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Borrowing FAQ

Who can borrow?

The UMass Amherst Libraries lend to faculty, staff, and students of UMass Amherst (including Distance Learning and Continuing and Professional Education students) along with students of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges. Borrowing privileges are also extended to adult residents of Massachusetts, University Alumni, as well as students at all other Massachusetts colleges and cardholders at institutions that are members of the Boston Library Consortium. Massachusetts resident secondary students under the age of 18 may obtain borrowing privileges by prior  arrangement with authorization from their school librarian or school administrator.

What Do You Need to Get a UMass Amherst Library Card?

For full-time students, faculty, and staff of UMass Amherst, the UCard is the library card. For students enrolled in UMass Amherst Distance Learning degree programs, the Distance Learning Card, available from the UCard office, serves as the Library card.  All others must complete the borrower card application.   Borrower cards must be picked up in person. Please allow at least 15 minutes at the time of your visit to complete the process. Applicant must present proof of residence and a valid photo ID.

PLEASE NOTE: New applicants will be subject to a borrowing limit of ONE ITEM for up to 30 days until an identity/address verification process has been completed.

Questions? Call (413) 545-2623. 

Eligible Borrowers Requirements
Students from other Massachusetts public higher ed colleges (MCCLPHEI)
Borrowing Limit: 25 Items maximum
Valid institutional photo ID & government issued photo ID
Adult residents of the Commonwealth
Borrowing Limit: 25 items maximum
Valid state issued photo ID
Secondary students under 18 years old
Borrowing Limit: 25 items maximum

Recommendation letter from school administrator or school librarian & photo ID (state issued or high school issued)

Instructions: Obtaining Borrowing Privileges for visiting student groups

UMass Amherst Alumni Year of graduation, proof of current address & state issued photo ID
Visiting Scholars Letter of introduction on letterhead from sponsoring UMass-Amherst host department & photo ID
Non-residents of Massachusetts with current affiliation with UMass or the Four Colleges Documented proof of current institutional affiliation & government issued photo ID
Users affiliated with Boston Library Consortium Institutions Boston Library Consortium card & valid institutional photo ID & government issued photo ID

A photo ID must be presented with the borrower's card for each loan transaction.

What can be Borrowed and Renewed?

Most UMass/Five College Library materials circulate and may be renewed online, in person, or by written request. Some Library materials are designated as non-circulating, such as reference and law, certain Reserve materials and those in Special Collections and University Archives. Loan policies vary according to the following chart. For media materials such as DVDs, see Media Collection .

Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
UMass Amherst Undergraduate, UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education (CP&E) 28 days 9

UMass Amherst Faculty & Staff, UMass Amherst Masters/Doctoral Students

180 days 3
Four Colleges Faculty & Staff 90 days 3
Four Colleges Students, Other Massachusetts & BLC Consortium Colleges, Massachusetts Residents and UMass Amherst Alumni 28 days
Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
All users   28 days No
Books at the Five College Depository
Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
UMass Amherst & Five College faculty, staff and Students 28 days 3
Massachusetts Residents, UMass Amherst Alumni, Students outside the Five Colleges  No No
  Bound Periodicals
Patron Type  Loan Period Online Request/Renewal
UMass Amherst & Five College students, faculty and staff 3 Days No
Other Massachusetts and BLC Consortium Colleges, Massachusetts Residents and UMass Amherst Alumni Onsite Use Only Onsite Use Only
  Unbound Periodicals
 Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
UMass Amherst & Five College students, faculty and staff 24 hours No
  Reserve Materials*
*Some Reserve items are in-library-use only. You must return and renew Reserve items at the Circulation/Reserves Desk on the Lower Level of Du Bois Library.
 Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
 All Users 3 Hours Yes, in person, if no one is on waitlist for item.
  Media: Videos (VHS, DVD), Audio CDs, Audiocassetttes, LPs, (Including Music Monuments)
 Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
UMass Amherst and Five College Students, Faculty and Staff 5 days (Limit 10 items) 2
Massachusetts State Residents, UMass Amherst Alumni, Other Massachusetts & BLC Consortium Card holders 5 days (Limit 3 items) No
   Public Locker Keys
Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
All Users 3 days In person only
Laptop PCs and Power Adapters from Lower Level Circulation/Reserves Desk - Du Bois
 Patron Type Loan Period Renewals
 UMass Amherst Students ONLY 24 hours 1
Multi-media Equipment from Lower Level Circulation/Reserves Desk - Du Bois
 Patron Type  Loan Period  Renewals
 UMass Amherst Students, faculty and Staff ONLY  3 days  No