Free borrowing privileges for Native and Indigenous people

May 20, 2024

The U-M Library is extending free borrowing privileges to Native and Indigenous people not already affiliated with the university. Members of these communities can obtain guest cards, normally available for a $250 annual fee, at no cost, and then check out items from the library's circulating collection. Cards can be obtained at the Hatcher North Information Services Desk.

The new policy emerged from conversations connected to the library's new territorial acknowledgement, and is one small step in the library's efforts to honor the intent and spirit of the treaty upon which the university was founded. 

"We acknowledge that the Bodewadmi, the Odawa, and the Ojibwe peoples lived here long before white settlers arrived, that the University of Michigan owes its creation to them, and that the commitments made by the university, including access to an education, remain to be fully met,” said Lisa Carter, dean of libraries.

According to Carter, the library as stewards of a great deal of knowledge has an obligation to find ways to be of service to these communities.

“Guest borrowing privileges is a starting point," said Ariel Ojibway, information resources assistant and member of the Library Diversity Council subcommittee. The council, which is leading the initiative, hopes to announce more tribal connections and opportunities in the near future.


by Alan Piñon


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