Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

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Persons not directly affiliated with either UMBC or the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (hereafter USMAI) are ordinarily not permitted to borrow materials from the UMBC library, although they may use certain materials in the Library.

However, in keeping with the University's mission to serve the community, the Library makes its collections and services available to members of the community provided that Library use by the community does not divert staff time or other resources so as to diminish the number and quality of services offered to the Library's primary UMBC and USMAI clienteles.

To maintain such an appropriate balance between services provided for primary clienteles and those provided the community, the following guideline and procedures have been established through which persons not directly affiliated with either UMBC or the USMAI may be extended borrowing privileges at the UMBC library.

Request and approval mechanism:

1.) Requests for borrowing privileges at the UMBC library are to be made at the UMBC Library circulation desk. The borrower card may be granted immediately or deferred, depending on staffing available to approve and process requests. The Head of Circulation or designee have authority to approve requests. All prospective Special Borrowers must present valid, non-expired, government-issued picture identification and provide: name, address, phone number, and social security number (or equivalent). Secondary proof of address is also required.

Valid types of secondary proof of address include:

   * Utility Bill (Telephone, Gas, Electric, Water or Cable)
   * Credit Card Statement
   * Bank Statement

All forms of secondary proof of address must be dated within the last 60 days and show a local address in relation to UMBC. 

2.) If borrowing privileges are approved, a Special Borrower's Card may be issued provided appropriate fees are paid. New special borrowers may check out 3 items upon application, once their official card is received in the mail they will have full borrowing privileges depending on their classification. If a card is lost or damaged, the cost for a replacement will be the same as the initial fee. Cards cannot be issued until all applicable fees are received.
Appeals for exceptions to fees must be made in writing to the Head of Circulation or the Director of the Library.
Fees paid for special borrowing privileges or replacement cards are nonrefundable.

3.) Borrowing privileges for high school groups of no more than 45 people will be granted if the high school registration forms are received by the Head of Circulation no later than 8 working days before the group is planning a visit to the library. There will be a $2.00 charge for each card given. The total amount for the group must accompany the list and should be paid with one check made payable to UMBC. See guideline 257 for more details.

Privileges and restrictions applying to Special Borrowers

Persons holding Special Borrower privileges at the UMBC Library are permitted to borrow up to 25 circulating items from UMBC's general circulating collection; non-print media are not included. Most books are loaned for a 28-day period with a limit of 2 renewals; other materials may have a shorter loan period. For more complete information about loan periods for various material, please see Library guideline 253.

Special Borrowers may place online recall requests on titles owned by the UMBC library. They may also renew their borrowed items online, provided no other person has requested it.

However, Special Borrowers cannot borrow through the UMBC library materials belonging to other USMAI libraries or to non-USMAI libraries unless they agree to fully reimburse the UMBC Library for all expenses that might be incurred in obtaining Interlibrary Loans. For Interlibrary Lending procedures and charges, see Library guideline 258.

Special borrowers do not have off-campus online access to Library databases, nor online full text resources from off-campus.  However, in-Library online access to databases and full text resources is available to all after acquiring a daily guest user account.  These accounts are available from the Circulation, Reference, Serials, or Media Desks upon presentation of a valid government issued photo ID. 

Special Borrowers do not have access to the Digital Media Lab and are not able to borrow equipment through the Equipment Loan Program.

Special Borrowers are subject to all the rules and regulations of the Library. If abused, a Special Borrower's privileges may be suspended by the Head of Circulation or the Director of the Library.

UMBC Special Borrower privileges are granted according to the following guidelines:




Friends of the Library & Gallery


No fee if current Friends member who joined with a cash gift of $50 or more, or with a gift in kind valued at $100 or more. Requestors should bring evidence of their current FOL&G status (normally, the letter acknowledging their donation to the FOL&G, within the previous 15 months).  Library privileges subject to annual renewal in conjunction with membership renewal (or may be granted or extended by the Director of Library -- see guideline 722).

Friends of the Library & Gallery may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals.

High School students

$ 2

For cost of card only. Granted if student comes with pre-arranged high school group (see above and guideline 257). Or with form signed by parent and proof of high school enrollment using either a valid high school ID card or a letter on school letterhead. Renewal: no charge if still in High School, proof may be requested. Lost card replacement cost: $2. High School students may have a maximum of 10 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals.

USMAI Alumni

UMCP Alumni are excluded in accordance with UMCP policy


Must have a valid library account and ID card from their home campus; otherwise see "Others" below. Alumni may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals.

UMBC Alumni


Must have an alumni card to be eligible for privileges. Old student IDs are not valid for library use after graduation. Lost card replacement cost: $15. Alumni may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewal

Parents of current UMBC students


Must show proof that child is enrolled at UMBC. Parents may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals.

Spouses of UMBC faculty and staff


Must provide proof of spouse's affiliation with UMBC. Spouses may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals.

UMBC Emeritus and
Retired UMBC Faculty & Staff


No charge unless card must be issued. If card must be issued, $15 will be charged. Will receive faculty borrowing privileges.

Non-USMAI Faculty


Faculty from non-USMAI institutions with which UMBC does not have reciprocal arrangements (see "Reciprocal Borrowers" below) must present both an institutional ID and an OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program (RFBP) card to be eligible for the $50 fee. Otherwise, see "Others" below. No charge for renewal upon presenting RFBP card again with UMBC Special Borrower card. Non-USMAI Faculty may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals.

USM Golden ID Card


No charge, must show GOLDEN IDENTIFICATION CARD [Reference: BOR VIII - 2.30]



Per year. Picture ID and secondary proof of address required for Special Borrower Card. Standard Special Borrowers may have a maximum of 25 items charged out at a time with a limit of 2 renewals

Note - fees paid are nonrefundable.

Reciprocal Borrowers

Reciprocal Borrowers are not Special Borrowers. They are students, faculty and staff currently affiliated with one of the non-USMAI institutions listed below. They must bring their current ID card from that institution in order to receive borrowing privileges at UMBC. Due to reciprocal borrowing arrangements, UMBC students, faculty and staff may also use the libraries at these institutions.

Carroll Community College

Maryland Institute College of Art

CBL (Chesapeake Biological Laboratories)

Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia)

Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) - All Campuses

McDaniel College

Goucher College

Stevenson University

Loyola University/Notre Dame

University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute

guideline implemented: 3/18/92
revised: 7/22/92, 10/12/92, 4/5/93, 12/7/93, 3/8/96, 7/18/97, 5/29/01, 1/31/03, 10/12/06, 11/2/06, 7/9/08, 4/28/09, 8/18/09, 12/22/09, 9/21/11 MD, 5/30/13 MD, 1/19/15 MD