Blackwell Library
Holloway Hall

Circulation: Direct Borrowing from USMAI Libraries

Circulation Home | Circulation Policies | Eligible Borrowers | Direct Borrowing | Lost Book

SPECIAL NOTE for students taking classes at an off-campus site:

  • SU students taking classes at USM Hagerstown or UMCP Shady Grove locations may use Direct Borrowing and should request that books be sent to those specific sites

  • SU students taking classes at Cecil College or Chesapeake College locations cannot use Direct Borrowing, but instead must use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to borrow books from SU and other USMAI institutions (IMPORTANT: Students must indicate their course location in the NOTES field of the request form for the request to be processed)  When registering as a new user in ILLiad, please select your campus affiliation from the status drop-down menu.

Current USMAI students, faculty or staff members may borrow materials, electronically via the library catalog, from any of the member libraries in the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI):

  • Bowie State University
  • Center for Environmental Science
  • Coppin State University
  • Frostburg State University
  • Morgan State University
  • Salisbury University
  • St. Mary's College of Maryland
  • Towson University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Baltimore, Law Library
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
  • University of Maryland, Health Sciences & Human Services
  • University of Maryland, Law Library
  • University of Maryland, University College

How Does Direct Borrowing Work?

View a brief Library Tutorial about Direct Borrowing or...

Follow the Steps Below To Request An Item Through the Catalog:

Step 1:

Conduct a search in the catalog to see if the title is held by an SU library. If not,
click on the link to 'Choose Campus' at the top of the catalog screen.

Step 2:

Select the campuses you wish to search and enter search terms. By clicking on the 'catalog' link under USMAI (all campuses), you can search all USMAI libraries at once.

Step 3:

Browse search results and then click on the title of the item you want to request.

Step 4:

When the 'Full View of Record' for the title is displayed, click on the availability link for any of the locations.

Step 5:

If the item shows as being 'On Shelf' and it is in the 'Stacks' location, it is available to request. Click on the yellow request button.

Step 6:

Sign in using the 14-digit barcode number shown on your SU ID/Gull Card and last name.

Step 7:

Select the library where you would like to pick up the requested item. Tip: If a library has the title available, you will not be able to select it as a pickup location.

Step 8:

You will then see a confirmation message at the top of the next screen.

What types of materials can be borrowed?

Any circulating book owned by another USMAI library may be borrowed. Other materials may be unavailable (ex. reserve collections, multi-media items, rare books, selected legal materials or reference materials).

Loan periods

The lending library provides students with a 28 day loan period. Faculty receive a longer loan period.


Direct Borrowing items may be renewed online through the library catalog unless there are holds or recalls on the item. To renew items online click on 'My Account'.

Return of Materials

Materials may be returned to any of the 16 USMAI libraries mentioned above. Return receipts are available.

Overdues/Fines/Lost Materials

Borrowers are responsible for any fines, fees or charges accrued because of late return, damage or loss of materials. The fine rates of the lending institution will apply and will be posted to the patron's account. Fines must be paid to the lending institution directly.


Material borrowed is subject to recall by the lending library. Recalls placed on any borrowed item may shorten the original due date to facilitate its use by another patron. Failure to return the item will result in a recall fine.

Interlibrary Loan vs. Direct Borrowing

Interlibrary Loan Direct Borrowing (Patron Placed Holds)
Request items through the ILLiad form. Request the item directly through the USMAI Catalog.
Materials are requested from a library outside the USMAI Consortium (within the U.S.) Books are requested from USMAI Libraries only.
Materials may take longer to arrive at Blackwell Library.  The average turn-around time for articles is 3-5 business days, for books it is 1-2 weeks.  Hard to locate materials may take even longer. Materials arrive at Blackwell Library within 3-5 business days.
A one-time online registration form must be completed before a request can be submitted (your registration information is validated against your library account) No registration required, but you will need to authenticate with your Gull Card 14-digit ID/barcode number.
There may be an occasional charge, but only if the lending library charges us.  Student patrons will be notified of any charges in advance. All materials are free.