Who may borrow books from the Libraries?
Anyone with a valid Ball State ID may check out library materials. Valid Ball State ID holders include students, faculty and staff.
Additionally, Indiana residents eighteen years of age or older can receive a Resident/Affiliate Library Card. A valid photo ID such as an Indiana driver's license is accepted as a form of Indiana resident identification. For more information about obtaining a Resident/Affiliate Library Card, consult the Guide for Indiana Residents.
Ball State alumni may use an Alumni Card to check out some library materials, as well.
For information about loan periods, consult the University Libraries' borrowing privileges.
How many books can I check out?
There is no limit on the number of books that can be checked out from the University Libraries. For information about loan periods, consult the University Libraries' borrowing privileges.
Where can I check books out?
The Circulation/Reserves counter, located on the first floor of Bracken Library, is where most material is checked out. Material from the GIS Research and Map Collection, Educational Resources Collections, and the Music Collection may be checked out at their service desks. For the Architecture and Science-Health Science Libraries, items are checked out at their service desks.
Can I check out periodicals (magazines and journals)?
Both bound and current periodicals circulate to Ball State students, faculty and staff. Volumes from the most recent five years circulate for 24 hours. Volumes older than five years circulate for seven days. Holds and recalls cannot be placed on periodicals and they may only be renewed in the library. Consult the University Libraries' borrowing privileges for a chart.
Can the Libraries pull items off the shelf and hold them for me?
Yes. Simply place a hold request for the item (see below for instructions), and we will retrieve the items off the shelf. You will be notified when they are available - usually within 36 hours - so that you can come in and check them out at the service desk of the library of your choosing (Bracken, Architecture, or Science-Health Science).
What can I do if the book I want is checked out?
You may place a recall request for the book.
A recall is a request for the current borrower to bring an item back to the library. Items checked out to any borrower are subject to recall after two weeks. Placing a hold will reserve an item for your use once it has been returned by the current borrower. You cannot hold or recall items on reserve. Materials with circulation periods of two weeks or less cannot be held or recalled. You will be notified once the item you requested is available.
How can I place a hold or recall on an item?
If you have logged in to CardCat,
and find an item that you would like to check out, you can place a recall or hold on the item by following these steps:
(1) View the full record (click on the "View Details button");
(2) Click on the “Hold/Recall Request" link to the right of the record information; and
(3) Fill out the "Place Hold" form.
If you are using CardCat without logging in, and you wish to recall/hold an item, you may click on the "User Services" link at the top of the screen and fill out the "Recall/Hold Request" form.
Note: If the item you are requesting is currently:
on the shelf
, you will be notified by email when the item is available, usually within 36 hours.
, it may be several days before the item is available. You may request the item via
if it is needed soon.
, it may be several weeks before it is available. You may request the item via
if it is needed soon.
In addition, holds and recalls may be placed on books at the Circulation/Reserves counter in Bracken Library, the Architecture Library service desk, or the Science-Health Science Library service desk. Bookings may be placed on videos and films at the Educational Resources Center service desk.
You will be notified once the item you requested is available. To protect patron confidentiality, the University Libraries cannot disclose who has borrowed a particular item.
On what types of items can I place a hold? What types of items cannot be requested for holds?
Most items can be requested for holds. This includes items which are on order and items which are marked "Received" in CardCat. These items may not be available for several weeks.
Items which cannot be requested include DVDs, videocassettes, films, slides in the Visual Resources Collection, periodicals, circulating computer/digital equipment, course reserves, non-circulating items and certain items that circulate for very short loan periods.
Videos (including DVDs) and films may be booked by Ball State faculty, staff, and students for a scheduled presentation on a specific date.
Where can I get a list of items I have checked out? How do I renew something I have checked out?
You can see what you have checked out by logging in to CardCat using your Ball State username and password, and then going to “My Account.” A complete list of your checkouts and their due dates will be displayed, with the option to renew some or all items. Please check the new due dates carefully; renewals may be prevented or shortened if an item has been requested by another user. Most items may be renewed twice online.
You can also renew materials two times over the phone. Please call Main Circulation at 765-285-5143 to renew items over the phone.
In order to view information about items checked out through Interlibrary Loan, you will need to log in to
, and then select "View -> Renew Items".
Can the Libraries notify me that I have materials that are about due?
For materials borrowed for two weeks or more, the University Libraries will normally alert users five days before library materials they have checked out are due. This notification takes the form of an e-mail sent to the user’s Ball State e-mail account.
Non-Ball State users may
request electronic notification of upcoming due dates
Can the Libraries notify me that I have Course Reserves material overdue?
Because fines accumulate quickly on overdue items from Course Reserves, the University Libraries will alert users via e-mail when their borrowed Reserve material is more than 4 hours overdue. This e-mail notification will go to the user’s Ball State e-mail account.
What are the benefits of logging in to CardCat? What do I need in order to login to CardCat?
By logging in to CardCat you can view your library account – a list of items currently checked out and their due dates, pending hold requests, and video bookings. You can also renew items you currently have checked out (limited to two renewals per item), and place holds on items that are currently checked out to other users. In addition, you must log in to CardCat if you want to view the items on Course Reserves.
If you think you might want to take advantage of any of these features, we recommend logging in at the beginning of a session.
Ball State University students, faculty, staff and retirees use their Ball State username and password to login to CardCat. Indiana residents and others who have a library card can use their library card number and PIN. For more information about obtaining a Resident/Affiliate Library Card, consult the Guide for Indiana Residents.
How can I get a PIN?
If you do not have a Ball State University computer username, you will need a PIN to login to CardCat. A PIN may be obtained by:
Coming to the Circulation/Reserves counter, Bracken Library.
Calling the Circulation/Reserves counter at 765-285-5143 to have your PIN mailed, either via US mail or email.
How much is the fine per day for a book?
The University Libraries do not charge a fine per day. For general circulation materials, which are materials borrowed for periods of two weeks or more, a $5.00 non-refundable fine is assessed for each item overdue on the eighth calendar day after the due date. If a general circulation item is not returned within seventy-five calendar days after the due date, it will be declared lost and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost. Please consult the Fine and Cost Policy page for charges regarding overdue or lost Course Reserves materials.
Who do I ask when I have a question about a fine?
Ask at the Main Circulation Desk of Bracken Library or call 765-285-5143 if you have a question about the assessment of a fine. However, if there is a problem with payment, these questions should be addressed to the Ball State University Bursar's Office, in Lucina Hall, room B31 .
Are fines paid in the library?
Fines are not paid in the library. Non-refundable fines and costs for replacement of damaged/lost materials are to be paid at the
, in Lucina Hall, room B31. If a student does not pay assessed fines or costs, transcripts will be encumbered. If a University faculty or staff member does not pay assessed fines or costs, the Bursar's Office will pursue collection according to the University's policy on employee delinquent accounts.