Policies and Procedures

 Borrowing Privileges

Please carefully read this information to help you borrow OSU library materials. Most OSU library locations are open for use of materials and other available services; however, borrowing materials is limited to holders of a valid OSU identification (ID) card (current faculty, staff, and students), an OSU Libraries Courtesy Card, or a valid ID from any OhioLINK or Big Ten Academic Alliance institution. A valid picture ID is required for circulation of In-House items.

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 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 OSU 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 every item you return.
  • Please keep your address current and be sure to check your OSU 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 with Human Resources.  To do that you can use the new Employee Self Service (ESS) system.  Sign into EES and go to the EES Help to find tutorials on how to use the system.  We ask you to please make the necessary changes to your on-campus address before requesting any more materials to be sent to your office.
  • 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 any more 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 any more materials to be sent to your office or on-campus residence.

  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:

OSU items:

6 weeks

(unlimited renewals)


17 weeks

(unlimited renewals)

Faculty, staff

17 weeks

(unlimited renewals)

Courtesy card 

3 weeks

(up to 6 renewals)




OhioLINK items:


Courtesy Patrons

6 weeks

3 weeks

3 weeks

(up to 6 renewals)

(up to 6 renewals)

(up to 6 renewals)

A/V items
(OSU & Ohiolink)

1 week

(up to 3 renewals)

Closed Reserves

2 hours

(no renewals)


SearchOhio items

3 weeks

(up to 3 renewals)       

SearchOhio dvd's

1 week

(up to 3 renewals)

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

 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 http://go.osu.edu/appeal.
  •  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.

 Requesting Materials

You may request most circulating items listed as available or checked out. Available items will be retrieved and held for you at the library you select. A checked out item will be recalled from the current borrower and you will be sent a courtesy e-mail notice when the book is ready for pickup.

An item may be recalled from you by another patron 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 OSU Libraries Catalog, you may want to check availiability by following these steps:

1.  Search the statewide OhioLINK catalog next.

  • You can get to OhioLINK after you do a search in the OSU library catalog.  Click on the blue ‘OhioLINK catalog’ button at the top of the OSU catalog page from step 1 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 OSU for you.
  • Select the institution with which you are affiliated.
  • Type in your name and I D 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. Search the statewide SearchOhio Catalog next.

  • Click on the SearchOhio link at the top of the OhioLINK page and your search will be placed in the SearchOhio system.  Items found in OhioLINK or SearchOhio can be requested and sent to OSU 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).  Fines for overdue SearchOhio materials are $0.50 per day.
  • Type in your name and I D number and select the library where you would like to pick up the book.  SearchOhio delivery typically takes 3 - 5 days.
  • If you cannot locate the item through SearchOhio, go to step 3.

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

 Delivery Methods


Quickest Delivery Method

The quickest way to get the books you request is to select the Thompson Library as your pick-up location. In addition, the OSU Libraries' Book Depository deliveries to the Thompson Library and the 18th Avenue Library 2 times daily.

Books by Campus Mail 

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. 

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 onto 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.

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

  Returning Materials

We encourage you to return all library materials in person to any OSU 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.

 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 a hold notices to your osu.edu e-mail account. E-mail notification service provides uninterrupted delivery of your library notices throughout the year, including semester breaks and summer term. To avoid library fines, the OSU 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 or you would like to forward OSU email to a commercial internet account, please contact the OIT Help Desk.