Circulation Policies

Borrowing from TMLL | Borrowing from USM Libraries | Borrowing from Other Libraries | Recall | Renewal | Overdue and Lost Materials

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library (TMLL) is primarily a research and reference collection of law and law-related materials to be used within the library. Therefore, many categories of legal materials do not circulate, including court reports, statutes, codes and regulations, digests, indexes, encyclopedias, directories, periodical volumes, parts of multi-volume treatises, and looseleaf services. These books must be used in the library and should be reshelved immediately after use to ensure availability to other patrons. Library materials that are available for general circulation, primarily monographic works, circulate via the library’s automated circulation system.

In addition to law library borrowing privileges, law students and faculty are entitled to direct borrowing privileges at 16 libraries on the 12 campuses and 2 affiliated institutions of the University System of Maryland (USM) either by going to the other library or by using the self-service "holds" delivery system available in the Catalog. Books requested via the "holds" system will be delivered to our library. The library also provides interlibrary loan service for items not found in its collection or in the collections of other University System of Maryland libraries. If you are a University of Maryland School of Law alumni, please refer to our alumni borrowing page for more information.

How Do I Borrow Materials from the Thurgood Marshall Law Library?

Presentation of a UM identification card is required to charge out library materials from the law library or any of the 16 libraries in the University System of Maryland.  Alumni may not use their alumni borrowing card at any other University System of Maryland library.  Law students have a set semester due date (December, May or August) corresponding to the end of the fall, spring or summer semester.  All other patrons have due dates based on their patron status and a fixed number of days after the date of an item is checked out.  All items are subject to recall by another patron after 14 days.

Please check the Catalog and at the User Services Desk for items that are not on the shelves. Hold requests may be placed on materials out on loan.

The law school faculty has waived the protection that exists under Maryland state law regarding confidentiality of circulation records in cases where another law faculty member has the item. In all other cases, library borrowing records are strictly confidential. If the book needed is currently charged out or cannot be found, please see a librarian at the User Services Desk for assistance in locating or recalling the item. 

May I Borrow Materials from Other USM Libraries?

All faculty, students and staff with a currently validated UM  identification card from any of University of Maryland's public four-year colleges and universities can obtain circulating materials from the libraries of those institutions in either of two ways. First, a patron may directly borrow materials at the library itself. Second, a patron may institute a patron-placed hold via the University System of Maryland (USM) online Catalog. A hold results in materials being delivered directly to the patron's home library or to any other USM library the patron chooses. The patron placing a hold on an item will be notified when the item is available. The item will be held at the designated library for a limited time before others may borrow it, or it is returned to the owning library.

With both direct borrowing and patron-placed holds, the borrowing of library materials is a transaction between the individual borrower and the lending library. The borrower must abide by the rules and regulations of the lending institution. Loan periods are set by the lending library and will vary from library to library. Borrowers should verify with the lending library the loan period being offered to them. The fine schedule of the lending institution will apply to any delinquent transactions and fines are payable to the lending institution only.

Direct borrowing rules require that the borrower present to the lending library a validated home institution identification card and any other requested documentation to verify current affiliation with one of the participating institutions. Each lending library reserves the right to deny borrowing privileges to any individual who fails to present sufficient proof of current affiliation with a participating institution. Before visiting, borrowers are strongly advised to call the owning library to check the availability of material as well as the library's lending policy and requirements for proof of current eligibility to borrow.

Individuals visiting any of the USM libraries have the same on-site use of unrestricted library materials as users for whom that is the home institution. Telephone renewals are not accepted at any library for materials borrowed at another library. However, materials may be returned to any cooperating library.

May I Borrow Materials from Libraries Outside the University System of Maryland?

Books and photocopies of journal articles not available within the University System of Maryland (USM) may usually be obtained from another library through interlibrary loan. The library is committed to providing materials as quickly as possible via interlibrary loan, but response time does vary depending upon the supplying library. Loan periods and renewal policies are determined by the lending library and will also vary. It is the responsibility of the user to return all materials by the due date.

Requests may be made at the User Services Desk or online using the Interlibrary Loan Request form.

Library patrons are responsible for fines on borrowed materials. Interlibrary loan is critical for student and faculty research, and the library cannot risk losing borrowing privileges from other libraries because of the failure to return books. Patrons who put the library in the position of delinquent borrower will lose interlibrary loan privileges.

What Does it Mean When I Receive Recall Notice?

Items borrowed by a patron may be recalled after two weeks at the request of any other patron. All materials are subject to recall. Material to be placed on reserve may be recalled at any time.

Failure to respond to a recall notice and return the recalled item may result in suspension of loan privileges and bills for replacement costs and processing. Recalled items accrue fines of $1.50 per item per day overdue.

May I Renew Borrowed Materials?

In general, an item may be renewed as often as the borrower wishes, provided the patron returns the item to the circulation desk or makes other arrangements to renew as instructed by the circulation staff. If another user has requested the item, that request will be honored before the renewal. When you renew books, you are extending the loan period for borrowed books.

What Happens if Borrowed Materials are Overdue or Lost?

The borrower bears sole responsibility for any fines, fees, or charges accrued because of the late return, damage, or loss of TMLL materials charged to the borrower's card. If the borrower has lost the items that are borrowed, the borrower will be charged $95.00 per lost item to cover replacement costs. All loan privileges will be suspended if a substantial number of fines accrue against an individual’s record.

For materials borrowed from other libraries, the fine schedules of the lending institution apply. Fines owed are payable to the lending institution only. Borrowing privileges may be suspended until the account is paid in full and the material is returned or replaced by the borrower. Law students with outstanding fines or overdue books will not be cleared for graduation until their library obligations are met.  Borrowers should not allow others to use their identification cards since they will be solely responsible for any transactions charged to their card.

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