Borrowing Materials

Circulation Services: 410-704-2456

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Who May Borrow From Cook Library

Borrowing privileges are extended to students, faculty (including TU emeriti) and staff of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) and the Baltimore Academic Libraries Consortium (BALC).

Students, faculty, and staff must present a valid university or college ID in order to borrow materials. Borrowers are cautioned not to allow others to use their ID cards, since the owner of the card will be solely responsible for any transactions and fees charged to it. A lost card should be reported immediately to the Circulation Staff.

Towson University alumni have lifetime borrowing privileges at Cook Library. A valid driver's license and a Towson University Alumni Association This link goes to an external site. ID Card are required when borrowing materials.

Special Borrower Privileges
The primary purpose of our collection is to support the academic and research endeavors of our students, faculty and staff. Members of the local community are welcome to use our resources, both print and electronic, in person at the Cook Library. Remote access to online databases is restricted by licensing to current TU students, faculty and staff. Borrowing privileges are limited to TU students, faculty and staff with a few exceptions.

Borrowing and Returning Materials

Books in the TU Cook Library collection must be checked out at the Circulation Desk on the third floor. The loan period for TU Cook Library books is 28 days for undergraduates and 56 days for graduate students. Books from Cook Library may be returned to the Circulation Desk at any of the USMAI institutions. The desk attendant will check in the materials, issue a receipt to the borrower and check the status of the borrower's account. When the Library is closed, books may be placed in the "Book Returns" containers located by the front entrance and by the loading dock. Do not place videotapes, compact discs or other audiovisual materials in this container. Special charges may be assessed for materials not properly returned.


Materials needed longer than the regular loan periods may be renewed, provided another user has not requested them. Materials may be renewed electronically (twice) or presented at the Circulation Desk of any USMAI library (indefinitely). Electronic renewal is via the catalog: sign in to "MY ACCOUNT," select "items borrowed/renewals" and renew each item individually. Cook Library does not handle telephone renewals.


The Library may recall borrowed items if they are needed by another user. When a recall is initiated, a notice giving the new due date is sent. The loan period may be shortened in these circumstances and you will be held responsible for any overdue charges incurred due to late returns.

How to Request/Recall USM Items

Library patrons can place a Hold/Recall on any circulating item that is in the on-line catalog for any campus in the University of Maryland System, but which is not available at Cook Library. The item(s) will be delivered free to any campus in the USM that you designate. You must first obtain a full record of the item using the University System of Maryland combined catalog


  • Select the item by its title link
  • Click on All Locations - Availability
  • Click - Request
  • Select Towson University (or designated campus)
  • Enter your library barcode number and last name
  • Choose your pick-up location
  • Receive confirmation or error message

Items requested from other campuses in the USM System (or through InterLibrary loan) can be picked up at the Circulation Desk when they arrive. If your pick up location is Cook Library, we will notify you, via email, when item(s) becomes available. You may also check the status of your request by logging into "MyAccount."

Please note that Alumni and Special Borrowers (nonaffiliated) may not request items from other campuses.

Overdue Charges

  • Regular Loans

    The charge for an overdue item is 25 cents per day. The maximum fine is $12.00 per item.

  • Recalls

    The charge for an overdue recall item is $1.00 per day. The maximum fine is $20.00 per item.

  • Faculty Reserves

    The charge for an overdue Faculty Reserve item is $1.00 per hour to $5.00 per day. The maximum fine is $40.00 per item.

Unreturned Book Fees

After an item has been overdue for 48 days, it is billed for replacement. A non-refundable fee of $30.00 is included, plus a $70.00 replacement cost. When materials that have been billed for replacement are returned, the Circulation Billing Supervisor will review the account to determine if a credit for the returned material will be issued. The review will be based on the following conditions:

  • The material is returned in good re-usable condition.
  • The bill has not been forwarded to a collection agency.
  • The library has not withdrawn or replaced the material.

Note: Fine rates for other libraries vary. Please consult each library's policies.

Lost and Damaged Materials

Patrons who lose or damage a TU library material should notify the Circulation Department so that we can replace or repair the item.

A fee of $100 is assessed for lost items and for damaged items that can no longer circulate. In lieu of the fee, patrons may submit a replacement copy that is in very good condition and the same edition / ISBN as the item borrowed. A withdrawn item from another library's collection is not an acceptable replacement.

Payment Information

Towson University Library fines are payable at the Bursar's Office. Please make checks payable to Towson University and send payment to, or visit, Towson University Bursar's Office, 8000 York Road, Enrollment Services, Room 336, Towson MD 21252-0001. Alternatively, TU faculty, staff, and students may pay electronically via their Towson Online Services Account. Delinquent payments are transferred to the State’s Central Collections Unit.


To ensure timely notification regarding the availability of requested items, upcoming due dates, recalls, or overdue and fines alerts, Cook Library corresponds with patrons primarily via electronic mail. Please make sure that the library has your current email address on file and that our email address ( is not blocked by your Internet service provider.

Failure to receive a notice does not negate your responsibilities of returning materials on time or paying fines. You may view your library account activities by logging into "My Account" from the Catalog.

Borrowing Information for USMAI Libraries

In addition to Cook Library at Towson, University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions This link goes to an external site. libraries are located at:

  • Bowie State University
  • Coppin State College
  • Frostburg State University
  • Morgan State University
  • Salisbury State University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland Center for Estuarine Studies
  • University of Maryland College Park
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • University of Maryland University College
  • Health Sciences & Human Services Library
  • Saint Mary's College

You may borrow materials in-person from these libraries by presenting your TU ID card, or you may request books by using the Patron-Placed Hold service in the online catalog. You will be required to give your 14-digit library number in order to initiate this process. This library number is imprinted on the front of your TU OneCard. You may also obtain materials in-person from the Baltimore Academic Libraries Consortium institutions.

Note: Materials from other USMAI libraries may have different loan periods.

Borrowing Materials / Albert S. Cook Library
Last revised: April 15, 2013

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