Faculty Circulation Survival Guide

Table of Contents


Jerome Library

Basic Information

General Policies
Circulation and Access
Requirements for Borrowing
Loan Periods for Faculty
End of Academic Year Return and Renewal
Renewals during the Course of the Semester
Overdues and Fines

Course Reserve and Other Resources for Teaching and Research

Putting Items on Course Reserve
Faculty Permission for Research & Graduate Assistants for Proxy Borrowing

Finding and Getting Material

Reference Contacts
Obtaining NW Depository & Firelands Books and Articles, Searches & Recalls
OhioLINK Consortium
Traditional Interlibrary Loan

Managing My Library Account

Keeping Track
Lost Books, Billing and Account Reconciliation

More Information

Other Resources for Faculty Members


Jerome Library, Access Services

Access Services is the department within the University Libraries that handles circulation of Jerome general collection materials, main Reserve materials, and materials requested through OhioLINK, Interlibrary Loan and branch libraries. Through the main circulation desk, this department also handles patron registration in the library database (as does Firelands Library), permission for graduate research assistants to check out material on a faculty member's account, fines and billing for overdue materials and lost books, and various other financial transactions including, selling basic supplies, making change, etc.

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Basic Information

General Policies

The holdings of the University Libraries at BGSU are a shared resource for the entire university community. The mission of academic libraries often includes access to and circulation of materials. Another significant portion of the mission of academic libraries is the preservation of materials for future generations of researchers and scholars. The mission to preserve the collections and ensure equitable access to the entire scholarly community affects many of the University Libraries' policies, including borrowing, renewal and return policies, assessment of overdue fines, and billing policies and procedures.

In general, all borrowers are expected to inform themselves of the BGSU-specific conditions under which they borrow materials and adhere to those conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

Recognizing these materials are a shared resource that individual patrons have borrowed and other people have the right to use them. All items may be recalled after a minimum two week loan period if another BGSU patron requests them. Items going on Reserve will be recalled immediately. The OhioLINK loan period is a state-wide agreed upon loan period based on a shared commitment to equitable access for all patrons within the consortium. Returning books promptly on or before their due date if they are no longer needed ensures that other patrons can browse and borrow those materials.

Keeping borrowed materials in good condition. Please do not allow books to be damaged by liquids or other foreign materials; do not write in or highlight books; do not fold or tear pages; remove sticky notes or other bookmarks from the books before returning them; and keep them away from dogs.  Items that have significant damage may be billed to the borrowing patron for the cost of repairs/replacement.

Understanding that items borrowed on your account are your responsibility. Any time that you lend books on your account to another person, you are assuming the risk of incurring overdue fines or lost book charges. Regrettably, charges incurred under the above circumstances cannot be waived, and we can only bill the account of the person who initially borrowed the material. TAs and GAs working for faculty should have the faculty member fill out and sign a Research Proxy Borrower Form, and submit it to the circulation desk of Jerome library to minimize borrowing for your faculty member.

  • Tracking dates and times items are due. Main Stack and OhioLINK items have the due date printed on a receipt at the time of checkout. ILL items have a cream band with the due date printed on it.  In addition, BGSU and OhioLINK due dates can be viewed online by checking the borrower's library account. InterLibrary Loan (ILL) users can check due dates online through the InterLibrary Loan (ILL) online interlibrary loan system.
  • Different items may be borrowed under different conditions. OhioLINK books can be checked out for three weeks and renewed four times unless "on hold" for another patron. Interlibrary Loan materials have different restrictions than regular BGSU main stacks items. Some specialized material may not leave the building.  Most materials checked out from the Music Library, Curriculum Resource Library, Reserve Room, or signed out from the Periodicals desk or the Reference Desk must be returned to those desks. Check the due date for the material on the receipt, check your library account, or ask at the service desk where you borrowed the material.
  • Fines are assessed for overdue OhioLINK materials.
  • Long overdue, lost or damaged materials will be billed.

Circulation and access

Jerome main collections are open stack collections; patrons are free to browse and select their own materials from the circulating collections and periodicals.

Music has some open stacks; items are checked out through the Jerome main circulation desk. Many more materials are in closed stacks; they are requested, checked out and returned only through the Music listening center window.

Curriculum Resource  materials generally circulate through the main desk at Jerome, but certain teaching aids are a closed collection and must be requested and borrowed directly from the Curriculum service desk.

Brown Popular Culture is a combined collection; some items circulate and others do not.  You may request non-circulating material through the Popular Culture service desk and they will locate it for you; these materials may not leave the Popular Culture reading room.

Archives : These are closed collections. Contact the Center for Archival Collections and the Historical Collections for the Great Lakes directly to discuss access to their collections.

Hayes Presidential Center materials appear in the BGSU online catalog but arrangements to see the material must be made through the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio. This Center is not part of the BGSU library system and sets its own policies regarding access to the collection.

Requirements for Borrowing

To borrow, one needs an account in the libraries' patron database and a BGSU faculty ID. Faculty are automatically loaded into the patron database on a regular basis, but if you are a new faculty member and need immediate access, you may come to the main circulation desk at Jerome or Firelands libraries, complete a patron registration form, and staff will create an account for you. You must present your faculty ID each time you borrow books - use of the BGSU ID for identification purposes is a campus wide University policy. For policies regarding graduate assistant access to your account see the Research Proxy Borrowing Form.

You should have your BGSU ID with you every time you wish to conduct business in the library.

Any overdue OhioLINK items must be returned or renewed. OhioLINK items may not be renewed if long overdue.

Loan Periods for Faculty

There is one due date for faculty for general collection materials, usually one week after the end of Spring Semester.

Special collections (Music, Curriculum, and Popular Culture) have differing loan periods depending on the type of material.

Loan periods for Reserve items are 2 hours, 1 day and 3 days depending on the specific item.

OhioLINK books from another university can be borrowed for 42 days and renewed six times unless "on hold" for another person. OhioLINK non-book items can be borrowed for 7 days with 3 possible renewals and no grace period. OhioLINK books will be held for pick up for 10 days. OhioLINK media will be held for pick up for five days.

All borrowed materials may be recalled at any time. Due dates may shorten for recalled material. You will receive a notice if a book has been recalled from you.  Recalls for items that are going on Reserve are subject to immediate recall without the usual 14 day minimum lending period.

End of Academic Year Return and Renewal

All continuing faculty accounts should be updated for the next year to facilitate online renewal at the end of the academic year. If you have questions or problems email circdesk@bgsu.edu or call 419-372-2051. If you do not have borrowed materials, contact any circulation desk in person, or by email using your BGSU email account to request updating your account through the next academic year. While we attempt to keep accounts current, statuses change hourly. Please assist us in helping you by notifying us of any problem or concern. If you do not return or renew your material, at a certain point the items will  be billed as lost. If within two years of being billed, you find a lost book, return it to the appropriate library and you will be credited all but a small portion of the charges.

Renewals during the Course of the Semester

Some materials, notably OhioLINK items and material from the special collections, have shorter loan periods and must be renewed before the universal faculty loan period ends. There are three methods available:

If the material is not yet overdue, self-renew online. Choose the "My Library Account" option on the BGSU Libraries home page and login.  Choose which items you want to renew, click the "renew selected items" button, and make a note of the new due date that the system assigns. Double check the due date the system assigns and make sure that the system accepted your renewal -- some items cannot be renewed, e.g. items on hold or recall and OhioLINK items that have been renewed four times already. It is an excellent idea to frequently check your account using My Library Account.

If the material is already overdue, email the barcode and title to circdesk@bgsu.edu or call the telephone renewal line, 419-372-2133.  We strongly suggest you have the materials with you when you call. At a minimum, you must know the barcode (each item has a label with a computer code) and title of each item you want to renew in order to renew by telephone. Follow the directions of the circulation staff with regard to documenting renewal dates. All materials may be renewed at the circulation desks where the item was borrowed by bringing the materials in person.

Items that have been recalled or are on hold for another patron cannot be renewed.

Overdues and Fines

Under certain circumstances, faculty are charged overdue fines. OhioLINK materials accrue fines at $.50 per day per item. Statewide policy dictates these fines and BGSU Libraries may not waive them.

The due date for OhioLINK material is printed on the checkout receipt.  One can always find due dates in "My Library Account." However, for most other locally owned materials, faculty are not charged overdue fines.

Everyone is assessed charges for long overdue or lost materials. Charges include the replacement cost of the item, a processing charge plus accrued fines, if applicable. Lost material charges are sent to your bursar account.

You are responsible for tracking due dates for borrowed material. Initially, the due date for each item is printed on a receipt.  In the event of any uncertainty, check your own account or ask a circulation staff member to do it for you.  

In the case of telephone renewals, note the new due date for each item and following the instructions of the staff regarding documentation of the renewal.

If you choose to self-renew online, you are responsible for making sure the system accepted your renewal, and for notifying us as soon as possible if there is a problem.

If you do not return or renew your material, at a certain point you will be billed for lost books.

Reminder: OhioLINK materials are assessed a $0.50 per day fine per item.

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Course Reserve and Other Aids for Teaching and Research

These policies apply to placing items on Reserve in Jerome Library, Music, and Curriculum. Please contact the special collections for additional policies and guidelines. In order to ensure timely placement of materials on reserve for your courses, please follow these guidelines and policies. Contact Jerome Reserve staff (419-372-7908) or the Special Collection staff involved, as soon as possible if you have any questions about the process.

Putting Items on Course Reserve

Collect all materials you need for your courses well in advance, and bring them to the appropriate Reserve desk 3-5 days in advance of when they will be needed by your students. Main Reserves are handled through the main circulation desk on the first floor of Jerome Library. BGSU libraries will pull material. Materials are processed for courses in the order in which they are received. At the beginning of the semester, you may find yourself at the end of a long queue if you wait until the minimum three days before the material will be assigned. A timeline for submission of materials is available from the Head of Reserve (call 419-372-7908 or email eres@bgsu.edu).

Complete and sign an Online Reserve Registration Form. All materials placed on reserve must include complete citation information.

Personal materials or non-library materials are welcomed. Security of personal materials is not guaranteed. Some materials can be damaged or lost while in use. All personal materials will be returned to the course instructor at the end of the semester.

The University Libraries will remain copyright compliant in our dealings with materials for reserve.

The following items may not be placed on Reserve: OhioLINK items, Reference materials, Interlibrary Loan materials, closed stack materials, and Library copies of periodicals. Specific Reserve units may also restrict additional items. Check with the individual Reserve unit if you have any questions.

Faculty Permission for Proxy Borrowing by Research & Graduate Assistants 

  • Faculty and staff can complete the Research Proxy Borrowing Formwhich allows designated research and teaching assistants to borrow books, place holds, and pick up OhioLINK and ILL materials on their behalf.
  • The proxy borrower will present his or her own ID and tell the library staff member that they need to borrow the materials on the faculty member's account. An OhioLINK book can only be borrowed on the account from which the request was made.
  • The proxy borrowing service is only available to contracted assistants.  It is not available for family members or friends. For exceptional situations contact Juli McCarroll via email at jmccarr@bgsu.edu or call 419-372-2053.
  • We strongly recommend you neither ask others to borrow items on their accounts for you, nor lend items that are on your library account to other people. If it is necessary for us to bill for lost, overdue or damaged items, we can only bill the person who borrowed the item, not another party, unless another person signs a form in our presence to accept the billing.  


BGSU libraries provides self-service copiers for our patrons. The photocopiers on the main campus use the BG1 Card. There is a machine to add value to your BG1 Card in the Jerome Library and in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

In some cases, faculty members may obtain copy cards by arrangement with their home department.  Departmental secretaries know the procedure for obtaining such cards.  

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Finding and Getting Material

Reference Contacts

Reference faculty and staff at the Jerome and Firelands Libraries and in the Special Collections are invaluable contacts for learning about BGSU's many citation and full-text article databases, e-journals, the OhioLINK central catalog, and other research resources.

Contact the main research and information desk at 419-372-6943, chat or email via Ask-a-Librarian, or stop by the reference desks of Jerome or Firelands Libraries.

Obtaining NW Depository & Firelands Books and Articles, Searches & Recalls

BGSU materials housed in Northwest Depository and Firelands materials will appear as available in the BGSU online catalog. Questions? Place an online request for the material you want. Contact the Circulation Desk in person or at circdesk@bgsu.edu.

Firelands material is delivered to Jerome Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays; NW Depository materials are usually available the next business day.

NW Depository articles may be requested using InterLibrary Loan (ILL).


If the material you want is listed as available in the online catalog but is not on the shelf, notify the circulation desk at the appropriate library and they will initiate a search. You can place a local request which will initiate a search by library staff. You can then request the material through OhioLINK if you need it quickly. The majority of items are found - - however, since items on search are by definition out of place, it is difficult to say when or even if they will be found. If the material is found, you will receive a notice to pick up the material at the appropriate circulation desk.


If the material you need is checked out to another person, ask the circulation staff to process a recall. You must do this in person or via your BGSU email account; we cannot process recalls over the phone. We will put a hold on the item for you and recall it from the patron who currently has it, as long as they have had it for a minimum of 2 weeks. (The exception is a BGSU owned-item that is going on course reserve. You must fill out and sign a course reserve form and the Reserve staff will recall the material immediately).

Materials can also be requested through OhioLINK if you need it quickly -- patrons do not always return recalled materials on time. You can do this online without recourse to the circulation staff.  Once the recalled material is returned, you will receive a notice directing you to the appropriate circulation desk. We are not able to recall BGSU items that are checked out to OhioLINK patrons except for course reserves at the owning institution.

OhioLINK Consortium

OhioLINK is a consortium of colleges and universities in Ohio that share their resources. You can request any circulating materials online through the OhioLINK online catalog and have it delivered to Jerome or Firelands Libraries for pick-up. OhioLINK materials may also be delivered to another OhioLINK site for pick up ("pick up anywhere"). Choose the appropriate library from the available list while making a request. OhioLINK resources effectively increase BGSU's holdings by millions of volumes. There are currently more than 90 colleges and universities participating in OhioLINK, among them Ohio State University, Ohio Univeristy, Medical College of Ohio, and Oberlin College. In addition, you may borrow directly at any OhioLINK library when you present your valid BGSU ID.


You can search the OhioLINK Central Catalog for needed materials. Request items online by following the directions on the screen. You will be asked for your BGSU username and password (same as email and MyBGSU) and the desired pickup location. The system will send your request to the lending institution. If there are multiple copies, the system decides which one to request, generally.

Tracking the status of your OhioLINK requests

We will send an email pick up or cancellation notice to you.  Check via the “My Library Account” option via the BGSU Library web pages.  The “items currently checked out” link will show your OhioLINK requests

OhioLINK requests that are being processed have a status of “Requested.” OhioLINK items that have been processed and sent from the lending institution have a status of “In transit.”  OhioLINK items have been received and are ready to pick up have a status of “Rcv'd.”

Picking Up, Borrowing and Renewing

OhioLINK materials are held at the circulation desks of Jerome or Firelands (depending on which location you chose) and are borrowed like BGSU items. OhioLINK material usually arrives within 2-4 business days. However, because it is a statewide system, speed can depend on the lending institution's processing speed, the delivery schedule of the carrier and the weather. Most material can be borrowed for a 42 day loan period and can be renewed six times.

If material is not overdue, you can renew it online through the "My Library Account" option available on the Libraries' web pages.  If the material is already overdue, call the telephone renewal line (419-372-2133) at Jerome to renew it over the phone, email the barcode and title to circdesk@bgsu.edu, or present the materials for renewal at the Circulation Desks. Return OhioLINK material at the main circulation desks of Jerome or Firelands.

OhioLINK non-book media (sound recordings, CDs, videos, etc.) have a special loan status. These items can be borrowed for one week only with three possible renewals and no grace period. We only keep items on the hold shelf for five days. Check your account frequently to avoid disappointment.

Fines will be assessed for all overdue OhioLINK items. These fines accrue at $.50 per day per item and may not be waived.  Since OhioLINK items have a shorter loan period than general collection materials checked out to faculty members, periodically checking My Library Account online for due dates is prudent.

Traditional Interlibrary Loan

If needed material is not in the BGSU or OhioLINK catalog, or it doesn't circulate through OhioLINK, request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). For articles, check the electronic journals or full text databases available through the BGSU and OhioLINK menus -- you may be able to print a full text version of the article directly to your desktop. If the article is not available in full text, request the item via ILL. 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is BGSU Libraries' online interlibrary loan request system. You can create a personal account, submit requests online, track the status of your requests, and receive email notification of arrival. Please read the InterLibrary Loan (ILL) for more information.

ILL materials can take from 2-4 weeks to arrive and sometimes take longer, depending on the lending institution. You can track the progress of your requests via InterLibrary Loan (ILL). There is a description of the meaning of InterLibrary Loan (ILL) statuses in the InterLibrary Loan (ILL) FAQ.

For help, Ask-a Librarian or ask for help at any of the reference desks in the Libraries. Although similar in some ways to OhioLINK, Interlibrary Loan has separate policies and loan periods and is a much larger international library consortium.

Some of the key differences for traditional ILL borrowing are: 

  • Materials that BGSU owns may not be requested (even if someone else has them checked out or they are non-circulating);
  • Borrowed items may be restricted to use within the library only; loan periods are different depending on the lending institution;
  • Items may not be renewable.

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Managing Your Library Account

Keeping Track

You can view your library account online via the Libraries web pages by clicking on  My Library Account. Enter your BGSU username and password (same as for email and MyBGSU). Questions or problems? Call 419-372-2051 (fastest service) or email circdesk@bgsu.edu.

  • Click on “# items currently checked out” to see a list of your current borrowed items and due dates, with the option to renew.
  • “# of requests outstanding” will list items that you have requested through OhioLINK and their status, as well as any items that you have recalled or searched.
  • Recalled, “on search” or Northwest Book Depository/Firelands items that you have requested show “Ready for Pickup” if they have been returned, found or delivered.
  • OhioLINK requests have various statuses -- when the status is “OhioLINK Rcv'd,” the item has arrived locally and you can pick it up. See “OhioLINK consortium” in this document for more information.

My Reading History

Reading History is a new feature in My Library that allows you to track and list many of the materials you have checked out from the BGSU University Libraries. You may choose whether or not you would like this feature enabled within your library account. 

The list of items in your reading history will display only BGSU materials that you have checked out. In other words, nothing that you borrow from OhioLINK or Interlibrary Loan will be included in this Reading History. Materials that were checked out prior to turning on your Reading History will not be included in the list.

Please read the important privacy information on your account page.


On occasion, it can be helpful to print out of the items borrowed on your account (before returning material at the end of the semester for example, to ensure that everything that you turned in (or thought you turned in) comes off your account in the library's database. This documentation also helps if you want to re-request a book that you once had and can't remember the citation. Once an item has been returned or checked in, we cannot recover the title or call number. Use “My Library Account” to print the items checked out to you or ask the circulation staff to provide you with a print of your current account. If you see any anomalies while viewing your account, please let circulation staff know immediately so we can correct or investigate the problem. 

Lost Books, Billing and Account Reconciliations

As soon as you know there is a problem with a library item, please contact the circulation.  Fines stop accumulating when you tell us of a problem.

We encourage you to respond to all library notices as quickly as possible. If you do not respond when the first overdue notices are sent and you are subsequently billed, even if the item is later returned, you will still be charged a portion of the processing fee, although a substantial proportion of the charge will be credited to your bursar's account.

BGSU items billed as lost include a charge for the replacement cost of the item, a $36.00 processing fee, and any applicable overdue fines.

OhioLINK items billed as lost include a $75.00 replacement fee, a $35.00 processing charge, and any applicable late fines.

Questions or problems?  Email circdesk@bgsu.edu from your BGSU email account  or call 419-372-2051.  

If you have lost an item borrowed from any Special Collection, contact the staff where the material was borrowed.


You will be responsible for all accumulated fines until you notify us that there is a problem. If you think you returned an OhioLINK item and it is still appearing on your account, contact us immediately so that we can stop the fines accruing and ask the lending institution to check its shelves. The item will stay on your account, however, until the item is either found and returned or billed.

Billing and refunds for lost material

An item will be billed as lost if it becomes long overdue.  If an item is returned within one year of the billing date, a substantial credit will be made to your Bursar account.

OhioLINK items that are declared lost are billed at $75 for each book, a $35.00 processing fee and any overdue fines accrued before you notify us of the problem. If the item is returned within one year, a credit will be transmitted to the Bursar for $75. Per OhioLINK statewide agreements, no refund will be given for the processing fee or any overdue fines.

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More Information

Other Resources for Faculty Members

The Ramona Cormier Faculty Reading Room on the 8th floor of Jerome library is a quiet study area reserved for faculty and graduate student use only. The keys can be borrowed at the main circulation desk at Jerome library -- these keys may not leave the library. Please treat the Reading Room as a study area, not a lounge -- the same rules regarding food and drink, smoking, talking loudly when others are working, etc. apply in the Reading Room as in the rest of the library. This room is not available for meetings.

The Electronic Reading Room on the first floor of Jerome Library contains multimedia web stations and printers for library research. This room is open to the public when classes are not scheduled. Email, chat and games are not allowed. For assistance contact the Reference Desk at Jerome. For workstations capable of word processing, email, etc. use the library computer lab or computers run by ITS.

Food and drink are permitted on the first, seventh, and eighth floors of Jerome Library. There are vending machines available on the seventh floor.  Beverages in spill-resistant containers are permitted in many areas of the Libraries. Check Special Collections for their policies.

Computer classrooms operated by Information Technology Services are located on the first floor of Jerome Library as are other computers for general use. Questions concerning the classrooms may be directed to ITS.

The Media Room, located across from the circulation desk, is equipped with video and DVD players, streaming video capabilities, and closed circuit television access for general use.

Lockers are available for temporary storage in Jerome while the library is open. Ask at the main circulation desk to check out a key for a locker.

Faculty may apply for a Lokmobile - a wheeled, lockable cart in which you can store checked out materials, etc. for use in Jerome Library.  Application forms are available at Jerome circulation desk.

Each Special Collection has resources available specific to its collection. Please consult the appropriate staff for information.

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