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Research Resources at the Michigan Law Library: Items Not on Campus

Self-help guide for patrons using the Michigan Law Library.

Books, Journals, Articles, and Other Materials You Can't Find on Campus

The University of Michigan provides our students with access to millions of titles, but there are still materials that are not available on campus. The information on this page is designed to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Process for Off-Campus Books and Articles

First Things First

Before going off-campus, make sure you can't access the material using University of Michigan resources. To determine whether you have exhausted your on-campus resources, consult this chart:

Flowchart showing how to locate books and articles on campus. It advises students to search the law library catalog, then the university library catalog, then worldcat.


Interlibrary Loan

If a book is not on our campus, you can still use the Law Library to get it. Interlibrary Loan is a system that exchanges books with libraries around the world--it's like a global library card.

Michigan Law students can request a book, article scan, or other material by logging into their Interlibrary Loan account directly. The login page is linked below and on the Law Library website.

Another way to request books through ILL is by using WorldCat. WorldCat is a "union catalog" which allows users to search for items in catalogs all over the world. WorldCat lists where items are held based on the distance from your location. 

Why Use WorldCat?

Using the subscription version of WorldCat linked here (not the free, public version) has two distinct benefits:

  1. Confirm whether the item is in fact in one of our campus libraries.
  2. Quickly and directly request a scan or book through your Law Library ILL account.

Searching WorldCat

  • Search by title, keyword, or author
  • When you click on an item, you will be brought to the item's page
  • If the item is in either the Law Library or University Library, you will see an indicative green badge.

Screenshot of worldcat results list. Items with "Univ of Michigan, Law Lib" label are annotated to read "held by law library." Items with "Other UM Libraries" label are annotated to read "held by U-M library."

Requesting an ILL Through WorldCat (Michigan Law community)

Michigan Law students can request ILL through WorldCat.

  1. On the desired item's page, click "Interlibrary Loan Requests" next to "External Resources."
  2. Login using uniqname and UMID and complete the request.

Worldcat record with link reading "Interlibrary loan requests" highlighted via a red rectangle.

Requesting Items if Not within Michigan Law Community
University of Michigan students, staff, and faculty (i.e., anyone outside the MLaw community) should make all ILL requests through the University Library. The link to the U-M ILL page is below.

Patrons who are not affiliated with the University of Michigan should make all ILL requests through their home library (e.g., public library, college library, firm library)

Need Help?

  Call us at 734-764-9324

text message icon Text us at 734-329-5606

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  Email us at Emails are answered by Librarians during standard business hours, Monday-Friday. Patrons may expect a response within 1-2 business days for most emails.

  Consult with us. Schedule an appointment to meet with a Reference Librarian.

  Visit us at the Information Desk on Sub-1 for immediate in-person assistance. Open 8 am - midnight, Sunday-Thursday, and 8am - 10pm, Friday-Saturday*


The chat service is available to all of our patrons but is designed to meet the legal research needs of U-M students, staff, and faculty.

Chat is monitored from 1-6 pm Monday-Wednesday and 1-5 pm Thursday-Friday on days when class is in session.

*Excluding University holidays and semester breaks--check library hours for more information. The Building and library are available to law school community ONLY after 6 pm, and are closed to all but law school community on home football Saturdays.