Circulation Department

Information Policies
About Circulation 
Staff Directory 
When the Desk is Closed... 
Safety Information 
Lost and Found 
Who Can Check Out? 
Checkout Limits 
Item Loan Policies 
Special Items 
Undergraduate Students 
Graduate Students 
Email Notification 
In-Process Items 
Missing Items 
Help on Other Floors

My Library Account


My Online Account 
My Online Account Help 
Payment Options 
Study Rooms 
Departmental Copy Cards
Library Annex 
Distance Education Book Delivery 
Disability Services
Faculty Book Delivery
Online Forms 
Printable Forms 


Loan Policies
  Undergraduate Students Graduate Students Staff Faculty Thomas Cooper Society & Alumni Association Members
Books (Circulating) 6 weeks until end of current semester 6 weeks 6 months 4 weeks
Periodicals library use only 3 days 3 days 3 days library use only
Browsing Books 6 weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks 4 weeks
Audio Books 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 weeks
Reference Books library use only library use only library use only at discretion of Reference library use only
Educational Films 2 days (one film at a time) 2 days (one film at a time) 2 days (one film at a time) loan period & amount at discretion of Film Library library use only


  • About Circulation 
    The Circulation Department (803) 777-3145 is located on the main floor of Thomas Cooper Library. Here, you may check out books, pay fines, place holds on books, pick up and return Interlibrary Loan materials, and check out study rooms. Lost and Found for the library is also located here. Building problems and security concerns should be reported here or at the exit gate. 

  • When the Desk is Closed... 
    If you need assistance at any time the Circulation Department is closed, ask for help at the Exit Gate. 

  • Safety Information 
    Library safety is an important issue. Be aware that thefts do occur in the building. Be sure to watch your belongings and be aware of your surroundings. Click here to find out more about library safety

  • Lost and Found 
    The majority of the Lost and Found articles in the Library are stored in the Circulation Department. If you are missing an item, you may inquire about it at the Circulation Desk. Please fill out a "Lost Item" format the Circulation Desk with your current contact information and a description of the lost item. If your item is found you will be contacted and told that the item is held at the Circulation Desk. You will need to present your USC ID or some form of picture ID in order to collect the item. 
    If you find an item in the library, please bring it to the Circulation Desk or Exit Gate so that it may be returned to its rightful owner. 
    If you have misplaced an item somewhere on campus, or a long time ago, you should also inquire at the Russell House Information Desk. This is where the majority of the items found on campus are kept. 

  • Questions 
    If you have any questions or comments about Circulation Department policies or procedures, please feel free to contact us at or (803) 777-3145. 

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  • Policies
  • Who Can Check Out? 
    USC students, faculty and staff may check out books with their University ID cards. Faculty members of other South Carolina colleges or universities may check out 5 books for 4 weeks with a valid and current ID from their institutions. Members of the Carolina Alumni Association and the Thomas Cooper Society may check out 5 books at a time for 4 weeks with a valid card from these organizations. All eligible Alumni Association, Thomas Cooper Society and non-USC faculty members must have their ID cards made or barcoded at Thomas Cooper Library before they can be used at other USC libraries. For additional information, please contact the Thomas Cooper Library at (803) 777-3145. 

  • Checkout Limits 
    University of South Carolina students, faculty, and staff: unlimited. 
    Thomas Cooper Society, Carolina Alumni Association, and faculty at other South Carolina colleges or universities: 5 books. 
    SC Commission on Higher Education Borrowing Card : 1 book. 

  • Item Loan Policies 
    Books check out for 6 weeks unless otherwise noted. USC faculty and graduate students may check out books for the semester. Renewals are possible as long as no one else has requested the materials. All materials are subject to recall. Renewals can be made at the Circulation Desk or online. Music Library materials must be renewed at the Music Library. Students may not renew books over the phone. Reference books do not circulate. 

  • Special Items 
    Certain library items have unique circulation and loan policies. 
    Journals (periodicals) may only be checked out by graduate students, faculty members and staff. Journals are due back to the Circulation Desk in three days unless renewed. 
    Students, staff and faculty may check out films from the Educational Film Library. Students and staff may only check out one film at a time and that film is due back to the Educational Film Library in two days. Faculty may check out as many films as needed for educational purposes. 
    Reference and Special Collections items do not circulate, meaning they are not to be used outside of the library. Special requests must be made with those departments. 

  • Undergraduate Students 
    Undergraduate students, including EPI (English Program for Internationals) students may check out regular circulating items for a period of six weeks and educational films for a period of two days. Items may be renewed online via your Online Account . If any of these items are not renewed or returned promptly, fines may incur. Please note, all items are subject to recalls which may or may not shorten their due dates. If you have fines exceeding $5.00 you will need to bring the item to the Circulation Desk to renew. 

  • Graduate Students 
    Graduate students, including Distance Education students, may check out regular circulating items for the entire semester, educational films for a period of two days, and journals for a period of three days. Items may be renewed online via your Online Account . To renew items at the end of the semester, you must be registered for classes for the upcoming semester/ session. If any of your items are not renewed or returned promptly, fines may incur. Please note, all items are subject to recalls which may or may not shorten their due dates. If you have fines exceeding $5.00 you will need to bring the item to the Circulation Desk to renew. 

  • Faculty/Staff  
    • Staff members may check out regular circulating items for a period of six weeks and educational films for a period of two days. Items may be renewed online via your Online Account . If any of these items are not renewed or returned promptly, fines may incur. Please note, all items are subject to recalls which may or may not shorten their due dates. If you have fines exceeding $5.00 you will need to bring the item to the Circulation Desk to renew. 
    • Faculty members may check out books for up to six months, journals/periodicals for three days and educational films as needed for educational purposes. To renew items at the end of each semester please visit your Online Account 
      If you would like to allow your graduate assistant to check out items to your account, then you may request a proxy card for that student. The form can be obtained at the Circulation Department, by email request or by completing the online form. Proxy cards are issued for one semester. The card will be processed within 2 working days. If you need the card immediately, please call Circulation at (803) 777-3145 and ask to speak to a supervisor. The proxy card will be mailed to you (the faculty member) unless other arrangements are made. You assume full responsibility for all items checked out on the proxy card. 
    • USC-Columbia Campus faculty are also eligible for our Faculty Book Delivery service. Library staff will retrieve items from the stacks at the Thomas Cooper Library, Business Library, and USC Library Annex, check them out to your faculty library account, and have them delivered to your department (wherever your campus mail is normally received) on the USC-Columbia campus.  For more information and to make a request click here.
    • PlusOne cardholders have the same library privileges as those previously enjoyed by spouses of faculty and staff. A PlusOne cardholder must visit Thomas Cooper Library to have a library card made. PlusOne card holder privileges are limited to checking out 5 books at a time for a loan period of 4 weeks. A PlusOne library card expires after one year but can be renewed at Thomas Cooper Library circulation desk. Off-campus access to the library’s online resources is not afforded to PlusOne cardholders but limited to current students, faculty and staff of USC.  PlusOne cardholders access to the library building is the same as that of non-USC affiliated visitors, hours for visitors can be found here

  • Email Notification 
    Notices concerning your library account will be sent to your default university email address. For students, this is the University email address. These notices include recall notices, fine notices and courtesy notices when an item is due soon. If you don't use your University email account, click here for instructions on forwarding to another email address. 

  • Renewing Items 
    If you do not owe more than $5.00 in fines you may renew by visiting your Online Account. Otherwise, you may bring the items in to the Circulation Desk for renewal. Inquiries or problems with online renewal should be directed to (803) 777-3145 during normal Library Hours
    If, after renewing your item online, you bring the item into the library you will need to present the item to the Circulation Department in order to have it stamped/affixed with the appropriate due date.

    If you would like to renew your Interlibrary Loan items, visit your Interlibrary Loan Account or contact the Interlibrary Loan department during their normal business hours. 

  • Returning Items 
    Library materials may be returned at the following locations (click for a map location):

    Book Drops Outside of Library

    Thomson Health Center: Between Health Center (111) and Bull St. Garage (117) at Devine and Bull.  (look for the big blue book drop)

    Gambrell Hall: Lobby book drop box

    Thomas Cooper Library: East wall book drop slot (Russell House side) and in front of building (look for the blue book drop near the the exit doors)

    Book Drops In the Libraries

    Thomas Cooper Library: Circulation Department, Main Floor

    Business Library: 2nd floor, BA Building

    Music Library: 2nd floor, School of Music (Assembly St. next to Koger Center)- Music library materials must be returned here.

  • Recalling Items 
    If a library book is checked out, you may place a recall on the book. The book will be due 2 weeks from the date recalled, unless the original due date is earlier. When the book is returned, the Circulation Department will hold the book and notify you. Recalls may also be placed via an email request. To do so, please email us at and include your full name, email address, phone number, and the title, author, and call number of the item you need recalled. You should receive a confirmation email within two working days. If you do not, please contact Chad Price at (803) 777-3145 for assistance. 

  • In Process Items
    Requests for materials which the online catalog indicates are "In Process" should be turned in to Circulation, Reference. Such requests will be processed by the Department, and the cataloged items will be held in Circulation for the requestor.

  • Missing Items 
    If you can't find a book and it isn't checked out, you may request that we search for the item. The library will search for the book over a period of 6 months. If the item is found, you will receive an email and the book will be held at the Circulation Desk for you for up to 10 days. If the item has not been found a month after your search request, you may request the item through Interlibrary Loan

  • Help on Other Floors 
    If you need assistance at any time the library is open, pick up any of the red phones located on each floor near the elevators. 

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  • My Library Account
  • My Online Account 
    The University Libraries are pleased to allow patrons online library account management. By visiting your Online Account, you can:

      View items checked out to your account.

      Renew items checked out to your account (up to 10 times).

      View any fines on your account .

      Save your 'preferred searches'.

      Receive email alerts when new materials are added to the libraries' collections that satisfy one of your preferred searches.

      Keep a record of the materials you have previously checked out.

    You can do all of this without coming into the library! You may be unable to renew your item if you owe library fines over $5.00, the item has been recalled, or it is the end of the semester/session and you have not registered for the following semester/session. 

  • My Online Account Help 
    If you need help logging into your Online Account click Here for a tutorial. 

  • Fines 
    Most overdue fines are $0.25 per item per day. Fines do accrue on days the library is closed. Fines on recalled items and periodicals are $1.00 per item per day. Items that are 40 days overdue will also accrue a one-time $10.00 processing fee. At this point a replacement fee will also be assessed; this is at least $45.00 for most books. The replacement fee will automatically be forgiven upon return of the item, provided it is returned in good condition. Fines on overdue reserve materials vary depending upon the loan period for the item. 

  • Payment Options 
    The library accepts Carolina Card, cash, check and Visa/MasterCard credit and debit cards 
    to pay for fees at the Circulation desk. Payment plans are available if necessary. Thomas Cooper Library does not reduce or forgive fines based upon financial hardship. You may remit payment by mail with a check made payable to USC, sent to the following address: Thomas Cooper Library, c/o Circulation, Columbia, SC 29208. Please inquire at Circulation or email the department at for more information.

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  • Services
  • Paging 
    Need a book, but need it in a hurry? Request by phone (during Circulation's hours of operation) that it be held for you at the Circulation Desk! The Thomas Cooper Library Circulation Department is pleased to present Paging, a service with you in mind! 
    Not in a rush? Request the book from the online catalog by using our new "Request" button found near the top of each item page.  Just look for the button with the red check mark. 
    For more information, please click here

  • Reserves 
    Reserves items can be picked up at the Circulation Desk. 

  • Lockers 
    Lockers, located on the Main floor of Thomas Cooper, may be checked out for day use by USC Columbia students, staff and faculty with valid USC ID. The lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Personal materials and checked out library items may be stored in the lockers, but we ask that no food, beverages, or hazardous materials be stored.

  • Study Rooms 
    Individual and group study rooms are available for USC Columbia students. These rooms must be checked out with a currentCarolina Card at the Circulation Desk. To check out a group study room, the minimum number of people required for the room must be present at the time of check out and all must have a valid Carolina Card.  Study room keys are library use only, check out for a maximum of four (4) hours.  These rooms are available to USC Columbia students, staff, and faculty only and are issued on a first come/first served basis. Students from USC School of MedicineUSC School of Law and other USC campuses should check with their libraries for study room availability.

  • Photoduplication 
    The library also offers photoduplication services including double-sided copying, copying to transparencies and faxing. More information is located online at Photoduplication Services

  •  Departmental Copy Cards 
    Faculty, staff and graduate students can charge photocopies to their department, once authorized. To attain departmental copy card privleges please send a letter on USC letterhead signed by the department's business manager or head. The letter must include the name of the person being authorized to charge photocopies, the last four digits of their social security number, the account number to be charged for the photocopies, and any limits to be imposed (such as any expiration date or dollar amount).  The letter may be sent to Thomas Cooper Library to the attention of Chad Price, Day Circulation Supervisor or faxed to Chad Price (the fax number is 777-5342 and feel free to email Chad with any questions).  To use departmental copy card privleges, one must have their Carolina Card and see the Circulation desk at Thomas Cooper Library for their pin number and instructions for use with the photocopiers.

  • Library Annex 
    You may see notes in the library catalog stating that items are in the Library Annex. This is a remote storage facility where some items are stored. You may request these items be sent to the Circulation Desk by visiting the Library Annex web page. Please note that South Caroliniana items will be sent to the Caroliniana Library .

  • Distance Education Book Delivery
    We will mail books from our circulating collection to students who live outside of Richland County or Lexington County. The student will be responsible for returning the book either by mail or otherwise before the due date. We recommend that the student return the book by a traceable mail system. For more information and to make a request click here.

  • Disability Services 
    The circulation department is happy to provide individual assistance for any faculty or staff with special needs, and any student registered through USC Disability Services.  Examples of some services include pulling and/or mailing library books and assistance with photocopiers.  Please contact Chad Price or any circulation supervisor at (803) 777-3145 or for more information.

  • Faculty Book Delivery
    USC faculty and staff are welcomed to have books delivered to their campus mail address. These requests can be made directly via the online catalog here .  For more information and to make a book delivery request please click here.

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  • Online Forms 

  • Printable Forms

    Columbia Departments Campus Libraries
    Columbia Libraries and Collections