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.

  • Alert

    Borrow Direct is available. Once you’ve requested materials, expect them within approximately one week. As libraries rejoin the lending network, we expect quicker turnaround times.

    Requests for Interlibrary Loan electronic articles and scanned book excerpts 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.

    Books can be returned on Homewood campus in the regular return slots located at the MSEL Service Desk on M-Level and the main entrance to Brody. There are also return bins available at the Welch Medical Library, SAIS Library, and Friedheim Library.

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

Book Request Service

Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff may request and pick up books from the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Turnaround time for this service will take approximately 2 weeks.

Please send any questions or feedback to

Step 1: Place items on hold

  • Search the Library’s catalog for titles of interest.
  • Use your JHED ID and password to login and place requests, selecting your preferred pickup locations.

Step 2: Wait for notification, then retrieve your items.

  • You will receive a notice by email when your items are available for pickup. Pickup Reservations are not required at this time.
  • MSE Library staff will place your items on the Book Pickup Hold Shelf located on MSEL M-Level across from the central stairwell with your name on a paper slip tucked into the book. Paper bags will be available for transporting your items.
  • When you arrive, maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from others. Face coverings are required.
  • Grab your items and take them with you – the items have been checked out to you.

Returning your Items

  • On Homewood campus there are return bins at the MSEL Service Desk on M-Level, the main entrance to Brody. You may also return items at Welch Medical Library, SAIS Library, and Friedheim Library.
  • During Phase 2 of reopening, only current students, faculty, and staff with an active JHED are permitted to enter the buildings. If you are not in one of these categories or if you are unable to travel to the library in person, please contact for assistance.

Three Ways to Borrow & Request Materials


Search Catalyst to find out if the item you want is available from JHU – If yes, request it and select a pickup location


If it’s not in Catalyst, check if it’s available through BorrowDirect

Interlibrary Loan

If it’s not available through BorrowDirect, request scanned excerpts through Interlibrary Loan

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
    • 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.

    Note: During Phase 2 of reopening we are not borrowing or lending physical materials via Interlibrary Services.

    • Log in to Interlibrary Loan and select “Articles or Book Chapters” for page scans or “Book or Other Loan” for ebooks and other digital materials
    • Provide as much information as possible to expedite turnaround time. WorldCat 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 Loan FAQ
    • Still have questions? Email or call (410) 516-8910
  • Eisenhower Express

    Physical material delivery service is currently suspended due to Covid-19 service changes.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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: $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.


    JHU alumni can request a library card to borrow items from any JH library. Please visit the library that served you while you were a student to sign up for a card.

    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