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Finding and Retrieving Materials on Campus: Books on Campus

Finding and Obtaining Books on Campus

This page has information about locating and retrieving the following:

  • books from the Law Library
  • books from other Ann Arbor campus U-M libraries
  • books not available on campus

Law Library

Locating Books using the MLaw Catalog

  • The Michigan Law Library primarily collects scholarly works in legal fields.
  • Search the MLaw Catalog to find books in print.
    • Search by keyword, title, author, or subject
  • Treatise Finder is another tool to locate relevant legal materials.
    • Find major legal works both in a general context and with a Michigan focus
    • Books are organized by Subject
  • The "Location" information in the Catalog tells you in what part of the Library the book is located.
    • SmithJournalsRetro, or Ref Coll are in the Underground Library.
      • Patrons can retrieve these books off the shelves themselves if they wish.
    • Stacks or Annex will need to be retrieved by Library staff. 
    • Closed Reserve or Reserve are located behind the Information Desk. 
      • Patrons cannot reserve these books.

Book Delivery

  • MLaw patrons can check out much of our collection to take out of the building.
    • This includes books on Closed Reserve and monographs.
    • Non-MLaw patrons cannot take any materials out of the Underground Library.
  • Certain materials cannot be taken out of the building.
    • This rule applies to print periodicals, continuing treatises, codes, and other types of materials.
  • Retrieving Books
    • Most items in the Catalog include a "Request" button. MLaw students can use this button to request delivery of a physical book.
    • For a scan of a small portion of the book, use the yellow "Request a Scan" button
      • Within the limitations of copyright. 
  • Delivery
    • MLaw students and other patrons may have books delivered to the hold shelf behind the Information Desk.
  • Non-MLaw patrons must have a legal research need and obtain a pass from the Information Desk in order to use the Law Library collection.

Other Campus Libraries

Locating Books using U-M Library Search

  • The U-M Library Catalog, accessed through U-M Library Search, is a comprehensive collection of works in non-legal fields. 
    • The Law Library works with the University Libraries in collection development to ensure coverage of important materials and to minimize unnecessary redundancies.
  • Search U-M Library Search by keyword, title, author, or academic discipline.
  • Using the Advanced Search feature, limit searches to a particular library (e.g., Flint Thompson Library or Bentley Historical Library) or a particular location (e.g., Askwith Media Library or Art, Architecture & Engineering).

Book Delivery

  • Eligible items in U-M Library Search each have a "Get This" button, which leads to four options
    • Self-Service
      • Find the item in the library yourself
      • This option is not always available (e.g., patrons cannot retrieve items themselves from Buhr Remote Shelving)
    • Library-to-Library
      • Have the item available at the circulation desk of a number of U-M libraries (including those where the book is not shelved)
      • The Law Library is not an option
    • Delivery
      • Set up a preferred delivery location in your U-M ILL account (MLaw students also have a Law Library ILL account)
      • Only MLaw students, faculty, and staff, U-M faculty, and U-M Regents may set the Law Library as their preferred site
        • Items delivered to Smith may be picked up at the Circulation Desk
    • Scanning
      • Have a small portion of a book scanned and emailed to you (within the limitations of copyright)
  • Only MLaw students, faculty, and staff, U-M faculty, and U-M Regents may return U-M Library books at the Law Library Circulation Desk. 
    • Others must return U-M Library books to the appropriate library.
    • The Law Library does not guarantee that books will be returned by a certain date and is not responsible for past-due books.

Items Not On Campus

WorldCat and Interlibrary Loan

  • If you cannot find a book in either U-M Library Search or the MLaw Catalog, find which libraries have it using WorldCat.
    • WorldCat is a union catalog that provides access to catalog records of thousands of libraries worldwide.
    • Use the bibliographic information about material found on WorldCat to place an Interlibrary Loan Request.
    • See the decision tree below to determine when and how to place an ILL request.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
    • MLaw students can access their ILL accounts through the "My Accounts" tab on the Law Library homepage or using the MLaw link below.
    • Non-MLaw students at U-M can access their ILL accounts through the University Library homepage or using the U-M link below.
    • For patrons outside the U-M community, contact your home library (public, university, or other) for information on how to place an ILL request
  • Note: U-M students on the Ann Arbor campus must use ILL to retrieve books from the UM-Dearborn Mardigian Library.
    • Books from the UM-Flint Thompson Library can be obtained using the methods described above, under Other Campus Libraries.

Interlibrary Loan decision tree

Need Help?

  Call us at 734-764-9324

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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.