Graduate Student Circulation Survival Guide

General information, borrowing, account, and access information and help:

Circulation, 419-372-2051,

Renewal 419-372-2133,

Reserve (Main Jerome) 419-372-7908

Research & Information Desk (Reference) 419-372-2361,

Toll free 866-LIB-BGSU [866-542-2478]

General Policies

The holdings of the BGSU Libraries are a shared resource for the entire university community and other OhioLINK institutions. It is a mission of academic libraries to provide access to and circulation of materials and to preserve 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 BGSU Libraries' policies, including borrowing, renewal and return policies, assessment of overdue fines, and billing policies and procedures.

In general, know the BGSU-specific conditions under which you borrow materials and adhere to those conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to:  

  • Recognizing that these materials are a shared resource;
    • Individual patrons may borrow materials 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.
    • Keep books free of damage by liquids or other damaging materials;
    • Don’t write in or highlight books, fold or tear pages;
    • Remove sticky notes or other bookmarks from the books before returning them;
    • Keep books away from dogs as the glues used in binding are attractive to them; 
    • 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 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 or staff should have the faculty or staff member complete a Research Proxy Borrower Form to enable designated proxies to request and pick up materials on their behalf.
  • Tracking dates and times items are due.
    • Main Stacks and OhioLINK item due dates are printed on a receipt at the time of checkout. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) has the date due on the band.
    • Additionally, BGSU and OhioLINK due dates can be viewed online by checking   My Library Account. 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 six times unless "on hold" for another.
    • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials have different restrictions than regular BGSU main stacks items. Some specialized material may not leave the building.  
    • In general, return materials where they were checked out.  For example, if you checked out a CD from the Music Library Listening Center, return it to that desk, etc.
    • Check due dates on your library account or ask at the service desk where you borrowed the material. 
    • Be sure to understand restrictions and due dates.
  • Fines are assessed for overdue 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.

·         Browne Popular Culture is a closed collection; you may request 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

·         You need an account in the library's patron database and your BGSU photo ID every time you wish to conduct business in the library.

·         To update your address or other personal information, log into your "MyBGSU" account and click on "Update Personal Information".

Loan Periods for Graduate Students

·         Graduate students receive an end of semester due for general collection materials housed in Jerome, Firelands, and Government Documents.

·         Special collections (Music, Curriculum) 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 21 days and renewed up to six times unless "on hold" for another person. OhioLINK books will be held for pick up for 10 days.

·         OhioLINK non-book items can be borrowed for 7 days with no renewals and no grace period.  OhioLINK media will be held for pick up for five days.


·         All borrowed materials may be recalled at any time.

·         Due dates may be shortened for recalled material. You will receive an email notice if a book has been recalled from you.

·         Items that are going on Course Reserve are subject to immediate recall without the usual 14 day minimum lending period.

·         Items which have been recalled are subject to $1.00 per day fines after the recall due date has passed.

End of Semester Return and Renewal

·         Graduate students may renew items online at the end of Summer and Fall Semesters.  

·         Renewals at the end of the academic year, Spring Semester, require either returning or physically presenting the materials for renewal. There is no online, telephone, or email renewal at the end of the academic year.

·         Once library materials are overdue, online renewal is no longer available.  After materials are overdue, items must be renewed

o    By phone to 419-372-2133-articulating the barcode and brief title

    • Via email to at minimum the barcode and brief title
    • In person with the material.

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

Renewals during the Course of the Semester

·         If the material is not yet overdue

o    Renew online by choosing "My Account" option on the BGSU Libraries home page and login. 

o    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.

o    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 already been renewed six (6) times.

o    Check your account using My Account regularly.

·         If the material is already overdue

o    Call the telephone renewal line, 419-372-2133

o    Renew via email to

o    In either case, communicate the barcode and brief title of each item you want to renew.

·         All materials may be renewed at the circulation desks where the item was borrowed by bringing in the materials.

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

You are responsible for keeping track of the due dates of your material. Initially, item due dates are printed on a receipt at check out. After, you are responsible for tracking those dates.

Uncertain? Check your own account or ask a circulation staff member to do it for you.

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

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

Long overdue OhioLINK items may not be renewed.

Overdues and Fines

Fines vary according to the type and owning location of materials. In general, BGSU open-stack materials will be assessed $0.25 per day for each item.

OhioLINK materials are assessed a $0.50 per day fine for each item. Statewide policy dictates these fines and BGSU Libraries may not waive them.

  • Recalls: Due dates may be shortened for recalled material. You will receive an email notice if a book has been recalled from you. Items that are going on Course Reserve are subject to immediate recall without the usual 14 day minimum lending period. Items which have been recalled are subject to $1.00 per day fines after the recall due date has passed.
  • Reserve: Materials that are on Reserve will accrue fines at $1.00 per hour per item.

Specialized materials may have different fine rates or timing. Please ask questions or read agreements for items such as laptops, etc.

Generally, for a few days after an overdue book is returned, you can pay fines at the Jerome or Firelands Library.  After that, charges are sent your bursar account.

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

If you locate a billed item within one year of the actual billing, please return the item for a substantial credit to your account.

Course Reserve and Other Aids for Teaching and Research

These following policies apply to placing items on Reserve in the Jerome Library Main Stacks, Music Library, and the Curriculum Resource Center. 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

  • Bring materials that you need for your courses to the Circulation desk 3-5 days in advance of when they will be needed by your students after completing an online reservation form. If the materials requested on the form are from the Jerome Library and able to go on reserve, BGSU libraries staff will pull the material for you and add it to Course Reserves. Since many materials are submitted for processing at the beginning of the semester, please submit materials with appropriate lead time to be added to Course Reserve.  
  • Complete and sign a Reserve form.
  • Personal materials or non-library materials are welcome. Security of personal materials is not guaranteed. All such materials will be returned to the course instructor at the end of the semester unless the Head of Course Reserves is notified otherwise.
  • The following items may not be placed on Main 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 collections if you have any question about their materials.
  • All material must comply with the requirements of U.S. copyright law. It is the instructor's responsibility to insure copyright compliance.

Faculty Permission for Proxy Borrowing by Research & Graduate Assistants 

  • Faculty and staff can complete the Research Proxy Borrowing Form which allows designated research and teaching assistants to borrow books, place holds, and pick up OhioLINK and ILL materials on their behalf.
  • The proxy borrowing service is only available to contracted assistants.  It is not available for family members or friends. For exceptional situations contact Katie Mihaly via email at 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 machines 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.

Finding and Getting Material

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 Jerome 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

Request BGSU materials housed in Northwest Depository and Firelands to be delivered to the Jerome Library via the BGSU online catalog. Questions? Contact the Circulation Desk in person or by email.

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

Articles should be requested via InterLibrary Loan (ILL), our interlibrary loan system. Most articles are electronically delivered to the patron directly.


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.

The item can then be requested via OhioLINK.  When the item 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 in person or via your BGSU email account.

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.

If the BGSU owned-item is going on course reserve, complete and sign a course reserve form. Reserve staff will recall the material immediately.

Materials can also be requested through OhioLINK as patrons do not always return recalled material 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.

OhioLINK Consortium

The OhioLINK Consortium consists 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 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 University, University of Toledo, University of Toledo Medical Center, Miami University and Oberlin College. In addition, you may borrow directly at any OhioLINK university when you present your valid BGSU ID.

Users can also request items from our consortium of public libraries (24 and growing), SearchOhio, similar to OhioLINK.    


·         To get materials, try first via the BGSU Libraries.

·         If you cannot locate them or they are unavailable, try the OhioLINK Central Catalog for needed materials.

·         If you cannot locate the materials in OhioLINK, try SearchOhio via the OhioLINK catalog.

·         If you can’t get materials elsewhere, request items via InterLibrary Loan (ILL).

Tracking the status of your OhioLINK or SearchOhio requests

We will send an email pick up or cancellation notice to you.  Check the “My Library Account” option via the BGSU Library web pages.  

·         The “Items currently checked out” link will show the OhioLINK/SearchOhio/BGSU items you have checked out. InterLibrary Loan (ILL) is a separate system.

·         OhioLINK requests 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 which have been received and are ready for you to pick up have a status of “Rcv'd.”

Picking Up

OhioLINK materials are held at the circulation desks of Jerome or Firelands (depending on which location you chose). OhioLINK material usually arrives within 3-5 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 21 day loan period and can be renewed up to six times.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) (Traditional Interlibrary Loan)

·         Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is BGSU Libraries' online interlibrary loan request system. You 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.

·         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:

o    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.

o    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).

Online Article Downloading and Research Databases

You can download and/or print full text articles from many Research Databases and Electronic Journals. For more information, consult the staff at one of the reference desks or Ask-a-Librarian online.

These full text articles print directly or download directly to the desktop. If you are trying to connect to these databases from off-campus and are having difficulties, call Jerome Reference at 419-372-6943 or Jerome Main Circulation at 419-372-2051.  

Managing Your Library Account

Keeping Track

You can view your library account online via the Libraries web pages. You will need to enter your BGSU username and password (same as for email or MyBGSU). Questions or problems? Call 419-372-2051 (fastest service) or email the Circulation desk.

  • 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.


·         On occasion, it can be helpful to print the list of items borrowed on your account (before returning material at the end of the semester for example, to ensure that everything 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 you once had and cannot 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.

·         One option in available in My Library Account can help you track BGSU items you have borrowed.  You can opt in to the service so anything checked out can be documented. The service, however, does not include OhioLINK items regrettably.

Lost Books, Problems, Billing, and Account Reconciliations

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

·         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.

·         Local 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 the Circulation desk from your BGSU email account or call 419-372-2051. 

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


·         You are 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. With OhioLINK, the item will stay on your account until the item is either found, billed and/or returned.

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. 

Additional Information

Services for patrons with disabilities

A variety of services are available to disabled patrons including but not limited to photocopying and material retrieval services. Please consult the "Library Services for Those with Disabilities" page for details. 

Other Resources for Graduate Students

Graduate students 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.

Laptops are available for borrowing (for short periods of time and for in-library use only) at the Jerome circulation desk.

The Electronic Reading Room (ERR) and the lobby computers in Jerome Library are for general use with a variety of software. These workstations are for research and curricular needs only. The ERR is open to the public when it is not in use for Library instruction sessions.

The Media Room in Jerome has video and DVD players, streaming video capabilities, and closed circuit television access for general use.

Although each floor has study areas, the 7th floor is available for group and individual study.  The eighth floor is available for quiet study only.

Lockers are available for temporary storage in Jerome while the library is open. Ask at the main circulation desk.

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