Borrowing Privileges for the U-M Community

The University Library offers a variety of borrowing programs for members of the U-M community. Those eligible for library cards are:

To borrow from a library, you must have a borrowing card. In most cases this will be your M-Card. If you are affiliated with the University of Michigan, but cannot find the appropriate U-M community category above that describes your affiliation, please contact the Hatcher Graduate Library North Circulation Desk.

If you are not a member of the U-M campus community, please visit the Borrowing Privileges for U-M Alumni & Guests web page for information. 


Currently registered U-M students from all three campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint) are eligible to borrow. New students can have their M-Cards activated at the circulation desks at the Hatcher Graduate Library, Taubman Medical Library, Art, Architecture & Engineering Library, or the Shapiro Undergraduate Library. Returning students can bring their M-Cards to any library circulation desk.

Graduate Student Borrowers

Please be aware that if you have more than one type of borrowing privilege, e.g., both a student and an instructional card, the privilege level used to borrow materials will determine the loan regulations and sanctions governing your transaction. Sanctions imposed on a student borrower will not be waived upon presentation of a higher level borrowing card.

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Faculty and Staff

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 Spouse or Significant Other of U-M Faculty and Staff

  • If you are a U-M faculty or staff member, you may request a library card for your spouse or significant other. The employee must have a faculty level position or a permanent regular staff appointment.
  • Borrowing privileges are good for one year, renewable annually, or for the duration of the faculty/staff appointment, if less than one year.
  • The spouse or significant other is responsible for any circulation activity occurring on the card including payment for all books or other library material that may be lost while charged to the card.
  • Unless a particular title has a more limited circulation, loan periods will be three weeks. The number of books that may be charged is unlimited, although the number of renewals may vary among the libraries.
  • Spouse/significant other borrowing applications are available at the Hatcher Graduate Library North Circulation Desk or at

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Faculty Proxies

  • Borrowing by proxy provides borrowing privileges to individuals working for or with a U-M faculty member who has a permanent teaching appointment. This card is issued only upon written authorization of the faculty member and, although the proxied individual carries the library card, the sponsoring faculty member is wholly responsible for all materials borrowed in his or her name. The borrowing privileges of both the sponsoring faculty and the proxy will be suspended if the proxy card is delinquent.
  • The faculty member assumes full responsibility including:
    • Prompt communication with the proxy regarding all notices and correspondence.
    • Return or renewal of books on due date.
    • Immediate return of books that are recalled for use by other borrowers.
    • Payment for all library materials that may be lost while charged to the proxy.
    • Written notification if a proxy is to be revoked or canceled before the expiration date.
  • Proxy cards are issued for no more than one year at a time and must be renewed each year.
  • Applications may be made online, or are available in person at the Hatcher Graduate Library North Circulation Desk and at the Taubman Health Sciences Library or online in PDF format.

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 Visiting Scholars (sponsored by a U-M department)

The University Library provides privileges to borrow from its collections to scholars who have been invited to the U-M campus to participate in research or instructional activities. All other visitors who do not have this invited status should refer to the Borrowing Privileges for U-M Alumni & Guests page. Visiting scholar cards are issued at the Hatcher Graduate Library and the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library. A visiting scholar application, which must be signed by your Dean, Director, or Department Chair, is available at the Hatcher Graduate Library North Circulation Desk or at

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Emeriti Faculty

Faculty who retire with the status of emeritus or emerita continue with their library privileges unchanged.  Emeriti faculty library borrowing privileges are automatically renewed every year, as well as access to networked library resources.

Page maintained by Paul J. Barrow
Last modified: 12/17/2013