Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

FAQ: Check-Out

Q. Can I renew my library items?

Usually you can renew a library item yourself through your account. Click on the "My Library Account" link in the upper right hand corner of the library homepage, or on the "Log in" link when you are on a OneSearch search page. If a renewal doesn’t work from your account, call 406-243-4071 or stop at the Check Out desk for assistance.


If the item you would like to renew was obtained from interlibrary loan (ILL), call (406) 243-6736 to speak with an ILL staff member and inquire about the possibility of renewal.

Q. Can I use the library if I'm not affiliated with UM?

There are many ways you can use library resources at the University of Montana without being a UM student/faculty/staff/researcher:

  1. Our spaces and service points are open to the public.
  2. We have two public computers that give full access to all our databases and other online resources.
  3. PawPrint is open for public use and has competitive pricing.
  4. If you are fifteen years old, have a photo ID, and can prove Montana residency you can sign up for a Montana Borrower account. Montana Borrowers can check out books, CDs, DVDs, and headphones.

View all check-out policies by status.

Q. I’m not a student. Can I check out books here?

Yes, we can create an account for Montana residents age 15 years and older with a picture ID and proof of a Montana address. Come to the Check Out desk and we will be happy to help you create an account.

Q. How can I find a book at the library?

Search the book title in the OneSearch search box on the library home page. Type in the name of the book that you are looking for in quotation marks (e.g., "Bluest Eye") and hit return or click on the search button.

You will then see if the book is available at a UM Missoula library, at another library in the consortium of Montana libraries that share the OneSearch platform, or if it is not available in our system.

If available, you will see if it is in paper and or an electronic book; if in paper where it is located (i.e., call number and floor level, such as 741.5973 B391r) and if it is on the shelf or checked out, and if electronic the database that provides online access to the title.

Write down the call number and floor level to find the book in the building, or click on the database name to access the item online.

If the book is not in our system, submit an interlibrary loan request and we'll borrow it from another library for you.

For further assistance, stop by the Reference Desk, call the Desk at 406-243-6866, or use the chat service or email a message with your specific question. The chat/email option appears in the lower right corner of the library web pages. The Desk, phone, and chat hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Email messages are responded to from within 24-48 hours.

Q. What is a call number?

A call number, along with the floor level information you see in OneSearch, is used to identify a book and where it is located in the library. Use the call number to navigate to a book in the building.

For example, the book Aspects of Contemporary Book Design is at call number 686.22 A384 on Level 5. When you are on level 5, look at the signs on the ends of each shelf which show the range of numbers on that shelf. Once you find a shelf with a sign that reads, for example "680-688", you've found the right one! Look at the numbers on the spines of the books on the shelf until you get to some with the number 686 at the beginning. Look even more closely until you find 686.22, and even more closely to find the 686.22 As. Those would be at the beginning of the 686.22s, and I'm sure that you would spot the book title at this point!

Most physical books at the Mansfield Library have a call number that represents the Dewey Decimal Classification of the item. Exceptions include government documents which are organized by the Superintendent of Documents Classification scheme, music scores which are organized by Library of Congress Classification, and children's and young adult literature which is organized by author last name.