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:

If you are off-campus or using wireless on-campus, you should be prompted to log in with your University of Michigan uniqname and password (Kerberos password).You must log-in because access to most online resources is limited to current U-M faculty, staff, and students. Once you’ve logged-in, you should have full access to library resources.  

Please note: online access permissions can sometimes take up to 24 hours to process, after your MCard and U-M record information are entered into the library system.

Others (not current U-M faculty, staff, or students):

Access to most of the University of Michigan online resources is limited for current faculty, staff, and students. Without a current U-M uniqname and password, you will be unable to access our online resources.

You have a few options for searching for materials:

  • Mirlyn, the library catalog of the University of Michigan is open to all visitors.

  • Search Tools will display a globe or 'world' icon to signify online resources that are open to all visitors

  • Visit the University of Michigan library in-person to access online materials from our guest computers

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 U-M 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?

You can pay your fines online through your Library account, all major credit cards are accepted. In person payments made with Mastercard or Visa are accepted at the Hatcher Graduate Library, the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, and the Art Architecture and Engineering Library.  

Information on library fines.

 . . . find scholarly articles?

There are several ways to find scholarly articles available through the library, but the most popular methods are below.

  • ArticlesPlus -- after searching for information, you can refine the results to include only scholarly articles. To do so, look to the left side of the search results for a option to “Limit to articles from scholarly journals.”
  • ProQuest Research Library -- From the main search bar, select the “Peer Reviewed” option beneath the search bar. Or perform your search and then narrow the results by selecting “Scholarly Journals” from the menu on the right side of the page

... 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?

Course reserves are books placed on hold by U-M faculty for use by students. The books on reserve can be used for short periods of time (e.g. 4 hours) and are available for check out at the Askwith Media Library. You can see if a book is available by searching for it in Mirlyn.

. . . 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. Three quick ways to find a publication are:

  • Search in Mirlyn. Enter the title of the journal or magazine in the search box. Choose "journa/serial name" from the drop down menu to the right of the search box for more accurate search results.
  • Search 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.

. . . get MGet It links in Google Scholar searches?

To ensure that you will see MGet It links while searching in Google Scholar, you should navigate to Google Scholar through the Library's home page. From the home page, search for Google Scholar in the gold search box. On the results list, click on the Google Scholar link to connect to our customized version that includes MGet It link.

(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.)

. . . 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 U-M 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.

. . . get help with library research?

Library reference staff can answer your questions via phone or in person, during varied service hours at the various campus libraries. You can also send your question by email or instant messaging. For in-depth research assistance, subject specialists are available for research consultations. Contact the appropriate specialist by phone or email for an appointment.

. . . get a dissertation? a thesis?

Records for U-M-owned dissertations completed since 1930 are included in Mirlyn, the catalog of the University of Michigan.

Finding a print copy -- The U-M community can use the Mirlyn "Get This" function to request a delivery from the Buhr Shelving Facility for a particular dissertation.

Finding an online copy -- The U-M community can also download the full-text of U-M dissertations completed since 1997 from the "Dissertations @ University of Michigan" database.

Finding Non-UM Dissertations -- If the dissertation 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.

Purchasing a 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

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

Page maintained by Karen A Reiman-Sendi
Last modified: 04/04/2016