Services for Ohio State Users

Updated August 24, 2020 

In an effort to keep our communities safe, and following university COVID-19 protocols, many University Libraries services are now contact-free. The services are as follows:

Contact-free book returns
Thompson Library

Library materials can be returned at the Thompson Library book drop or by placing them in designated book return areas within our facilities. All returned materials will be quarantined for five days before being checked in and will remain on your account during that time. Receipts cannot be issued before materials are checked in.

If you or a member of your household are ill, we ask that you continue to renew your materials and wait to return them until you have been symptom-free for 72 hours. 

Contact-free pickup
All University Libraries locations
Hours vary by location see 
Location & Hours

The book stacks at all locations are closed. Patrons affiliated with The Ohio State University can submit requests for physical materials through the online catalog. Please do not bring materials from the book stacks to the desk as they will have to be quarantined, delaying your ability use them.

You will receive a confirmation email when your materials are ready to be picked up.

Scanning and electronic delivery of materials from Thompson Library Special Collections, University Archives and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has resumed. You may submit requests via the email addresses listed below.

Scanning of articles and chapters from the Thompson Library print collections through ILLiad Article Express service has resumed. 

Due to increased requests, quarantining and additional precautions to protect both you and our employees, it may take longer than usual to fulfill your request for materials. You will receive an email as soon as your materials are ready.

For answers to common questions regarding borrowed materials, circulation and more, please visit our FAQ page.

Please contact or with questions.


Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) 

Interlibrary Services provides interlibrary loan and document delivery services to OSU faculty, staff, and students. Through the ILLiad request system, users can place Article Express requests to obtain PDFs of articles from OSU or non-OSU collections and can also borrow physical items not available at OSU, OhioLINK, or SearchOhio.

Distance User Off-Campus Delivery for OSU Faculty, Staff, and Students

  • The OSU Libraries offers paid delivery of requested OSU, OhioLINK, and SearchOhio materials to current OSU faculty, staff, and students within the United States but outside the state of Ohio. Materials are sent via UPS (delivery signature required).
  • To return items, you must ship them back to OSU Thompson Library at your expense via a traceable delivery system (such as UPS, FedEx, or USPS with Tracking).
  • OSU faculty, staff or students located within the state of Ohio are not eligible for off-campus UPS delivery. Please use the OhioLINK catalog to request OSU and OhioLINK materials for pick-up at any of the 90+ OhioLINK member libraries around the state.
  • OSU Libraries will not mail materials to addresses outside the United States.
  • Only circulating materials with loan periods of 3 weeks or longer can be mailed and are subject to recall.
  • You assume responsibility for any item checked out and shipped to you, including when it is in transit to you or in transit back to OSU Libraries. This includes any overdue fines, recall fines, and/or processing and replacement charges incurred for late or lost items.

How to Request

From the OSU, OhioLINK or SearchOhio catalog, request items to be sent, by choosing “Distance User (Out of State)” as your pick-up location. The libraries will confirm your delivery address via email and then send the items requested.

Please allow 5-10 business days for delivery of materials.

Patron Authorization 

Patron's may authorize one or more persons to borrow and request library materials under the authorizing person's name. The authorizing person is responsible for all transactions done by the designated individuals.  To make an authorization, print off a Patron Authorization Request Form, provide the requested information, and bring the form to the Thompson Library Circulation Desk. Please contact any OSU Library if you have questions or would like further information.

Please note: Eligibility for this service applies to graduate and undergraduate student assistants of OSU faculty; spouses of OSU faculty, staff, and students; and individuals with permanent or temporary disabilities.

Reciprocal Borrowing Privileges

Big Ten Academic Alliance

Ohio State Faculty, Graduate and Undergraduage students may borrow items from or have access to the collections of  participating Big Ten University Libraries through the, Big Ten Acadmeic Alliance.  Please view the links below to learn more about this program.

Big Ten Acadmic Alliance Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement 

OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program

Ohio State Faculty are eligible for borrowing privileges and on-site access to collections at other participating institutions. Over 175 major research libraries in the United States and Canada participate in this program. Please contact Circulation Services at 292-OSUL to see if the institution(s) you plan to visit participate in this program.

OCLC On-Site Privileges for OSU Faculty/Student

On-site Access
On-site access privileges through the SHARES partnership permit faculty, emeritus faculty, students, and academic and professional library staff of partners' institutions to use the collections and services at other SHARES libraries. The following general policies apply:

Visitors must present a currently valid institutional ID card. A photo identification may be requested if the ID does not include a photograph.

Collection Access
In-library use of material is permitted, but visitors are not granted borrowing privileges. When libraries have restricted stack access, visitors will receive the same degree of access accorded their peers at the host institution; for example, visiting faculty will be accorded local faculty stack privileges. Access to special or restricted collections or materials is possible if arranged in advance.

Who's Included
On-site access does not extend to alumni, retired faculty (except for emeritus faculty), courtesy or fee borrowers, spouses, or docents; or to faculty, staff, and students from non-SHARES units affiliated with SHARES participants.

Existing Agreements
Local protocols take precedence over the SHARES on-site access guidelines. For example, participating institutions in the same region may have established more liberal policies or more specific guidelines for each other's clientele.

Available Services
Visitors can expect these services:

  • Reference consultation
  • Photocopying at the local constituency rate
  • Database search services at the local constituency rate
  • Other services available to comparable groups at the host institution

Special arrangements may be available for using unique local resources and electronic databases that are restricted by license agreements. Visitors will not receive direct ILL borrowing services; for example, the visitor cannot present an ALA ILL Request form and expect to carry out the requested item.

On-site access is available during the institution's regular business hours. To verify hours, holiday access, and access to departmental libraries and special collections, contact the SHARES liaison in advance.