Circulation Department

Circulation is in charge of helping you borrow materials. If you need to check out a book, our desk is the place to do it. You can also pick up reserves, retrieve ILL books, check out lockers or headphones, and pay fines. The Check Out Desk is located in the main corridor on the 1st floor.

Questions? Contact us at: 410-455-2354
Fax: 410-455-1153

Staff member standing at the Circulation Desk

Library Cards

UMBC Students, Faculty, and Staff

img of campus id

Your UMBC Campus ID card allows you to borrow materials from the library. To access library online resources from off-campus, you will need a myUMBC account, which is issued by the Division of Information Technology.

Your UMBC Campus ID card also lets you borrow material from other USMAI libraries and several local libraries that allow reciprocal borrowing.

USMAI Students, Faculty, and Staff

USMAI affiliates may borrow items directly from the UMBC Library stacks collection with a valid Campus ID card. Alternately, you may use the "request" button in the Catalog to have books shipped to your campus library. A full list of affiliated schools is available at USMAI Member Libraries.

Special Borrowers

The following guests are eligible to apply for Special Borrowing privileges for free or a cost up to $50:

Other guests may complete an application for a Special Borrowers Card for an annual fee of $50. For information about costs and requirements, see Guideline 256.

Borrowing Info

Loan Periods

Patron Type Books Music and Video AV Equipment Laptops Off-Campus Database Access

UMBC Undergrad Students December 1 7 days 3 days 7 days Yes
UMBC Grad Students December 1 7 days 3 days 7 days Yes
UMBC Faculty, Staff, TA's April 1 7 days 3 days 7 days Yes
USMAI Undergrad Students December 1 no loan no loan no loan No
USMAI Grad Students December 1 no loan no loan no loan No
USMAI Faculty and Staff April 1 no loan no loan no loan No
UMBC Special Borrowers, Reciprocal Borrowers, and USMAI Alumni 56 days no loan no loan no loan No

No results found

For information about loan periods for various collections, please see Guideline 253.


Books, CDs, DVDs, and laptops are available to be checked out in person at the library. You may also place a request for the item in the catalog and then schedule a curbside pickup. AV equipment may be checked out at the Digital Media Lab.


Materials needed longer than the regular loan periods may be renewed, provided another user has not requested them.

To renew materials checked out from UMBC, use the library's online catalog. Items that you are unable to renew must be returned by the due date or fines will accrue. You may renew your items online, or in person at a library service desk. We do not renew items by telephone.


A recall is a request to ask the patron who has an item checked out to return it to the library within two weeks. You can request a recall if a book you wish to use is currently on loan.

The library may recall your borrowed items if requested by another user. When a recall is initiated, a notice giving the new due date is sent. The loan period may be shortened in these circumstances and you will be held responsible for any overdue charges incurred due to late returns.


Returns are being accepted in person at the library or the curbside bin on Walker Ave near Parking Lot #7. If you are unable to return your items, please be sure to renew them as they become due.
LAPTOPS & DML ITEMS: to avoid damage, do not put DML equipment or laptops in the curbside bin. Please return these items to an attendant during library hours

Fines and Fees

Please note that failure to return or renew library materials on time may result in the assessment of fees. Efforts will be made by email and postal mail to contact patrons concerning outstanding fees; however, it is the patron's responsibility to return or renew library materials on time and to ensure that the library has accurate contact information on file. Updates to contact information may be made at the Check Out Desk.

Item Type Late Fine Fine to Replace
Books - $135
Music and Videos - $135 and $185
Recalled Items $2 per day $135
Laptops $5 per day $1900
AV Equipment $10 per day Varies
Hourly Reserves $2 per hour* $135
Daily Reserves $2 per day* $135
Daily Locker Keys - $50
Semester Locker Keys - $50

*Plus an additional $35 if more than 5 days late

Items that are significantly overdue will be assessed replacement and processing fees. If you wish to replace a lost or damaged item, please fill out the Replace an Item Form and wait for approval.

For information about lending policies, see Guideline 251.

Appealing a Fine

You may contact the Circulation Department with questions about a fine. If you are a UMBC student, faculty or staff member and would like to appeal a fine, please fill out the Library Fine Appeal Form. All others, please email If an item you have already returned remains on your library account, a Claims Returned form can be filed at the Check Out Desk.

Payment Information

Fines and fees are payable at the Check Out Desk within 30 days of the original billing date. Payment options are Campus Cash, credit card, or check. The library cannot accept cash. You can also mail a check payable to UMBC to the address below.

Albin O. Kuhn Library
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250

Bill Transfers

After 30 days from the original billing date, fines and fees are payable to the UMBC Student Business Office, who will assess a transfer fee of $5.

Requesting USMAI Items

Current UMBC students, faculty, or staff may borrow most circulating material from any USMAI library. You can request any circulating item that is in the online catalog of any USMAI library. The item(s) will be delivered to the library you designate.

When the item is ready, you will be sent an email that pick-up is available at the Check-Out Desk.

Note: Alumni and Special Borrowers may not place holds on items from other libraries, you are limited to borrowing UMBC’s items only. For more information on lending policies, see Guideline 251.

Direct Borrowing from Other Libraries / Interlibrary Loan

In addition to using InterLibrary Loan service to request books from non-USMAI libraries, UMBC has reciprocal agreements with several schools outside the USMAI. As a result, current faculty, staff, and students from UMBC may borrow materials directly from these schools and vice versa.

Materials may be used on the premises of the owning library or may be borrowed, depending on the policies of the lending library. Privileges vary from institution to institution.

To borrow materials, the visiting patron must present a valid campus ID card and any other identification the lending library requires at the main campus library of the participating institution.

It is the responsibility of borrowers to:

Please note that reciprocal borrowing is a program of privileges. At its discretion, a participating institution may suspend the privileges of a borrower or suspend participation in the program.

Participating Institutions:

UMBC faculty may also have direct borrowing privileges from libraries at institutions that participate (PDF) in the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program.

Course Reserves

Professors can put library materials on reserve for their classes to use. Reserves are available at the Check Out Desk and electronic items are available online. To see what reserves are available for your course, use Blackboard.

Lockers & Study Rooms


Lockers are located on floors 3 - 7 of the Library, and are a convenient place to store your study materials. You can get a locker either for a semester or for a day. Daily locker keys can be checked out at the Check Out Desk. To reserve a locker for the entire semester, you'll need to fill out the Online Application Form.

Materials kept in daily lockers are the responsibility of the user. The library takes no responsibility for material lost, stolen, or damaged while stored in lockers. Also, food and drink may not be stored in lockers. For more information on locker policies, see Guideline 223.

Study Rooms

We have first-come first-serve study rooms for quiet individual study, reservable study rooms for individuals or groups, and some just for faculty members. For more information on study room policies, see Guideline 220.