Welcome to the UMN Libraries

Discover the top 10 reasons to use the UMN Libraries and website. Watch an overview video, explore study spaces, learn about checking out materials, and more.

Welcome to the UMN Libraries!

Our libraries are great for studying AND our website is your place to get the high-quality sources you need. You can connect virtually with our librarians and staff and access millions of books, journals, magazines, newspapers and services online.

Having trouble with accessing YouTube? Try our Mediaspace video: https://mediaspace.umn.edu/media/t/1_asrw2prd

Top 10 reasons to use the UMN Libraries

  1. Do research anywhere on your laptop, iPad or mobile device at lib.umn.edu. Search 8 million books and over 100,000 online journals, magazines, and newspapers including streaming music and documentaries for class or fun. Learn more about getting started with research.
  2. Distraction free study in 10 libraries on campus - reservable study rooms, sensory-friendly study rooms and more.
    Study room in the Health Sciences Library.
  3. Skip the paywall! Don’t pay for PDFs - if we don’t own it we can get it for you.
  4. Schedule a 30 minute online consultation with a peer research tutor -- a Peer Research Consultant.
  5. Tutoring in 250+ subjects online or in person in Tutoring and Academic Success Centers.
  6. Discover one-of-a-kind sources in Archives and Special Collections including old Goldy's, Sherlock Holmes and Children's Literature.
  7. Get books moved to your closest library (1-3 days) or delivered to your home with the Get it service. No overdue fines. Check out an unlimited number of books.
  8. Download Libby reading app for fun ebook, fiction and audiobooks on the go. 
  9. Chat with a Librarian 24/7! We have a librarian for every department on campus.
  10. Take a study break in the Makerspaces in the Toaster in Walter Library, in the Health Sciences Libraries or the Virtual Reality Studio.
    Makerspaces and Virtual Reality Studio

Get to know our spaces! We have a spot for you!

The libraries are a great place to relax between classes, reserve a group study room, print, try the Makerspaces or get a cup of coffee. And remember the website, lib.umn.edu is the place to go to get millions of online books, newspapers, journals and magazines for your research papers.

UMN Libraries

Visit a library and go on a self -guided tour or watch our 1 minute tours: 

East bank

West bank

St. Paul campus

Off campus - Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska

Yes, your Ucard IS your library card - How to check out books

The UMN Libraries have a lot of books (almost 8 million) and other stuff you can check out with your UCard. Here are quick step-by-step directions on how to check out a book. 

Step 1: Find the book you want to check out. 

  • Search Libraries search by the title, author or subject of the book (watch a 3 minute how-to video). Next, write down the call number or take a picture of it and go find it on the shelf in the library (double check campus library) OR use the Get it service and we will move book(s) to your closest library in 1-2 days. We will send you an email when it is ready to pick up.
  • Most our collection uses the Library of Congress (LC) classification system to shelve the books. It is an alpha-numeric system so "LA" would be shelved before "LB", "LC" before "LD", etc. And numbers work the same way so a  call number of "LA2" will be shelved before "LA4."

Bonus: Or do you need to check out headphones, a camera, charger or other object

Step 2: Check out with UCard UCard with Goldy Gopher.

  • Grab your UCard and bring your item to a service desk to check it out. 
  • You can check out an unlimited number of items (yes, unlimited!) at a time. One you check it out, it will show up when you login to your My Library Account page. Use that page to keep track and check due dates.
  • Most items are check out for 13 weeks but automatically auto renew for up to 6 months. Login to My Library Account for a list of what you have checked out and due dates. We do NOT charge late fees but will charge a lost fee if you lose an item. If you do lose something, just contact us and we can talk through options.

Step 3: Read the book

Step 4: Return the book to a library

When you are ready, return the book to any campus library at a service desk or book return. It does not need to be the same library you check it out. For example, you can return a book you checked out from Wilson Library on west bank to Walter Library on east bank. Or return materials to "exterior" book returns at:

We are happy to help with any questions!  

Find out more details, how long you can keep items, and policies. 

Even more information

Where are you in the University? Are you an undergraduate student? New employee? Minnesota resident? Alumni? Find more information for specific areas of the University.

Campus visitors and Alumni

The University of Minnesota Libraries are open to the public. With millions of titles available in our general collections and treasures held by our archives and special collections, we are among the University’s and the state’s greatest intellectual assets.

Access to books and materials in libraries

Visitors may access physical materials (books, journals, videos) within library buildings and read them, make photocopies, or scan. Visitors may not check out materials without special borrowing access. You can request UMN materials through your local pubic library's interlibrary loan department or MNLINK and they will be delivered to your local library. 

Visiting the campus libraries

Our campus libraries (for the most part) are open to the public, Minnesota residents, Alumni and visitors. You do not need to use your UCard to vistt during "public" hours. You can contact the specific campus library before a visit with questions, especially if you are planning a group visit. Doing so helps us provide you with the best possible experience. If you are not sure where to start, please contact Wilson Library at (612) 624-3321 or fill out our email form.

Access to computers and online resources

Current University of Minnesota--Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff have unlimited access to library computers and online collections. Visitors can stop by a library service desk to sign up for a "computer workstation card" by presenting a valid government issued photo ID. This card will give you up to two hours of computer access per day and is valid for one year. Visitors may use library computers to access most of our licensed databases, online journals, magazines, newspaper, e-books, and more while using library computer workstations. Visitors are expected to abide by University Libraries policies.

  • Guest Wi-Fi is available in all libraries to use on you own device. 
  • Catalog-only computers are available in selected libraries to offer users quick catalog searches without requiring any type of guest user registration.
  • If you are a visitor and doing research or need additional time contact us on options such as joining the Friends of the Libraries or qualifying for a special borrowing privileges card.

Off-campus access to online resources

Due to licensing restrictions, off-site access to online resources is only available to current University of Minnesota--Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff. Minnesota residents can take advantage of the eLibraryMN or your local public library for online journal articles, ebooks, and more.

Last Updated: May 22, 2024 1:42 PM