How Do I ...?

Below are some frequently asked questions at the Ask a Librarian service. If you don't find an answer to your question, please Ask a Librarian!

. . . find out when a particular library is open?

Select the library or the library building from the pull-down menus on the Library Hours page. A calendar of current hours will display.

. . . access library online resources from off campus?

Current U-M faculty, staff, and students:
Most library online resources are limited to current University of Michigan faculty, staff and students. If you are in a campus building, you may be able to access library resources without logging into the campus authentication system, however many library services are only available with a valid login (such as the Interlibrary Loan request service or “Get This!” delivery service). If you are not in a campus building, you will be asked to log in with your U-M uniqname and Kerberos password before you can access these library resources. See the additional information about off campus access. Please note: online access permissions can sometimes take up to 24 hours after your MCard and U-M record information are entered into the library system to process.

Others (not currently U-M faculty, staff, or students):
Mirlyn, the library catalog of the University of Michigan is open to all users.  In addition, those resources identified in Search Tools that display a globe or 'world' icon are also open to all users. Please note: creating a U-M Friend account does not grant access to library online resources and services.

. . . get a book delivered from another campus library?

To request a U-M book delivery between libraries, including Flint's Thompson Library:

1. Start at Mirlyn (
2. Click on "Log In" near the top-right corner of the screen, and login using your uniqname and UM Kerberos password.
3. Search for the book you want.
4. When you find it, click on the title to display the record.
5. On the Holdings tab, you'll see libraries that have the item. Click on the the gray "Get This" button (toward the bottom of the screen) to the right of the location.
6. At the next screen, complete the form for the pick-up location (which library you want to get this item on your behalf), and click on the Submit button. You will receive an email message when the item is ready for pick up.

. . . get books and articles not at U-M?

U-M faculty, staff, and students can request materials from other libraries at other institutions through Interlibrary Loan services.

. . . check out books and other Library (Ann Arbor) materials? Where do I return those books?

You can return most library materials to any library or library drop box. But we do recommend that you return course reserve items directly to the reserve desk where you checked them out.

. . . see what I've checked out? How do I renew items online?

From Mirlyn, click on the link at the top of the screen labeled My Account. You will be prompted for your Library password. Click on the Items Checked Out button to view your items.

Instructions on how to renew books checked out to you. Please note: some libraries restrict the number of renewal requests.

. . . pay my overdue book fine?

Information on library fines. Fines may be paid in cash or by check at the Graduate Library or the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library. Only the Graduate Library accepts Visa and Mastercard. 

. . . get a dissertation? a thesis?

At the University of Michigan Library, we tend to collect only those dissertations completed at U-M. These may be borrowed through interlibrary loan from other U.S. libraries. Records for U-M-owned dissertations completed since 1930 are included in Mirlyn, the library catalog of the University of Michigan. The U-M community can use the Mirlyn "Get This" function to request a delivery from the U-M Buhr Shelving Facility for a particular dissertation. The U-M community can also download the full-text of U-M dissertations completed since 1997 from the "Dissertations @ University of Michigan" database. If the dissertation you need was completed at one of the Big Ten institutions (+ University of Chicago) since 1997, you can download the full-text of the dissertation, free of charge, at this web address: If the dissertation you want was not completed at a Big Ten institution, U-M faculty and students can request it through interlibrary loan and the staff in this unit will obtain it from the institution at which it was completed. But, note that most institutions lend a microfilm copy of a dissertation, not a print copy. You can also purchase a copy directly from ProQuest, a company that holds the rights to sell copies of dissertations from most academic institutions around the U.S. and some from other countries. Contact information for ProQuest is:

  • Toll free:  800-521-0600
  • Email:

ProQuest is located in Ann Arbor, but it is not affiliated with The University of Michigan.

... find study spaces in the libraries?

See our study spaces page for information about how to find or reserve study space in the various libraries.

. . . access course reserves?

Instructors can put reading materials on reserve at several libraries throughout campus. These items are then available on a restricted basis. Many course reserve items are available online, via the Course Reserve catalog in Mirlyn Classic. To view the Course Reserve catalog, log into Mirlyn Classic with your U-M uniqname and Kerberos password. Then click on the Course Reserve link on the right side of the Mirlyn Classic banner. Search for your course name, course number, instructor, or book title/author. You may be asked to authenticate to view these items, and you may need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view many of the items.

. . . find out if the Library has an online version of a journal or magazine?

Many of the Library's journal and magazine subscriptions are available online, and represented in Mirlyn, the library catalog of the University of Michigan.  Links to online journals are included in the Mirlyn record for the journal or magazine title. Another option is to use the Online Journals feature of Search Tools. There you can search for a specific journal or magazine title or words in the title, or browse alphabetically by title or by broad subject. If you have a specific journal article citation, use the MGet It Citation Linker. MGet It provides a short-cut to full-text articles, where the online version of journal is available.

. . . configure Google Scholar to display U-M Library links (MGetIt)?

When you’re on campus and do a search using Google Scholar, Scholar recognizes your computer as part of the University of Michigan network and so provides you with Availability at UM links (or MGet It icons) next to article citations.  When you’re off campus though, Scholar does not know that you are associated with U-M (unless you log into Scholar via Search Tools).  Using the Scholar Preferences, you can set long-term preferences (they are stored as cookies, and so will last only on this browser and computer) for displaying the library links to full-text articles and/or the Mirlyn catalog. In the “Library Links” section of the Preferences screen, type in Michigan in the input box and click the “Find Library” button.  Put a check in the box next to University of Michigan (Availability at UMichigan).  Click on the “Save Preferences” button at the bottom of the page to save your Scholar preferences.

. . . format my bibliography using APA/MLA/etc. style?

Take a look at the Citation Help guide.


. . . know how long I can keep my movie from the Askwith Media Library?

Askwith Media Library materials can be checked out for 3 days, with 2 exceptions.

. . . suggest a book, DVD, etc. for the library collections?

Complete the online purchase request form. Please note that the request form is restricted to UM affiliates. 


. . . research U-M history?

The Bentley Historical Library is the official archive of the University of Michigan. As the official archives, this library is the best place to find information about U-M alumni, old campus photos, old course catalogs, etc. For research assistance, contact the Bentley reference staff. For some interesting and helpful hints regarding U-M history, see "Historical Facts about the University of Michigan."


. . . get help with library research?

University Library reference staff can answer your questions via phone or in person, during varied service hours at the various campus libraries. If you are unsure which of these locations can best meet your needs, send your question to Ask a Librarian (email or instant messaging). Reference staff can direct you to the most relevant service point. For in-depth research assistance, University Library subject specialists are available for research consultations. Contact the appropriate specialist for an appointment, tailored to your information needs.

. . . buy more reprints like the one I found on

The Scholarly Publishing Office provides reprints of works in our collections. Information about this service, including how to order, is posted on the Scholarly Publishing Office web site.

Page maintained by Karen Reiman-Sendi
Last modified: 10/11/2013