University Library Access Policy

The University Library system has a primary mission to support the educational, teaching, research, and administrative needs of the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Michigan. The collections are also accessible to others whose information needs require these resources. Policies governing the use of the facilities and collections reflect this mission.

Library staff are committed to maintaining a quality study and research environment, protecting the rights of users and sustaining the integrity of collections. In addition to policies and procedures noted below, University-wide policies or civil laws related to facilities or collection vandalism apply. Facility-specific policies may be obtained from individual libraries.


Any individual may have access to University Library facilities to use general stack collections, space and resources permitting. Due to the specialized nature or fragility of some materials, use of some special collections may be governed by more restrictive policies. Please consult with staff in relevant areas.

Most library facilities are open to the general public during regular hours. Any library open after midnight is accessible to only U-M students, faculty, and staff with valid MCards.

Reference services to assist in accessing the collections are also available to any individual. Service is available both on-site and online.


Animals that are not Service Animals are not permitted in the Library. Patrons accompanied by non-service animals are invited to return to the Library without the animal.

Service Animals are defined as dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service Animals are working animals, not pets.  The work or task the animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

The Library will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities pursuant to the ADA. In order to request an accommodation, please contact

Carrels, Learning and Teaching Spaces, and Group Study Rooms

These facilities are generally available only to members of the campus community, except by special arrangement. Several library facilities have study carrels for individual use. Members of the campus community may consult the appropriate information services desk for procedures for reserving these carrels. 

Learning and Teaching facilities in some campus libraries are available for class use related to library instruction. Consult library administrative staff concerning availability.

Group study space in some campus libraries may be reserved by consulting the library's Information Services staff or by booking online. Generally, these facilities are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the high demand for group study space, we do not permit reservations for course Office Hours. In addition, Campus Department Office Hours cannot be held in library spaces, including group study spaces or open study spaces. Please contact your department to secure space on campus for office hours. 

U-M Library does not provide rentable space for other U-M department staff meetings or initiatives by private businesses.

Cell Phones

In order to maintain a quality study and research environment, we ask that individuals exercise sensitivity to other users. Individuals who wish to engage in discussion are encouraged to request group study rooms where available. Phone conversations should be conducted away from study and research areas; pagers and cell phones should be muted while in the library.

Destruction or Mutilation of Library Materials

Any person who shall willfully, maliciously, or wantonly mutilate, deface, tear, write upon, mar, or injure any library material or facility may be subjected to loss of library privileges, to appropriate administrative action within the University, and to prosecution under State law.


In the event of fire, tornados, or other emergency situations, library staff will alert building occupants to the procedures for evacuation or taking shelter.


Requests for events to be held within a library facility should be directed to the appropriate library's administrative staff.


Individuals who wish to film or photograph within a library facility must obtain the permission of the relevant library's administrative staff. Such requests will be accommodated only if there is minimal impact on the environment for research and study.

Food and Drink

Food is permitted in study areas, if food items are handled with regard to the safety of library materials and the cleanliness of library facilities. 

Non-alcoholic beverages in closed containers (thermoses, travel mugs, bottled water or soft drinks, etc.) are permitted in most areas of the University Library.

No food or beverage is permitted in Special Collections (and special collections or archives in any University Library), Papyrology, and the Map Library.

Literature Distribution, Solicitation

Display of posters and distribution of flyers is prohibited except in designated areas or with the permission of the User Services & Outreach Manager. Petitioning or solicitation is prohibited in library spaces


In cooperation with appropriate University departments, the library tries to provide a welcome, open environment that is safe and secure for everyone. All library buildings are open to the public, and thefts do occur; users should not leave personal belongings unattended.

Campus security phones are conveniently located throughout the libraries. Staff or users are encouraged to call the Department of Public Safety (911) in an emergency. Library staff should be alerted if users feel threatened or otherwise uncomfortable in the library.


In order to ensure the safety of users and belongings, sleeping is not permitted in the library.


In accordance with the campus-wide Smoke-Free initiative and University regulations, library facilities and the surrounding campus areas are non-smoking environments. Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is not permitted in the library.

Study Areas

Some areas within library facilities serve users with specific collection needs. Priority seating in these areas may be given to those individuals who are our primary clientele using these collections and services.


Questions concerning library facilities may be directed to the relevant library's administrative staff, found under "Staff Listing" on that library's main page, or to Rebecca Dunkle, Associate University Librarian for Operations (734-936-2379).

Failure to comply with these policies may result in limitation of access to library facilities.

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Last modified: 11/06/2019