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Borrowing Materials

In order to charge out library materials, you must have a valid University of Illinois ID card (i-card), an current ID card from another I-Share Member Library, or a special Library-issued courtesy card. Information on how to obtain a courtesy card is available from the staff in the Mathematics Library or from the Central Access Services. To obtain a courtesy card, you must turn in a completed courtesy card application at the Main Circulation Desk on the second floor of the Main Library.

The Math Library book stacks are open for browsing by all library patrons. University faculty, staff, and students, library users from other CARLI institutions, and library users with library courtesy cards may borrow books found in our stacks.

Mathematics and Statistics departmental faculty members and graduate students may request permission to borrow any items they find in our stacks, including our bound journals. Bound journals are non-circulating for all other classes of patrons, though they may bring them out of the stacks for use in our reading room.

In general, books are due on the latest date stamped on the circulation slip inside the volume. Mathematics and Statistics Department faculty and graduate students may borrow journals overnight. However, you should monitor your online account to be aware of any due dates that might have changed because of a recall on the item.

For each type of material available at the Math Library, the loan period differs according to whether you are a University of Illinois faculty member, a graduate student, or an undergraduate student. See the Loan Periods for details.

Books requested online will not be charged to your account until you pick them up. Unless you requested them through campus mail (faculty and graduate students only). In this case, the book will be charged to you at the time it is mailed.

Bring items that you want to check out to the circulation desk at the entrance to the stacks (Map A-6). Please charge out materials at least 10 minutes before the library closes. There may not be time to process materials brought to the circulation desk after this time.

Reserve materials must be requested from the student or staff member on duty at circulation.

Library Account

The University of Illinois Library maintains an account for you, under your library ID number, with information related to your library loans. For University of Illinois faculty, students, and staff, your library ID number is the 14-digit number beginning 20111 which is located on the front of your i-card.

Click on “My Account” from the top right toolbar. Once you are on the Patron Login page, type in your Library ID Number and your last name to view your account online. If you have any questions about your ID number or user name, call the Library Phone Center (217) 333-8400.

After logging to your library account, you can:

  • determine due dates of current loans
  • check status of your requests and cancel a request before it is processed – for more information about requesting items, go to Requesting Materials
  • check fines – for more information about fines, go to Billing
  • renew items – for more information about renewals, go to Renewing Materials

You can avoid library fines and most of the headaches associated with them by checking this information at least every two weeks. Pay special attention to any due dates that may have changed for items you have checked out. If an item is recalled for use by another patron, the Library will try to contact you by post or email, but keeping an eye on your due date is your surest way to avoid potential problems. For more information about recalls, see Recalls.

Currently, user information in the Library’s user databases is synchronized with other campus user databases only at infrequent intervals. Changes in postal and email addresses may not be immediately reflected in the Library user database. This can lead to misdirected notices and recall letters. If you change postal or email addresses during the semester, call the Library Phone Center (217) 333-8400 so we can make sure that your record in the Library user database is updated correctly and in a timely fashion.

You can check your complete account information, including address data, in person with the Math Library staff or by calling the Library Phone Center (217) 333-8400.

Loan Periods

Please note that items originating from other on- or off-campus libraries may have different borrowing periods.

New books: 1 week for all patrons
Regular books: 16 weeks for faculty and graduate students; 4 weeks for undergraduates
Reserve books: 2 hours for all patrons: ROOM USE ONLY for most items

Bound journals: ROOM USE ONLY1
Unbound journals: ROOM USE ONLY2
1Mathematics and Statistics Department faculty and graduate students may borrow overnight.
2Mathematics and Statistics Department faculty may borrow overnight.

Requesting Books and Other Materials

Faculty and students can request that available books be placed on hold for pick up at the library of their choice. Faculty and graduate students with a valid campus address can request books and have them delivered to that address.

To request a title for hold or delivery, simply search for the title in the Library Catalog, click on the title to enter the item record, and then click on the Request Item tab. Follow the prompts to enter your Library Account and place the request. Always double-check the location of the hold request; all requests will be sent and held at Main Circulation unless another location is chosen from the drop-down box during the request process.

If the Mathematics Library has materials in its collection which cannot be located on the shelves, you should bring the call number, author, and title to the circulation desk attendant who will diagnose the problem. If the item can’t be found at Mathematics or another campus library and a library in the CARLI consortium has the same item available, a request can be placed on that item. Requests are usually filled in 5-10 days. A Mathematics Library staff member can help you make this request.

If another patron has charged the book and no other copy of that item is available, you may ask staff to place a recall on the item; this will shorten the loan period and generate a notice that the book or journal is needed.

If you are looking for a title that is not found in either the Urbana Library collection or in another I-Share library, a Mathematics Library staff member will help you make an interlibrary loan request via the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery page.

Most interlibrary loan requests take three weeks or longer for delivery, though in certain situations it may be possible to get faxed copies of articles more quickly. You will be notified by email when the material may be picked up from the Main Library or retrieved from Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery page. Photocopies of articles may be made available on the web. If you are unsure how to access an article this way, please ask a staff member.

Returning Materials


When the Mathematics Library is open, materials should be returned by placing them on the circulation counter (the curved counter in front of you as you enter the library (Map A-4).

When the library is closed, materials may be returned by placing them in the book drop (Map A-1), but when we are open, please return your books inside the library – this way you will be sure they get checked in properly.

May be returned to any University of Illinois library.

Should be returned directly to the Mathematics Library.

New books are marked with an orange “NEW BOOKS” streamer. New books should be returned directly to the Mathematics Library.

May be returned to any University of Illinois library.

Should be returned directly to the Circulation Desk on the second floor of the Main Library.