Borrowing print materials has been suspended until June 29, 2020. See below for more information.

Requests for Interlibrary Loan electronic articles continue to be fulfilled. Delays in borrowing may occur. Requests for physical materials may still be submitted, but will only be filled if a digital copy is available. Contact with questions about requests.

Requesting materials from BorrowDirect libraries has been suspended. For questions, contact

For info on how to return books, check the Libraries COVID-19 Updates page.

Any questions about books or materials you have checked out can be directed to

Book Request Service

Beginning Monday, June 29, Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff may request and pick up books from the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Turnaround time for this service may take longer than usual.

Only books owned by the Johns Hopkins Libraries are available for this service, as getting physical books through Borrow Direct and interlibrary loan remain suspended until further notice.

Please send any questions or feedback to

To request books

  1. Log in to Catalyst using your JHED.
  2. Search for the title in the catalog.
  3. Select the “Request” button.
  4. Choose the location where you want to pick up your books.
    Johns Hopkins affiliates may pick up books at the MSE Library (Homewood), the Welch Medical Library (East Baltimore), or Mason Library at SAIS (DC). Only Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) staff may pick up books at APL.
  5. You will receive a confirmation of your request.

To pick up books from MSE Library

  • You will receive an email notification when your books are ready for pick up.
  • Books may be picked up 9am–2pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the Library’s east entrance on the Beach at 3400 N. Charles Street.
  • Enter the Library through the door marked “Entrance.” Locate the bag with your name on a book truck parked in the vestibule. Leave through the door marked “Exit.”
  • All JHU students, staff, and faculty must adhere to Library staff directions, maintain at least 6 feet of social distance, and wear a mask

You can borrow books, films, and other library items from JHU’s collection and from other libraries using your J-Card. You can pick up most materials at any JHU library.

  1. Search Catalyst to find out if the item you want is available from JHU
    • If yes, request it and select a pickup location
  2. If it’s not in Catalyst, check if it’s available through BorrowDirect
  3. If it’s not available through BorrowDirect, request a whole book or an excerpt through Interlibrary Services

More Information

  • The Item is Owned by JHU

    Search for the item in Catalyst

    • Check availability and location
    • If available, find item in the stacks or request for pickup
    • For non-book items, see Chargers, Cables, & More or AV Services below
    • If not at your location, then click request and choose the appropriate pick up location

    If not available, then check BorrowDirect

  • Pick Up Location

    Library items are retrieved from the stacks for pickup at various locations. JHED login required.

    • You will receive an email when the item is ready for pick up. Items in our collection are usually ready for pick up within 24 hours. Check books out with your J-Card
    • Faculty, graduate students, senior staff, and students with disabilities may choose “JHU Homewood Office” to have items delivered to their office. Items are usually delivered within 1-2 business days
    • Do you live closer to one of our other Hopkins Libraries? You can pick up there as well
    • Do you live further away? Non-resident Homewood students and online students, contact for more information regarding delivery options
  • Libraries Service Center

    Items that show a location of Libraries Service Center (LSC) are held offsite and are available upon request through Catalyst. Print items are often ready for checkout within 24 hours. Scans of articles, chapters, and microform may be requested through Interlibrary Services.

    • Library users with community borrower cards can request LSC items by signing in with their barcode and pin number
    • Those without borrowing privileges may request delivery of LSC items for use on-site at any JHU library or scans of articles, chapters, and microfilm (up to 60 pages) by emailing
  • BorrowDirect

    The fastest and most efficient way to find books not available through JHU.

    Search and request books and AV materials from libraries in the “Ivy Plus” network, which includes Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, JHU, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, University of Chicago, UPenn, and Yale. Expect delivery in 3-5 business days. JHED login required.

    • Search BorrowDirect
    • Choose pickup location
    • If item is not available in BorrowDirect, then click to request via Interlibrary Services
    • For more information, read the BorrowDirect FAQ
  • Interlibrary Services

    Find articles, books, and other library items not owned by JHU or the BorrowDirect schools. Requests are sent out to libraries worldwide. Expect delivery in 2-4 weeks. JHED login required.

    • Log in to Interlibrary Services and select “Articles or Book Chapters” for page scans or “Book or Other Loan” for physical materials.
    • Provide as much information as possible to expedite turnaround time. WorldCat (link) is an excellent tool for gathering bibliographical information
    • Scans are delivered electronically. Print loans are delivered to your chosen pickup location
    • For more information, check the Interlibrary Services FAQ
    • Still have questions? Email or call (410) 516-8910
  • Eisenhower Express

    We will retrieve and deliver material owned by the Eisenhower Library for faculty, senior staff, graduate students and students with disabilities on the Homewood Campus.

    • Book delivery: Books may be requested via Catalyst. Indicate “JHU Homewood Office” as the pick-up location for books owned by any JHU library. Books are delivered to departmental mailboxes
    • Digital Document Delivery: Request articles or book excerpts through the request form. Express will scan up to 60 pages of an article, book chapter or portion of the book in accordance with fair use and will deliver electronically. Only eligible for books that are found at Eisenhower Library and the Libraries Service Center.
    • For more information, email
  • Course Readings & Films

    Physical items on reserve for classes are not available for online request or recall.  They are checked out on a first come first serve basis at the M-Level Service Desk. Please have the call number ready upon arrival. See Course Readings for more information.

    Overdue items are subject to fines.

  • Chargers, Cables & More

    We lend Mac/Apple computer and phone chargers, micro-USB chargers, HDMI cables, and headphones on a first come first serve basis at the M-Level Service Desk.

    • Items are not available for online request or recall
    • Chargers have a loan period of 2 hours with 1 renewal
    • HDMI cables and headphones have a loan period of 4 hours with 1 renewal
    • Overdue items are subject to fines. See Borrowing Policies below for more information
  • AV Services

    Request use of DVDs, Blu-Rays, International DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs, microfilm, and microfiche through Catalyst.

    The library has equipment compatible with all of these formats in the viewing rooms on MSEL A-level. Instructors may reserve rooms for class viewings. Access access for all others is available on first-come, first-served basis by asking at the M-Level Service Desk.

    • Two video viewing rooms are available: the small viewing room has a capacity of 15 and the large viewing room has a capacity of 35
    • Three microform readers are available in the microform viewing room

Borrowing Policies

Who can borrow library items and for how long?

  • Loan Periods

    Students/Staff/Hopkins affiliates: 16 weeks with unlimited renewals.

    Faculty: Fixed to June 30th with unlimited renewals.

    Other Users: 6 weeks with 2 renewals. 50 item limit.

  • Basic Privileges & Exceptions
    • All items are subject to recall from other patrons. Guaranteed loan period of 10 days for recalled materials. This period may be shortened if the item is needed for course reserves.
    • Privileges are blocked when a recalled item becomes 5 days overdue.
    • Items owned by other libraries may have a different loan period.
      • Borrow Direct: 16 weeks with no renewals.
      • Interlibrary Loan: Varies depending on lending library and subject to recall. Renewals vary based on library.
    • Items on reserve for classes have a shorter loan period.
      • Books: Either 2 hour, 24 hour, 3-day, or 1-week loan depending on item with 1 renewal.
      • AV Materials: 4 hour loan with 1 renewal.
    • Non-book items and particular collections may have different loan periods.
      • DVDs are limited to 10 items at a time and checked out for 7 days with unlimited renewals.
      • Current Popular Fiction & Non-fiction books are checked out for 14 days with 1 renewal.
      • Current Popular DVDs are checked out for 7 days with 1 renewal.
        • Checkout limit of 5 simultaneous Current Popular collection items.
      • Chargers are checked out for 2 hours with 1 renewal.
      • Headphones and HDMI cables are checked out for 4 hours with 1 renewal.
  • Fines

    Payment accepted via cash and check. If a student fine is more than $10, the fine is transferred to Student Accounts. For more information, see the Fine Payment FAQ.

    • Overdue recall: $1/day
    • Overdue Reserves & Chargers: $1/hour
    • Lost Item Replacement: $100/item
    • Questions about fines and requests for waivers should be addressed to Fines will not be negotiated by telephone
  • Hopkins Affiliates

    Come to the M-Level Service desk during business hours to request a borrowing card. Includes onsite access to digital resources. Limit of 50 items.


    Homewood alumni can purchase library privileges at a discounted rate of $100 for access to Eisenhower and LSC materials and $200 for access to materials at all Hopkins libraries. Payment accepted via cash and check.

    Spouse & Dependents

    Spouses and dependents age 18-26 of current Hopkins students, faculty, staff, and retirees can request privileges at no cost. Photo ID required.


    Present retiree card to continue the same employee privileges.

  • Other Users

    Come to the M-Level Service desk during business hours to request a borrowing card. Includes onsite access to digital resources. Limit of 50 items.

    Community Borrowers

    Members of the public can purchase privileges for an annual fee of $200. Payment accepted via cash and check.

    JHU Non-credit students and OSHER participants

    Eligible for privileges for the length of class enrollment. Must present contract letter or proof of enrollment.

    Local Universities & Non-Profit Organizations

    Reciprocal borrowing agreements exist with some local universities and non-profit organizations. Email for more information.

    Borrow Direct Institution Patrons

    Current students, faculty, and staff of Borrow Direct libraries receive other users level borrowing privileges free of charge. Log in to home Borrow Direct account required.

Contact Information

For in-person questions, please visit the MSEL M-Level Service Desk during regular business hours.

Contact Us

Service Desk

Interlibrary Loan

Eisenhower Express