

Circulation periods vary depending on library location, patron status (faculty, undergraduate, graduate, etc.) and type of item (book, journal, etc.). Typical borrowing periods are:

Ohio State

  • Undergraduates: 6 weeks (unlimited renewals)
  • Graduate Students: 17 weeks (unlimited renewals)
  • Faculty, staff: 17 weeks (unlimited renewals)
  • Courtesy cardholders: 3 weeks (up to 6 renewals)


  • Faculty, staff: 6 weeks (up to 6 renewals)
  • Students: 3 weeks (up to 6 renewals)
  • Courtesy cardholders: 3 weeks (up to 6 renewals)


  • SearchOhio items: 3 weeks (up to 3 renewals)       
  • SearchOhio DVDs: 1 week (up to 3 renewals)

Special Loan Periods

  • A/V items (Ohio State and OhioLINK): 1 week (up to 3 renewals)
  • Closed Reserves: 2 hours (no renewals)

You can check the due dates for all your library items by logging into My Library Account from the Libraries' Web site.

Delivery Methods

Quickest Delivery Method

The quickest way to get the books you request is to select Thompson Library as your pick-up location.

Faculty and staff with a valid campus address may choose to have books mailed to them at that address by choosing "COL CAMPUS OFFICE/DORM" as their pickup location by University Campus Mail. Students with valid campus dorm addresses may also request material set via University Campus Mail; Items will not be sent to student work addresses. Before choosing this option, view My Library Account to verify that you have a current valid campus address that includes a room number. Please see Workday instructions for how to change your Work Space (Deliver-to) address

Graduate Students may need to change their address in the SIS system for office delivery, as the default address may be their home address.

Note: A book delivered to your central campus dorm or office will add at least 2-3 business days to the time it takes for you to get the book. Patrons choosing to have books mailed to their campus address are responsible for the material from the time it is checked out to them. Materials are checked out to patrons before they are sent in University Campus Mail. Patrons continue to be responsible until the material is checked in at any Ohio State University or OhioLINK library.

Email Notification

As a courtesy, The Ohio State University Libraries sends a courtesy notice 3 days prior to an item going overdue. We also send request, recall, overdue, billing of lost items and cancellation of hold notices to your osu.edu e-mail account. Email notification service provides uninterrupted delivery of your library notices throughout the year, including semester breaks and summer term. To avoid library fines, University Libraries recommends that you:

  • Login to My Library Account to identify items that are RECALLED or OVERDUE (we suggest weekly). 
  • Check your e-mail regularly even when you are away.

If you need assistance in setting up your email account, please contact the OCIO Help Desk.

Viewing Circulation Record

To access your circulation record, login to My Library Account. You will be asked to supply your name and University ID Number. You may use this feature to:

  • View items that you have checked out, renew them, and see if any have been recalled.
  • View the status of items you have requested or cancel requests you have placed.
  • View library fines and other charges to your account. Your account will be blocked if the total value of your fines and charges is $50.00 or more.  University Libraries is happy to work with customers in resolving fines and fees; please complete the Library Appeal Form.
  •  Faculty, staff and students will be billed for long overdue items.  Billings will be handled through the University Bursar.
  • View (but not update) your address as it appears in library records.

NOTE: Be sure to exit the browser when you've finished looking at your record to prevent someone else from seeing this personal information.



OhioLINK is an Ohio library consortium that provides access to nearly 50 million library items statewide.  The OhioLINK catalog contains almost 13 million unique titles from its over 90 member libraries. Students, faculty, staff and cardholders from participating libraries can find and request materials online.

If a book you are looking for is not available at University Libraries, you may request an available copy from the OhioLINK Catalog.

If you have done a search in Ohio State's catalog and learned that the item either isn't owned or is unavailable at Ohio State, the search can be automatically transferred to the OhioLINK Central Catalog. In the Ohio State catalog, click on the OhioLINK Catalog button in the upper right portion of the screen. Please note all library notices, including OhioLINK pickup notices, are sent via email only. If you do not have an email address in your record, please follow the instructions in View Your Circulation Record to see when a requested book is ready for pick up.

OhioLINK books may be borrowed by faculty/staff for 42 days and student/courtesy patrons for 21 days with up to 6 renewals, provided another request has not been placed on the item. If a request is placed on the item you will not be able to renew it. 

Courtesy patrons are limited to 5 OhioLINK items at any time on their record. This includes items in transit to and from locations.


Ohio State and OhioLINK patrons have access to an additional 9.5 million popular books, DVDs and CDs, thanks to a new collaborative program with SearchOhio, a network of 20 public library systems throughout the state. SearchOhio patrons will also have the ability to borrow more academic materials from the 90 OhioLINK member colleges.

Users should search the Ohio State University Library catalog to see if Ohio State owns an available copy of an item they need. If Ohio State does not have an available copy patrons can click on the blue OhioLINK catalog button to have the same search done throughout OhioLINK libraries.  If the OhioLINK system has no available copies, click on the SearchOhio link and your search will be placed in the SearchOhio system. Items found in OhioLINK or SearchOhio can be requested and sent to Ohio State for you to pick up. 

SearchOhio print materials, audiobooks and music circulate for 3 weeks; DVD’s circulate for 7 days, all items are eligible for 3 additional renewals (provided no one else requests the item).  

Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML)

Ohio State users have access to Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) materials at Thompson Library. 

  • All residents of the State of Ohio are eligible to apply for a Columbus Metropolitan Library card at the Thompson Library circulation desk.  Please visit CML’s library card application page for more information.
  • Ohio State users with a CML library card can reserve materials in the CML catalog and have them sent to Thompson Library for pick-up.
  • Ohio State patrons can also use their CML library card to check out selected fiction, non-fiction and juvenile literature books located in the Columbus Metropolitan Leisure Reading Collection in the 110 Leisure Reading area of Thompson Library.
  • CML books can be returned to the Thompson Library circulation desk.  Patrons choosing to return CML books to other University Libraries locations are still responsible for any item(s) lost in transit to Thompson Library.  

Returning Materials

We encourage you to return all library materials in-person to any Ohio State Library circulation desk. When returning items, you may request a receipt to confirm their return. Books may also be returned to the outdoor book drop located on Neil Ave. by the loading dock on the north side of the Thompson Library. Patrons choosing to return materials via University Campus Mail, U.S. Mail, or other mail services are responsible for any late, damaged or lost items.