Borrowing Books & Other Materials

How Do I Get a Library Card?

Students, staff and faculty of CSU must have a current Viking Card to borrow library materials.

If you are from another OhioLINK institution you may use your school's ID to check items out of the CSU Library. Community User status is available for Ohio residents. The cost for one year is $35.00. Loan policies depend upon patron category and material type. CSU alumni may retain borrowing privileges by applying for a Community User card at no charge. Borrowing privileges and library services may be limited or denied to any patron who, in the judgment of the Library, has abused or misused Library privileges.

A faculty member may give written permission for another person to charge out and renew materials in his/her name, but the faculty member is responsible for the return of materials so charged.

How Many Items May I Check Out?

  • Undergraduate students: 50 items
  • OhioLINK Borrowers: 15 items
  • Graduate students/assistants: 75 items
  • CSU Faculty/Staff: 200 items
  • Alumni: 15 items
  • Friends of the Library: 50 items
  • Community Users: 15 items

Where Can I Pick Up My Books?

When you find a book or other circulating item you want in Scholar, the CSU catalog, you may click on the Request Item button at the top of the screen to select a pickup location for your requests. The pickup locations are:

  • University Library
  • Law Library
  • West Center.

Two business days should be allowed for the requested items to be processed before pickup.

How Long May I Keep the Materials I Check Out?

For regular circulating materials, the loan periods are as follows:

  • Undergraduate students: four weeks
  • Honors Students: three months
  • Graduate students/assistants: three months
  • CSU Faculty/Staff: six months
  • Alumni: three weeks
  • Friends of the Library: three weeks
  • Community Users: three weeks

Go to OhioLink and SearchOhio or information about their loan periods and renewals.

How Can I Renew a Book?

All regular circulating materials may be renewed four times if no one has requested the volume.

Renewals may be made:

  • in person,
  • by calling User Services at (216) 687-2479, or
  • online via Scholar's MY ACCOUNT option.

All materials are subject to recall after ten days of use if requested by another patron. Materials needed for Reserve or other priority purposes are subject to immediate recall.

What If My Materials Are Overdue?

Fines for overdue materials vary according to patron and material type:

  • Regular circulating materials: $.25 overdue fine per item per day.
  • Reserve materials: $.25 per hour or fraction per item, up to $5.00 per day.
  • OhioLINK materials: $.50 per day
  • Interlibrary Loan materials: Fines for overdue InterLibrary Loan (ILL) items are $.50 per day. Items 30 days or more overdue will be billed a replacement fee of $125.00. When the item is returned, the fee will be reduced to $50.00.
  • Recalls: $1.00 per day per item not returned by the Recall due date; $3.00/day rate to be charged for materials recalled for Reserve.
  • For all patron categories, a standard replacement fee ($60.00) and a reprocessing fee ($15.00) will be charged for CSU materials overdue more than thirty days.

Fines on regular circulating materials will not be assessed during the first seven days after the due date. However, on the eighth day, the fine is retroactive and the full amount is due at $.25 per day per item. An additional $.25 per day per item is charged thereafter. Materials charged out on special loan, from Fine Arts/Curriculum Materials, Reserve, and other services, are not covered by this provision, and fines on such materials are assessed from the date due.

Overdue notices are sent to the patron's CSU email address. For regular circulating materials first notices are sent when materials are three days overdue, and second notices are sent when materials are fourteen days overdue. For special materials: overdue procedures and penalties as posted in the service areas. If you wish to question the validity of an overdue charge, use the Overdues Inquiry Form.

Invoices are issued to all patron categories when regular circulating materials are thirty days overdue. Invoices are referred to the Bursar's Office for processing in accordance with their policies and procedures. Invoices may be paid at the Michael Schwartz Library or the Bursar's Office. Refunds will be issued for replacement fees if materials are found and returned to the library before the invoice goes to a collection agency.

What If Materials Are Not On the Shelf?

The staff at the User Services Center will determine whether requested materials are checked out and will place a hold or recall on items as requested. If needed materials are not checked out, a search of the shelves will be made. Book search request forms are available online or at the User Services Desk; telephone requests are also possible. In all cases the Library will attempt to find and report on all requests in a timely manner.

A search for materials will be conducted for Community Users, but recall services are not available for this patron category. Community Users also have limited Interlibrary Loan borrowing privileges, outlined in the Community Users Policy. All circulation records are privileged information. No social security numbers, names, or other forms of identification can be divulged.

OhioLINK Materials

Patrons of the Cleveland State University Libraries who are registered borrowers here may initiate loans from OhioLINK libraries for materials not owned by, or not available from, our collections. You must have a valid CSU Viking Card or community user's card to use the PCirc function.

You can access the OhioLINK central catalog directly or through Scholar at public terminals throughout the library, or by dial access. When you locate an item you would like to borrow, click on REQUEST THIS ITEM. You will be prompted for information to validate your borrower's status, where you wish to pick up the material, and whether or not to process the request.

You will be notified via email to your CSU email account when materials have arrived. You can also track the progress of your requests by clicking on the MY ACCOUNT link in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page or by using the MY ACCOUNT option in Scholar.

The loan period for CSU students is 3 weeks for most items. The loan period for Staff and Faculty is 6 weeks. An item may be renewed up to six times unless a hold has been placed by another OhioLINK borrower. Holds are allowed for materials that are due 10 or fewer days in the future or 10 or less days overdue.

Media items such as CD's or DVD's have a loan period of 1 week and are not renewable. Please contact the User Services Desk or the OhioLINK office for assistance with renewal of overdue items.

Fines for overdue OhioLINK items are $.50 per day. You may be blocked from borrowing if items are seriously overdue. A $50.00 fee will be charged for all OhioLINK books 30 or more days overdue.

If you have any questions about PCirc policies or procedures, or if you wish to know the status of your request, you may call the Michael Schwartz Library's OhioLINK Office at (216) 687-2385 or (216) 687-2445.

SearchOhio Materials

SearchOhio icon

Registered borrowers also have access to over 9.5 million popular books, DVDs and CDs through SearchOhio, a network of 19 public library systems throughout the state. If a search in the OhioLINK Central Catalog does not bring up the item you are looking for, click on the "SearchOhio" icon to search their catalog. Materials acquired through SearchOhio can be picked up at CSU.

The loan period for SearchOhio is 21 days for books and 7 days for media items. You may renew books and media items up to 3 times.

What Are the Rules for the Books from the CPL@CSU Collection?

Greater Access Card

The CPL@CSU Collection provides the campus community with contemporary and popular books, both fiction and non-fiction, courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library. Anyone with a valid library card can check out these titles using the CPL self-checkout station located near the Lounge. The loan period for these books is 21 days after which the books may be renewed.

Community Users

All Ohio residents are welcome to use the Library for free access to government documents and to library resources to the extent permitted by license agreements within the facility and may obtain information about those resources via computer terminals provided for looking up library holdings. Extended services are available to Ohio residents upon individual application and after payment of an annual fee of $35.00. A Community User ID will be issued and will be required to access extended services.

For further information about extended services and obtaining a community user's card, see our Services for Community Users, stop at the User Services Desk, or call us at (216) 687-2478