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Borrowing Materials from Cook Library

Students, staff, and faculty from Towson University (and other USMAI schools) can borrow books from the Albert S. Cook Library with a valid University ID card.  

University Alumni may borrow TU books with a valid, state-issued, photo ID and Towson University alumni card.  Local patrons unaffiliated with the University may be granted special borrowing permission on a case-by-case basis.

Standard Loan Periods for TU Books:

Students, staff, and faculty have preset semester-long loan periods, following the below schedule:

November 1 - March 31 May 1
April 1 - June 30 August 1
July 1 - October 31 December 1

TU Alumni and special borrowers have a loan period of 28 days

Other item types (such as audio/video recordings, reserves, and leisure reading) have differing loan periods based on borrower type and collection. For more information, visit Circulation, or call 410-704-2456.

Fines and Fees

The Albert S. Cook Library assesses fines or fees for TU materials that are damaged or lost.  Late fees are only charged for items that have been recalled. The amount of these fines depends on the item type and reason fines are being assessed. Fines, fees, and policies for Items borrowed from other USMAI schools or through interlibrary loan vary by the lending institution.

Reason for Fine Rate of Fine
Late fee for recalled items

$2.00 per day

Items 25 days overdue are presumed lost

Lost/Replacement for standard items

$125 total fee

Items 75 days overdue are presumed lost

Lost/Replacement for media and reserves items

$100 total fee

Items 8 days overdue are presumed lost

Damaged Items Varies on a case-by-case basis

Overdue items that are returned within 90 days of being declared lost will be accepted and the total replacement fee will be waived. Items that are lost more than 90 days cannot be returned, and no fees can be waived.

In the event an item is lost or damaged beyond repair, the Albert S. Cook Library allows borrowers to purchase replacement copies.  Please contact the Circulation Department at 410-704-2456, or, for the specific requirements of replacements.

All fines/fees accrued on TU library items are transferred to the Towson University Billing Office; please contact them for payment options and timelines. 

Please note that items requested from other schools may have different fines and fees, which must be made payable to the owning institution – not TU or Cook Library.

Borrowing Materials from Other Libraries

TU faculty, staff, and students may borrow materials in-person at other USMAI libraries using their TU ID cards.  They may also place requests for USMAI items to be shipped to the Albert S. Cook Library, by using the Request Item link on the catalog or Cook OneSearch. Requests usually arrive within 2-3 business days!

 Materials that are not available at Cook Library or other USMAI schools can often be requested and delivered to Cook Library through the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL). 

Additionally, TU patrons may visit and borrow books from the libraries at Goucher College, McDaniel College, MICA, and Stevenson University using their current TU ID and a second, state-issued ID.

Substitute Borrowing and Pick Up Options

Designate someone to pick up items on your behalf by filling out the Substitute Borrowing and Pick Up Form.

If you’re a faculty or staff member, request an item to be delivered to you via campus mail using the Cook Delivers Form.

Renewals, Recalls, and Returns

Patrons may renew their TU or USMAI loans online by logging-in to their Towson University library account using their unified TU username and password, and following the “Items borrowed/renewals” link.  The number of times a loan may be renewed varies based on the item, borrower, and lending library.  

Borrowed items may be recalled at any time if requested by another patron, which may shorten the current loan, and cause overdue fines to be charged.  E-mail notification will be sent if an item’s due date is changed by a recall.

Books on standard loan from the TU or USMAI libraries may be returned to the library’s Circulation Desk (when the library is open), or at any time to the book drops either to the right of the Library’s main entrance, or to the left of the Media Center’s main entrance.