Borrowing and Renewing

General Circulation Information

For detailed information describing loan periods for each type of Libraries materials, please see the University Libraries Borrowing Privileges webpage.

Ball State University students, faculty, and staff have access to all of the materials in the University Libraries. Reminders of upcoming due dates will be automatically e-mailed to the official e-mail address for students, faculty, and staff. To renew items borrowed from the Libraries, please use your Ball State username and password to log in to My Library Account.

For Alumni

Ball State University graduates may obtain a free Alumni Card at the ID Card Office, currently in Bracken Library. Alumni Card users can contact the Library Information Desk in Bracken Library to obtain an Alumni library account and request a PIN to access My Library Account.

For Indiana Residents

Indiana residents who present a Resident/Affiliate card may check out general circulation books and government publications at the Library Information Desk on the first floor of Bracken Library and general circulation books in the Architecture Library, Foundational Sciences Library, and Health Library.

To obtain a Resident/Affiliate Library Card, you must purchase a single token card ($1.00) from the vending machine near the Library Information Desk in Bracken Library. After you’ve made the purchase, simply present the token card with valid identification which includes a photo and date of birth, such as an Indiana’s driver’s license, to a Circulation staff member. After you complete a short application, you will be issued a Resident/Affiliate Card, which may be used only by the cardholder in connection with photo identification.


Renewing Items

To renew items currently checked out, use your Ball State username and password to access "My Library Account" in OneSearch. Users not affiliated with Ball State University may request a PIN which can then be used to log in to OneSearch.

Alternatively, you may renew items by calling the Library Information Desk at 765-285-5143.

Ball State affiliates, with a valid Ball State e-mail address, are automatically notified by e-mail of upcoming due dates. Users who are not affiliated with the University may request electronic notification of upcoming due dates by providing a valid email address when registering for a library card.

Items which circulate four weeks or less may be renewed online twice. Items which circulate longer than four weeks may be renewed online once. For subsequent renewals, bring the materials to any of the University Libraries' circulation desks.

Overdue materials (except for some Reserve materials) may generally be renewed, but you are still responsible for overdue fines. Materials on hold for another borrower may not be renewed. Due to collection demand, circulating equipment may not be renewed.


The University Libraries Collections Development Policy guides the selection of materials to be added to the collections, whether by purchase, through gifts, or through standing orders and approval plans.


The primary principle guiding collections development at Ball State University Libraries is to provide information resources to support students' academic curricula and the teaching, research, and service needs of the Ball State faculty, administration and staff.

In carrying out collection development activities, University Libraries adheres to the principles expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, which includes the following statements:

"Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation... Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval … Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment."

Additionally, in its development of collections, “The University Libraries strives to model Inclusive Excellence, enriching a campus culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity at Ball State University through:

  • Promotion of intellectual freedom, open enquiry, freedom of expression, and the right of every individual to pursue knowledge and examine ideas without constraint or scrutiny
  • Equitable access to inclusive scholarly collections that represent all viewpoints and seek to celebrate and amplify under-represented voices and perspectives…” (excerpt from University Libraries' Diversity Statement)


Selection of materials for the collections is carried out cooperatively by members of the teaching and research faculty and by University Libraries’ librarians assigned to various academic disciplines. Collections development activities by the University Libraries are designed to provide coverage of the current information sources from the major commercial, scholarly, professional, and society publishers. It is a responsibility shared with the entire university faculty to ensure that this coverage includes titles of value to Ball State University.


Each academic department appoints a departmental library representative to review and approve departmental order requests and to communicate with the University Libraries' collections development personnel regarding areas of subject specialty, new and discontinued programs, and other information relevant to construct a programmatic plan of
collection development. Academic departments recommend materials based on an annual library materials budget “target” assigned to them for non-continuing purchases.


With the exception of Archives and Special Collections, the Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services is responsible for the development and maintenance of all University Libraries’ collections. The Head is assisted in these responsibilities by unit collections development librarians

The Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services recommends materials budget targets for each college and academic department to be approved in turn by the Dean of the University Libraries, and the Dean of each College. The Head also recommends allocations for areas within the Libraries and, in consultation with Acquisitions, monitors the materials budgets. The ideal goal of the Libraries is to maintain a budget ratio of 80% or less for continuing vs. non-continuing resources. Efforts to reach the ideal budget ratio goal require consistent assessment and data-informed decisions regarding allocations and cancellations necessary to contain costs.

Unit collections development librarians are responsible for establishing and revising the approval plan profile in coordination with academic departments to ensure that coverage corresponds to current curricular and research needs. Collections development librarians review and select materials sent on the approval plan and make selections from book reviews, bibliographies, and publishers' catalogs and notices in order to develop the University Libraries' collections. They coordinate these decisions with branch or area librarians as appropriate.

Evaluation of the University Libraries' collections is the ongoing responsibility of collections development librarians, assisted by branch and area librarians. They conduct systematic, data-influenced, reviews of subject collections and coordinate decisions with relevant departmental library representatives. Collections and Resource Acquisition Services aims to coordinate collection evaluations and deselection projects in support of academic accreditations and unit reviews. The Libraries follows the Academic Libraries of Indiana Last Copy policy for items no longer suitable for the collection but that are deemed necessary to be maintained in the State of Indiana. These items are sent to the retention library.


Collection development for branch libraries and other specialized collections or formats is accomplished in collaboration with branch librarians and area specialists. Collection development for these areas remains under the purview of the Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services and must conform to guidelines and practices established in this policy for University Libraries as a whole.


The University Libraries collects primary and secondary publications, bibliographic and reference sources in the format best able to support the educational and research needs of Ball State University students and faculty in all academic fields relevant to University programs. Library materials include monographs, serials, government documents, maps, music scores, archival records, original and facsimile manuscripts, electronic resources and multimedia.

Materials are primarily in English. Select foreign language materials are added as appropriate for specific collections, subject disciplines, and users of the collections. Emphasis is on United States coverage, with the State of Indiana and the East-Central Region of the State receiving particular emphasis for some subject areas. Broad, but selective international coverage is maintained and receives more attention in some subject areas based on the needs of academic departments. Chronological limitations are determined by subject area.


Where practicable, collection development librarians work with industry vendors to maintain approval plans. These detailed documents take into account the subject areas, publishers, format, scholarly level, and other non-subject parameters that are of interest to our campus community. Through notification of new profiled titles, selectors can review only the most significant and important titles in a given subject area.


Books/monographs are collected in the format that best meets the anticipated need of the user, whether print or electronic, hardcover or paperback. Textbooks, workbooks, study guides, etc., translations of English titles into foreign languages, or of foreign titles translated into non-English languages are collected only by exception. Popular or self-help books are collected only when justified by educational considerations. The library avoids acquiring multiple copies of an item or consumables.

Journals/periodicals/annuals are generally acquired in electronic format, only on a subscription basis and are continuing expenditures. Individual issues or reprints or articles are rarely purchased. In addition to collecting journals that support the teaching and research programs of the University, the Libraries collects periodicals of more general interest to the academic community. Collections decisions for these periodicals are based on editorial integrity, intellectual content of articles, inclusion in indexing and abstracting services, cost, demand combined with lack of other availability, and whether the periodical reflects contemporary trends in society in an unbiased fashion.

Newspaper subscriptions are collected by the University Libraries to support teaching and research, to provide sources of national and international news, and to provide general intellectual and cultural awareness for faculty and students. International newspapers are collected in direct support of teaching and research and to provide limited coverage of major regions of the world by outstanding newspapers.

Audiovisual materials are acquired in formats that support teaching and research needs. Access to educational and feature films is primarily provided via one or more streaming services. DVD versions of classic films, as well as works by significant directors and actors are acquired for the collection. The library does not collect materials in superseded formats (LPs, VHS tapes, software, etc.).

Data sets are generally not acquired if their use, by license or nature, is restricted to individual researchers, schools, departments, or specific groups.  


Trials are conducted usually during the academic year. It is intended that these trials serve as a method to assess a resource’s value for purchase. To this end, feedback from faculty and staff is solicited.


Gifts form an important supplement to the collections. University Libraries reviews gift collections carefully and judiciously selects or declines materials according to collecting policies. University Libraries normally does not accept restrictions from donors regarding shelving, access, or processing of gifts.

Donated materials become the property of Ball State University Libraries, which reserves the right to dispose of gift materials in whatever manner best serves the interest of the University and the Libraries.

University Libraries does not accept donations of the following:

  • outdated textbooks
  • materials in poor condition
  • popular magazines
  • mass-market paperbacks
  • pulp fiction
  • superseded formats (LPs, VHS tapes, software, etc.)
  • duplicate titles, unless they are in high use or an otherwise special edition

Visitors to Bracken Library may access OneSearch, the online catalog, free of charge from dedicated workstations throughout the library. If you are over the age of 14 and present a valid (unexpired) ID card displaying a clearly visible user photograph and other standard information used to confirm identification, you may acquire a guest pass for full access to library computers for one day through the purchase of a Computer Access token card ($1.00). Access includes databases, available software, and Internet connections. Visitors of any age who wish to use electronic federal depository material should consult the Government Publications page.

If you have any of the following affiliations, you are exempt from the $1.00 charge:

  • Ball State University emeriti faculty with valid emeritus card
  • Ball State University alumni with valid Ball State University Alumni card
  • Faculty/student from any other university or college (including Ivy Tech) with current valid identification from your home institution
  • Indiana State employee with current valid State employee identification
  • Current military personnel with valid identification

Visitors may print up to 20 black-and-white exposures per guest account. Additional exposures are available for a nominal fee through the purchase of an additional guest account, or by routing print jobs to a printer/copier capable of accepting coins, $1 and $5 bills, or a copy card. Inquire at any service point for additional information.

View the Information Technology Users’ Privileges and Responsibilities PDF.

General Circulation Materials Overdue or Lost

  • General circulation materials are materials borrowed for periods of two weeks or more.

A $5.00 non-refundable fine will be assessed for each general circulation item on the 8th calendar day after the due date. Also, a $5.00 non-refundable fine will be assessed for each recalled item on the day following the recall due date. If an item is not returned within 45 calendar days after the due date (or recall due date), it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost. Material borrowed from the Library remains the property of the Library even after a replacement cost is assessed and paid.

Reserve Materials Overdue or Lost

Reserves fines apply to:

  • materials in collections designated as “reserve” in course reserve/reading lists, library guides and/or on signs;
  • materials borrowed for specified periods of less than two weeks – two hours, overnight, one day, three days, seven days, etc.

Fines will be assessed for overdue reserve materials at the rate of 25 cents per item per hour, to a maximum of $24.00 per item. If a reserve item is not returned within 45 calendar days after the date due, it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost of the item in addition to the overdue fine. Material borrowed from the Library remains the property of the Library even after a replacement cost is assessed and paid.

Circulating Equipment from Education, Music and Media Collection

Equipment Overdue or Lost:

The Reserve Fine Policy applies to all 4-day and 6-hour circulating equipment:

Fines will be assessed for overdue equipment and material at the rate of 25 cents per barcoded item per hour, to a maximum of $24.00. If equipment is not returned within 45 calendar days after the date due, it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost of the item in addition to the overdue fine. Equipment borrowed from the University Libraries remains the property of the University Libraries even after a replacement cost is assessed and paid.

Multiple barcoded items are associated with each type of equipment. Therefore, MAXIMUM RESERVE OVERDUE FINES will be assessed as follows:

  • Lenovo Laptop 4-3 barcoded items @ $24 each = $72.00
  • Cannon Camcorder 3 barcoded items @ $24 each = $72.00
  • MacBook 3 barcoded items @ $24 each = $72.00
  • Epson Data Projector 2 barcoded items @ $24 each = $48.00
  • Logitech PC mic 1 barcoded item @ $24 each = $24.00
  • Headphones 1 barcoded item @ $24 each = $24.00
  • Tripod 1 barcoded item @ $24 each = $24.00

For fines on equipment not listed, inquire at the Education Music and Media Service Desk (285-5340)

Damaged Library Materials

Damaged materials will be repaired at the library user’s expense; if damaged materials are beyond repair, the library user will be charged current replacement costs.

Appeal of Fines and Costs

Appeals of library fines and costs must be initiated within ninety calendar days following the date the borrowed material was due for return to the Library. Appeals of assessments must first be directed to the designated personnel at the service location where the material was borrowed. If unresolved at the service location level, appeals may be continued through successive levels of supervision within the Library’s Public Services. If unresolved within the Library’s Public Services, appeals may be directed to the University Senate Library Committee. (Staff at the service location will, on request, identify the designated personnel, who will explain the route of appeal.)

Appeals once begun must proceed at the borrower’s initiative in a timely and reasonable fashion. If a borrower fails to initiate and pursue an appeal within the prescribed time period, penalties approved by the Board of Trustees will result. Appeals made to the Library Committee will be judged on behalf of the University community; the Committee’s judgments will be advisory to the Library administration.

Theft or Mutilation

The University Libraries may suspend library privileges and/or seek criminal prosecution or civil sanctions in cases of theft or mutilation of library materials.

Payment of Fines and Costs

Non-refundable fines and costs for replacement of damaged/lost materials are to be paid via Student Financial Services (formerly, Office of the Bursar), Lucina Hall, Room 245.Online payment and U.S. Mail options are also available. 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, Student Financial Services will pursue collection according to the University’s policy on employee delinquent accounts.

The University Libraries is a popular location for photography and video projects.  However, a balance needs to be maintained that minimizes disruption and maintains the privacy of other users.  Photographs or silent videos may be taken for personal use, without permission, as long as they are not made for commercial use, involve only personal subjects (i.e. not general library visitors or staff), and do not disrupt the study/research environment for others.

More involved projects, including those with multiple subjects, props, spoken dialogue, active scenes, etc. must be approved in advance by the Associate Dean for Research, Access, and Scholarly Communications (BL014) or a designated representative.

Users of the University Libraries are expected to treat library staff, fellow users, and library materials and facilities with courtesy and respect.
This includes but is not limited to:

Refraining from defacing materials (books, videos, periodicals, etc.) and facilities with pencil, ink, markers, adhesive notes, tape, paper clips, etc.
Refraining from tearing or cutting pages from materials.
Food and beverages are limited to snack items or light meals.
Refraining from taking materials from the library without first checking them out or violating any other rules for library use.
Refraining from changing settings on library computers, tampering with printers, or installing unauthorized software.
Refraining from disruptive behavior, which may include but is not limited to:
  • Intimidation or assault of library staff or users with language or actions.
  • Failure to comply with library staff requests to adhere to library policies and guidelines.
  • Behavior creating excessive noise or activity, including headphone volume levels set loud enough for others to hear.
  • Behavior which interferes with library personnel’s ability to provide services.
  • Possessing or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Possessing weapons.
  • Using computers in violation of guidelines established by Unified Technology Support (UTS).

Refraining from soliciting or proselytizing.

Refraining from conduct that violates other university rules or regulations.

Children under the age of 14 are welcome, but must be accompanied by and remain under the immediate supervision of a responsible adult (over 18).

Clothing tops, bottoms and footwear are expected of all visitors and must remain on throughout a visit.

Service animals are permitted in the University Libraries.  Emotional support animals and pets are not permitted.

Skateboards and collapsible scooters may be carried, but not ridden, in the Libraries.  Roller blades or skates, cycles (uni-, bi-, tri -), and motorized recreational scooters/vehicles are not permitted in the buildings. 

Failure to comply with the University Libraries User Guidelines may result in immediate suspension of library privileges and, if appropriate, referral to law enforcement officials.


Ball State University Libraries respects and protects your privacy in accordance with the Bill of Rights, Indiana State law (Title 4, Chapter 6), and the following statement from the American Library Association’s document Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights:

“Users have the right to be informed about what policies and procedures govern the amount and retention of personally identifiable information, why that information is necessary for the library, and what the user can do to maintain their privacy.”

Ball State University Libraries takes most seriously the responsibility to ensure intellectual freedom and recognizes the critical need to protect your privacy and confidentiality. Libraries have a responsibility to foster the free flow of ideas and information, and privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association. Ball State University Libraries defines the right to privacy as the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined, surveilled, or scrutinized by others. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of your personally identifiable information and keeps that information private on your behalf. As such, Ball State University Libraries will not reveal to institutional or legal actors, except upon receipt of a valid and enforceable judicial order or warrant, information about how you use the library (e.g., what you read from collections, what your areas of research are, or when or where you are located in University Libraries).  


This privacy notice applies only to Ball State University Libraries and explains University Libraries’ practices concerning the collection, use, and disclosure of your information. Other university units or third-party vendors may collect and use your information in different ways. University Libraries is not responsible for content or privacy practices outside Ball State University Libraries.

Notice & Openness

Ball State University Libraries affirms that you have the right of "notice" -- to be informed about the policies governing personally identifiable information and about how that information is used for the provision of library services.

Information We Collect

The following information may be collected by Ball State University Libraries about your use of its facilities, website, catalog, online resources, services and systems:

  1. Circulation information (e.g., checked-out materials, fines, etc.)
  2. Service requests (e.g., ILL requests, requests for purchasing materials, course reserves, reference requests, ask a librarian, etc.)
  3. Electronic access information (e.g., electronic resources or computers use, etc.)
  4. Other information required to provide library services (any use of private information for library services not previously mentioned).
How Information Is Used

Ball State University Libraries uses collected data to improve existing services and to facilitate the operational and educational activities of the library and the university. Primarily, personal information is used to provide requested services (e.g., looking up the list of materials you have currently checked out, or allowing you to renew those items), but University Libraries does also use data to assess aggregate value and outcomes of library usage. Ball State University Libraries never uses, sells, licenses or discloses personally identifiable information in ways unrelated to what is described above without acquiring additional consent or unless compelled to do so under the law or to protect library or university resources or interests.

Choice & Consent

To provide borrowing privileges, University Libraries must obtain personal information to create and update your library account. If you are affiliated with Ball State University, the University Libraries automatically receives your personally identifiable information (name, address, e-mail address, status [as student, faculty, staff], identification number, etc.) through Banner, the University’s enterprise resource planning software. When visiting University Libraries' web sites and using the Libraries’ electronic services, you may choose to provide your name, Ball State username, e-mail address, library card ID, phone number or home address. If you are not affiliated with the university, you have the option to provide your e-mail address for the purpose of notifying you about your library account. 

By using Ball State University Libraries, you consent to the processing and usage of personal data in the manner and for the purposes detailed in this policy.

Access by Users

When you use library services requiring the use of personally identifiable information, you are entitled to view and update your information. Requests for substantive or summative library records must be submitted in writing to the Financial and Business Services Manager in the Office of the Libraries’ Dean. Reports will only be released to the requestor upon in-person presentation of an official photo ID (Ball State identification or driver’s license). University Libraries will respond in a reasonable timeframe based on the complexity of the records request.

Data Integrity & Security

Data collected and maintained at University Libraries is as accurate and secure as possible. Although Ball State University and the Ball State University Libraries cannot guarantee the complete security of data, they take the following steps to protect the privacy and accuracy of your data:

Data Integrity

University Libraries works to assure data integrity by using reputable data sources, providing you access to review your data, and updating data when needed. In addition, University Libraries avoids creating or retaining personally identifiable information that is unrelated to the operational and educational mission of the Libraries.

Data Retention 

University Libraries regularly audits data files. When personally identifiable information is no longer needed to manage library services or accounts, it is deleted or anonymized following library data retention guidelines. Information that is regularly reviewed for purging or anonymization includes, but is not limited to, personally identifiable information on library resource use and material circulation history.

Tracking Users

Use of in-library computers requires you to log on with your Ball State username and password. Off-campus usage of electronic resources also requires you to log on with these same credentials. Guest users log in with a special guest account obtained from University Libraries. Data about which users were connected to which machine in the Libraries is collected and used in accordance with Ball State's Website Privacy Policy. The data kept from these transactions does not include information linking the user to the resources used or searches completed.  


When using networked computers, you must enable cookies in order to access a number of resources available through Ball State University Libraries. A cookie is a small file sent to the browser by a web site each time that site is visited. Cookies are stored on the computer you are using and can potentially transmit personal information. You can refuse to accept cookies, can disable cookies, and remove cookies from your hard drives. University Libraries’ servers use cookies to verify that a person is an authorized user in order to allow access to licensed library resources. Session cookies are removed when you exit the catalog and close the browser. University Libraries does not share information from cookies with external third parties.

Security Measures 

University Libraries employs managerial and technical policies and procedures to protect against the loss of data as well as to protect against unauthorized access, destruction, or disclosure of data. Limiting access to data to authorized library staff, prescribing how data can be utilized, encrypting data transmissions, and storing data on secure servers and computers are a few examples of the steps taken to ensure data security.

While University Libraries diligently protects your privacy in relation to library systems, you can also take steps to better protect your personally identifiable information. Here are some resources with suggestions for doing so: Library Freedom Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cookies and You.

Use of Third-Party Vendors

Ball State University Libraries uses reputable third-party vendors with strong privacy policies to review usage data on their web sites. In particular, University Libraries uses Google Analytics to analyze how users frequent the Libraries’ sites. University Libraries uses aggregate data and does not associate usage with a particular computer or user when analyzing or reviewing usage data from Google Analytics or other third-party vendors.

Enforcement & Redress

Ball State University Libraries never uses, sells, licenses or discloses personally identifiable information in ways unrelated to what is described above without acquiring additional consent or unless compelled to do so under the law or to protect library or university resources or interests. University Libraries authorizes only the Dean and/or the Dean’s designee to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers in consultation with university legal counsel. University Libraries will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form as determined by the Office of General Counsel. University Libraries conducts regular privacy audits to ensure that all library programs and services are enforcing our privacy policy.

If you have questions or concerns about the handling of your privacy and confidentiality rights, you should file written comments with the Dean of Ball State University Libraries.


Resources acquired for Ball State University Libraries are selected to support the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. When selecting resources, the Libraries adheres to the intellectual freedom principles found in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement and is committed to providing collections that present  a variety of viewpoints and diverse perspectives on topics that may be considered controversial.  The appearance of a resource in its collections does not mean that the Libraries advocates or endorses the ideas found in the resource. 

Ball State students, faculty, administrators, and staff may request reconsideration of resources in University Libraries collections. Challenges to inclusion of a library resource must be based on failure of the resource to fall within University Libraries’ Collections Development Policy, including the commitment to intellectual freedom.  Persons wishing to challenge a resource may ask for its removal or restriction, or, as possible, suggest the addition of a resource that offers an alternative viewpoint.  The Libraries will consider the challenge and communicate its decision to the requestor.  Challenged material will remain available to library users while the reconsideration process is in progress.


Reconsideration Procedures:

Persons wishing to request reconsideration of a resource in University Libraries’ collections may do so in two ways:

Informal request:  Schedule an appointment with the Head of Collections and Resource Acquisition Services to discuss your concerns.  An informal conversation will not preclude the submission of a formal request if you wish to do so.

Formal request:  To initiate a formal review, complete the Library Resource Reconsideration Form found here and return the completed form to the Associate Dean for Collection Resources Management.  Your request will be reviewed by the Associate Dean, the Head of Collections and Resource Acquisitions, and other librarians as appropriate.  A determination will be made in accordance with library policies and procedures. The requestor will receive a written response within 60 days of receipt of the request.  Written appeals may be addressed to the Dean of University Libraries, whose decision is final.