University Libraries

Graduate Student Survival Guide

Table of Contents

Important Telephone Numbers

General Policies

Circulation and Access
Requirements for Borrowing
Loan Periods for Graduate Students
End of Semester Return and Renewal
Renewals during the Course of the Semester
Overdues and Fines

Course Reserve and Other Aids for Teaching and Research

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

Finding and Getting Material

Obtaining NW Depository & Firelands Books, Searches & Recalls
OhioLINK Consortium
Traditional Interlibrary Loan
Online Article downloading and Research Citation databases

Reference Contacts

Managing Your Library Account

Keeping Track
Lost Books, Billing and Account Reconciliation

Additional Information

Disability Services

Other Resources for Graduate Students

  Return to Table of Contents

Important Telephone Numbers

Alphabetical staff directory || Staff by Department (pdf)  || UL Organizational Chart (pdf)

Need information or help?

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

Hours and Information (recording) 419-372-2885

Book renewal 419-372-2133

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

  • Jerome/Main 419-372-2051   Fax: 419-372-0475

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

Reserve (Main Jerome)  419-372-8214 

By Department
Access Services/Circulation, 1st floor, Jerome419-372-2051
Acquisitions/Gifts, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-9827
Administrative Office, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-2856
        Fax Machine419-372-0188
    Administrative Programs & Services419-372-7891
    Budget Office419-372-7890
        Fax Machine419-372-0188
    Friends of the Library419-372-2856
    Pallister Conference Room419-372-6973
Browne Popular Culture Library, 4th Floor, Jerome419-372-2450
Cataloging, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-7922
Center for Archival Collections, 5th Floor, Jerome419-372-2411
        Fax Machine419-372-0155
Collection Development, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-7894
Collections & Technical Services419-372-7894
Curriculum Resource Center, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-2956
Dean's Office, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-2856
        Fax Machine419-372-0188
Digital Initiatives, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-8664
Document Delivery, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-2758
Electronic Resources, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-2690
Firelands College Library419-433-5560
First Year Experience Librarian, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-7901
Government Documents Materials Processing, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-7839
Government Documents Reference and Instruction, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-6943
Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, 6th Floor, Jerome419-372-9612
        Fax Machine419-372-9600
Interlibrary Loan, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-8726
        Fax Machine419-372-6877
Library Information Technology Services, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-8664
Library Instruction, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-7901
Library Teaching & Learning, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-2362
Micrographics Lab, Perrysburg419-372-5766
Music Library, 3rd Floor, Jerome419-372-2307
        Fax Machine419-372-2499
Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository, Perrysburg419-372-5760
       Fax Machine419-372-5770
Preservation Lab, Perrysburg419-372-5764
Reference Services, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-2361
Reserve Room, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-7908
Serials, 2nd Floor, Jerome419-372-8681
Sound Recordings Archives3rd Floor, Jerome419-372-2307
Subject Specialists, 1st Floor, Jerome419-372-2362


  General Policies

The holdings of the BGSU Libraries are a shared resource for the entire university community. The mission of academic libraries 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 BGSU 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 that 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, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and OhioLINK Item due dates are printed on a receipt at the time of checkout. In addition, BGSU and OhioLINK due dates can be viewed online by checking   My Library Account . ILL users can check due dates online through the ILLiad 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. 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, the Reference Desk, or Reserve items must be returned to those desks. Check the due date on your library account or ask at the service desk where you borrowed the material. 
  • 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

One needs an account in the library's patron database and a BGSU photo ID. 

Have your BGSU ID with you every time you wish to conduct business in the library. If you need 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 six times unless "on hold" for another person. OhioLINK non-book items can be borrowed for 7 days with no 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 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 leading 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 can 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.  Once library materials are overdue, online renewal is no longer available.  After materials are overdue, items must be renewed:

  • 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, 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 already been renewed 4 times. It is an excellent idea to frequently check your account using My Library Account.

If the material is already overdue, 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.

You are responsible for keeping track of the due dates of your material. Initially, each item's due date 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 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 self-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.  

Overdues and Fines

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 leading 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 $0.25 per hour per item.

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 two years of the actual billing, please return the item for a substantial credit to your account.

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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

Photocopies may be placed on electronic reserve in compliance with copyright guidelines and relevant laws. Stop in, email or call (419-372-7908) the Head of Reserves for more information.

Collect all materials or photocopy all materials that you need for your courses well in advance, and bring them to the Circulation desk 3-5 days in advance of when they will be needed by your students. BGSU libraries will pull material for you but cannot photocopy material for you. Since many materials are submitted for processing at the beginning of semesters, please submit materials with appropriate leadtime for the time of the semester.

A timeline for submission of materials is available in Reserve (email or call 419-372-7908).  

Complete and sign a Reserve form.   All photocopies must include complete citation information.

Personal materials or non-library materials will be handled on a case by case request. Security of personal materials is not guaranteed. All such materials will be returned to the course instructor at the end of the semester.

Copyrighted material cannot be placed on “permanent” reserve. Contact the Head of reserve for any clarification.

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.

Photocopies must be submitted with a completed, signed Reserve form. All photocopied 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 

To enable proxy borrowing, print the online Research Proxy Form available on the library web site or pick up a proxy borrowing form at the Jerome Library circulation desk. Once the form is completed, signed by the faculty member, and returned to the circulation desk, the person so designated may borrow books, place holds, and renew items.  faculty must place OhioLINK requests themselves.

Graduate students should present their own ID and tell the staff member that you 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.

We strongly recommend you neither ask others to borrow items on their accounts for you, nor lend items that are on your circulation 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.

For departmental copying, talk to your department representative.

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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 request-able in the BGSU online catalog. Questions? Contact the Circulation Desk in person or by email.


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 must do this in person or via email using your BGSU email account; we cannot take searches over the phone. 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 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

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 resources effectively increase BGSU's holdings by millions of volumes. There are currently more than 86 colleges, universities and public libraries participating in OhioLINK, among them Ohio State University, Ohio University, University of Toledo, University of Toledo Medical Center, and Oberlin College. In addition, you may borrow directly at any OhioLINK university 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 for 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 the “My Library Account” option via the BGSU Library web pages.  

  • The “Items currently checked out” link will show the OhioLINK requests you have checked out.
  • 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, Borrowing and Renewing

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 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 or present the materials for renewal at the Circulation Desks. Return OhioLINK material at the main circulation desks of Jerome or Firelands.  Long overdue OhioLINK items may not be renewed.

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


Fines will be assessed overdue for all BGSU and OhioLINK items.  BGSU fines accrue at $.25 per day and OhioLINK fines accrue at $.50 per day per item and cannot be waived. Periodically checking your library account online for due dates is an excellent idea.  

Traditional Interlibrary Loan

If needed material is not in the BGSU or OhioLINK catalog, or it does not circulate through OhioLINK, request it through Interlibrary Loan. 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 the University Libraries on-line Interlibrary Loan system (ILLIAD). 

ILLiad 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 ILLiad FAQ 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:

  • 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.

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 ILLiad. There is a description of the meaning of ILLiad statuses in the ILLiad FAQ.

  Online Article Downloading and Research Databases

You can 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.  

You may need large capacity removable storage media in order to download online articles in the Libraries.

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  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 out of the 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.

  Lost Books, 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.

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.

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 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 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, billed and 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 two years 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 two years, 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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  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 typewriters, televisions with 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.

Have a Question? Contact the Circulation Desk by email or 419-372-2051.