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Borrow & Renew

Borrowing here near far

Borrow Library Materials

Through the library, Hamline students, faculty and staff have access to materials here, near and far.

Hamline alumni may borrow up to 5 print items at one time from our local Bush Library collection. See our Alumni & Community Services page for more details on borrowing content from other libraries.

The Basics

1. Use HamCAT to find and borrow.

2. Login to HamCAT to renew items.

3. Avoid fees - Return library materials by the due date

4. Use "Add Results Beyond" in HamCAT to expand your search 

5. Use HamCAT My Library Account to manage your interlibrary loan requests 

6. Contact the Central Service Desk with questions

Here and Near

Use HamCAT, the library's catalog, to find materials:

  • here at Hamline, in electronic or print format
  • near at other partner libraries 

A few basics

  • Requested items will be held for you at Bush Library's Central Service Desk (CSD). The average time for arrival is 3-5 business days, but it may take a little longer. You'll receive an email when your requested items are available for pickup at the CSD.
  • Our courier service delivers items once per business day, M-F
  • Most items can be renewed online. See our information below on renewing items.
  • You can return library materials to the CSD at Hamline Bush Library or for non-electronic items, to the bookdrop in the exterior west wall of the library.
  • Your student account will be charged fees if you don't return library materials by their due date. You'll receive reminder emails about the items you have out on loan. You can avoid fees by renewing your materials online -- see our information on renewing items.


If Hamline doesn't own an item found in HamCAT, 1 or 2 options to request the item from another library will appear in the record:

Get it from other libraries: estimated delivery for physical copy in 7 days, or digital chapter

  • Time to delivery for physical and electronic items, and borrowing periods for physical items (eg. books), may vary depending on the policies and location of the supplying library.

  • ILL requests are processed or delivered Monday through Friday except for holidays.

  • Estimated time to delivery of physical items such as books will often be visible when the request is placed. 

  • You may view the status of your request(s) in HamCAT My Account (login required).Requested date,  awaiting process by lender, not set yet indicator

 Note: You will have to click on an arrow in requests to view status details.

The average turnaround time for digital articles and chapter requests is a little over 10 hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. However some digital requests may take several days.

All loan items will be accompanied by loan slip paperwork. Please keep the paperwork inserted in your borrowed book will as it will be used by Hamline to return your loan to the correct lender.

Example of a loan slip [photo].

ILL is not a guarantee, but Bush Library and its lending partners make a serious effort to get items for library users quickly and efficiently.

Borrowing & Access Details for ...

Active Current Students Current Faculty & Staff
Current ACTC Students Prospective Students Faculty Emeriti
Former Faculty and Staff
Hamline Elementary Staff Mitchell Hamline Users ResLife Renter
Neighbors & General Public

Select your user status above to learn more about what Hamline printing and library services are available for you.

Renew Library Materials

Items from Hamline and other MnPALS partner libraries

These items can generally be renewed up to 2 times if no one else has requested them. You can avoid fees by renewing your items.

How to renew items:

  1. Go to HamCAT 
  2. Click on Sign In in the upper right
  3. Login with your Hamline email (use and password (Hamline University Authentication)
  4. Look in My Library Account
  5. Select My Loans and then Renew item(s). Hint: click the checkbox for x loans to renew all loans at once.

If you have reached the limit on the total number of days allowed for a loaned item, you will need to return it to the library.

Interlibrary Loan Items

Interlibrary loan items often cannot be renewed, but if you ask us ahead of the due date, we will attempt to get it renewed for you. Email us at or use My Library Account in HamCAT

Interlibrary Loan Overview

Our FAQs page answers more questions about Interlibrary Loans. 


Delivery time of an electronic or photocopied article will vary depending on the provider. Articles from other MnPALS institutions and the University of Minnesota generally arrive in 3 to 5 business days. Articles from other institutions, especially those that are out-of-state, usually take more than 5 business days to arrive.

You will be notified by email when a print article is ready for pick up. However, most articles are now delivered electronically and can be accessed by logging into your HamCAT My Library Account. Photocopied articles are held at the Central Service Desk on the 1st floor of Bush Library for pick up.

Copyright restrictions do not allow us to fill requests for an entire journal issue.


Books from the University of Minnesota usually take about 3 to 8 business days to arrive. If we need to go out-of-state, it usually takes 10 to 14 business days. However, some international requests can take up to two months to fill.

Borrowers are notified by email when materials become available. You may also stop by or call the CSD to see if your book has arrived. Be sure to pick up your materials as soon as possible; the loan period for these materials is set by the lending institution and the clock starts ticking when the material arrives at Hamline, not when you pick it up from the CSD.

Books borrowed via ILL often cannot be renewed.


We do not recommend requesting textbooks via ILL. Most libraries do not purchase textbooks. Those that do tend to reserve them for their own students. If you do request a textbook via ILL and we are able to get it for you, note that you will not be able to keep the textbook for the entire semester and the textbook cannot be renewed.

Off-Campus Access for Distance Learners

If you live more than 50 miles from campus (e.g. MFA and graduate Education Learning Communities), you can request Distance Learner Status. This will enable you to request electronic copies of articles that are available in print format only (not online) at Bush Library.

We do NOT mail books or other physical items to Distance Learners.

Contact the Central Service Desk if you have any questions or if you need help verifying whether an item is owned by Hamline. Delivery time for this service varies depending on such factors as availability and the time of year. Please plan your research accordingly.

Students living and studying off-campus may also want to check their local public or nearby academic library.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research". If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use", that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.