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Courtesy Card (Guest Card) Circulation Policies: Home

Describes circulation policies for courtesy card holders at Bowling Green University Libraries.

Courtesy Card Information

Members of the public are welcome to visit the library and use any of our services in-person. A courtesy card allows community members to borrow materials from Jerome Library or Firelands Library. 

Courtesy card patrons can access their library account online here: Courtesy Card Patron Information Enter your name in the format Last Name, First Name and the number beginning with R on your card.

To request a book from BGSU library to be picked up at the Jerome Library or Firelands Library circulation desk, start your search at this link: BGSU Catalog for Courtesy Card Users

Students taking classes as part of SAGE (Senior Adults Grants Program) or ELS Language Center should not apply for a courtesy card. Instead, see circulation desk staff to register for a library account with student privileges. 

The charge for a courtesy card is $25 per year; this charge is waived if you are a member of the Friends of the University Libraries, a member of the President's Club, or if you received a degree from BGSU.

Online access to library resources such as e-books and databases is not available off-campus. You may use the computers in the library to do online research, but our licenses prohibit us from allowing off-campus access to non-affiliated patrons, including alumni. You may have access to some similar online resources through your local public library.

For assistance, please contact the circulation desk at 419-372-2051 or  We are happy to answer any questions you may have!

Overview of services available to any member of the public (no courtesy card needed)

  • Building access is available anytime we’re open, including all special collections during their open hours.
  • Wifi access available if you have a cell phone. Wireless Guest Account Access 
  • Computer access is available on the 1st floor Macs. All computers in the library building have access to all library subscribed databases and e-books, with a very few exceptions. 
  • The Research & Information desk can assist with looking up items and other research help, and instruction on using microform readers.
  • Any main stacks item, periodical, or government document may be used in the library.
  • Scanners are available and are free. They will send a PDF to any email address you choose. Photocopies are 5 cents per page, and before making photocopies, you must purchase a $2.00 guest printing card from the kiosk outside of Thinkers Café. The card can be reloaded.
  • The CollabLab is open to the public.

Overview of services available to members of the public who have a courtesy card

  • Checking out up to 10 items at a time from the main stacks, music library open stacks, CRC open stacks, or government documents.
  • Requesting up to 5 items at a time from OhioLINK or SearchOhio.
  • The $25/year fee is waived for graduates of BGSU.


Material Type Fine per day Replacement fee if lost
BGSU book, media

25 cents

Price of book, plus $36 processing fee
OhioLINK book, media

50 cents/day for first 30 days

$50 after 30 days

$110, plus any accrued fines
SearchOhio book, media

50 cents/day for first 30 days



To renew any checked out items, you can:

  • Call the circulation desk at 419-372-2133. Please have your courtesy card handy so you can tell us your ID number, and the books handy so you can confirm the titles of the books you would like to renew.
  • Email the circulation desk at Please include your name, ID number, and the barcodes and titles of the books you would like to renew in the email. We will respond with an email letting you know whether the renewals were successful.
  • Go to Courtesy Card Patron Information. Log in with your name (e.g., Smith, John) and your ID number (e.g., R0000000000). Click the boxes next to the books you would like to renew, confirm on the next page that you would like to renew these books, and take note of the new due dates. (Online renewal is only available until the books are due. If they are overdue, call or email us.)

At the end of each semester (roughly mid-May, mid-August, and mid-December), all books must be presented in person in order to be renewed. 


OhioLINK and SearchOhio Borrowing

A courtesy card allows you to borrow books through OhioLINKor SearchOhio

To request a book from OhioLINK or SearchOhio, click the request button, indicate that you are affiliated with Bowling Green, and then use the boxes on the right side of the screen to enter your last name and the ID number from your card, which is an R followed by 10 digits. Choose which library you would like the book to be sent to. You can pick up OhioLINK books at any OhioLINK library. SearchOhio books can only be picked up at Jerome or Firelands library.

Courtesy card patrons are limited to five items at a time from OhioLINK and SearchOhio libraries. This includes books on their way from the lender to BGSU, books you have checked out, and books on their way from BGSU back to the lender.

OhioLINK books check out for three weeks and may be renewed up to six times, as long as no holds have been placed on the book. SearchOhio books check out for three weeks and may be renewed up to three times.

Borrowing Limits

Alumni courtesy card patrons may check out 50 items at any time. This includes up to five books from OhioLINK.

Non-alumni courtesy card patrons may check out 10 books at any time. This includes up to five books from OhioLINK. 

Special Collections

Special collections items that CAN be checked out Special Collections items that CANNOT be checked out
Music Library Open Stacks Music Closed Stacks (CDs, Records, DVDs, selected books)
CRC Textbooks Pop Culture DVDs
CRC Juvenile Literature Course Reserves (Main, Music, CRC, Firelands)
CRC Teaching Aids
Main Stacks DVDs