FAQs: Borrowing Materials

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1. Can I check out any book or media item in the Library?

No.  Some items, such as journals and reserve books, are restricted to use in the building. See the Borrowing Policies for more information.

2. Can I check out library materials for someone else?

Generally, no; the person to whom the materials are being checked out must be present.  Faculty members may authorize a proxy--an assistant who can check out items to the faculty member's account.  You will find the authorization form on the Forms page of our website.

3. Can I get on a waiting list or place a hold on reserve items?

No. In order to be as fair as possible, all reserve items are first come, first served.

4. Can I renew a reserve item?

No, renewals are not permitted so that availability can be maximized.   For two-hour and four-hour items, there is a required waiting period of 30 minutes before the same person can check out the same item again. For all other items, you must wait until the Library opens on the following day.

5. Can reserve materials be taken outside the library?

For items with a 24-hour or a 3-day loan period, the answer is yes. Two-hour and four-hour items must be used in the library. The only exception made is for the instructor who placed the item on reserve.

6. How can I renew an item that I have borrowed?


  1. From the Library home page, click on "Renew Items / Account Login" under "Quick Links."
  2. Log in with your Card ID and PIN.  Please contact the Service Desk if you need to create a PIN.
  3. Click the "My Account" link located in the center of the page.  Click the option to "Renew My Materials."  Check the materials that you want to renew and click Submit.  Look for the new due date to verify that your materials were renewed.
There are several reasons why you may not be able to renew your materials online: your account may be blocked because of the number of overdue notices sent to you for currently checked-out materials; the amount of fines you owe is over $15; you have reached your renewal limit; another patron has placed a hold/recall request on the item you are trying to renew; or your account has expired. If you are unable to renew your items, please contact the Service Desk.

There are several other ways to renew eligible materials:

Call the Service Desk at 817-735-2465 during service hours.

Send an e-mail message to libcirc@unthsc.edu to request a renewal. Please be specific as to which materials you would like to renew and allow 24 hours for a response.

Stop by the Service Desk with your UNTHSC ID badge or Lewis Library card. You do not need to bring the materials with you in order to renew them.

7. How do I change / reset my password?

To change your network password, go to http://ams.unt.edu/ and follow the prompts. 

8. How long can I use reserve items?

Usually, reserves check out for two hours. Instructors designate the loan period for course reserves: two hours, four hours, 24 hours, or three days. All two-hour and four-hour items must be used in the library. No time limits are enforced on electronic reserves, but please be courteous when linking to one of the Library's subscription databases. The number of UNTHSC patrons who can access them at one time is limited in some cases, so it's best to download a copy of assigned readings and close the database.

9. If Lewis Library does not have a particular book or journal, does that mean I have no hope of getting it?

No.  Most of the time, we can obtain a copy from another library through Interlibrary Loan.  We can also help you check the holdings of other area libraries to see if they have it.

10. Is there a limit on how many items I can have checked out at one time?

Yes; students, faculty, and staff members can check out up to 50 items.  Other patrons are limited to 5 or 10 items depending on category.  All patrons are limited to 5 reserve items and 5 test preparation books at one time.  See the Borrowing Policies for more information.

11. What do I need to check out an item?

Present your UNTHSC ID card (faculty, students, staff) or your Lewis Library card (other patrons) to check out items.  Lewis Library cardholders must also present a photo ID.  Initially, TexShare borrowers must present both a valid TexShare card and a photo ID to establish an account.

12. What is the fine for overdue items?

For regular circulating items, 50 cents per day.  This increases to $1 per day for overdue items that have been recalled.  Fines for reserve materials are $1 per hour, and fines for Test Preparation books are $5 per day.  See the Borrowing Policies for more information.

13. Where do I check out library materials?

All circulating materials check out from the Service Desk on Level 2.

14. Why doesn’t the library have one of my required readings on reserve?

The two most common explanations are that a reserve request for the item has not been received from the instructor, or that the item is on order. When a reserve request is received from a faculty member or department, several processing steps must occur in order to make the item available. Our guidelines call for three days working time during the semester and one week at the beginning of the semester to process the reserve request. If a requested item is not owned by the library, up to six weeks is needed to order, receive, and process the material. If you think something should be on reserve but isn’t, the library staff will be happy to check its status. If it has not been requested, please follow up with your instructor.

15. Will I be charged for returning reserve items late?

Yes, overdue fines accrue at the rate of $1 per hour from the time the item becomes overdue and each following hour until the item is checked in.
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