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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
COVID-19 Note: Due to the current public health crisis, building access, book delivery, and loan rules are all subject to changes. Please see the Law Library website and the University Library website for current information.

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

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 1-7 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.