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Library services for visitors: Special user types

Information for visitors to the MIT Libraries

MIT campus access

User types

Please note: Due to licensing agreements, off campus access to electronic resources is restricted to current MIT students, faculty and staff. See e-resource troubleshooting for more information.

Borrow Direct

Current students and faculty from Ivy Plus schools may apply for MIT Libraries borrowing privileges at any MIT Library service desk. Please bring your school ID and a government-issued ID. You will be asked to log in to Borrow Direct with your home institution credentials to verify eligibility.

Cross-registered students

Students at other schools who are cross-registered at MIT may borrow MIT Library materials by presenting a valid MIT ID at any information desk.

Harvard University

Harvard faculty, students, and staff may apply for MIT Libraries borrowing privileges at any MIT Library service desk. Please bring your Harvard ID and a government-issued ID. You will be asked to log in to Borrow Direct with your Harvard credentials to verify eligibility.

Lincoln Lab Employees

Lincoln Lab users may use their employee ID to borrow at any MIT library.  For assistance with research, database use, or borrowing materials from other institutions, please contact the Lincoln Lab library for assistance.

MIT alumni/ae

MIT alumni/ae may register for borrowing privileges at an MIT Libraries service desk by presenting their MIT Alumni ID. Please note, these privileges do not extend to electronic access, but many e-resources may be accessed on site. The MIT Alumni Office provides access to some e-resources for MIT alumni. See Library Services for MIT Alumni/ae for more information.

MIT Spouse/Partners

Spouses and partners of MIT students, faculty and staff may register to borrow with their physical MIT ID at any MIT library OR they can request verification by emailing the office of Spouse Partners Connect at spousesandpartners[@], and asking their staff send an email to circulation[@] verifying their status as a spouse/partner. 

OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program

The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Faculty Borrowing Program provides faculty members on-site access and borrowing privileges at member libraries - the MIT Libraries is a member of this cooperative library organization which includes 160 other research libraries (PDF).

To take advantage of this OCLC program as a visitor to the MIT Libraries, please work with your home library to obtain a card to present at MIT for registration.

Sponsored visitors

For visitors who need access to MIT services and resources via Kerberos (including Libraries' electronic resources), a faculty member can sponsor them through Atlas

If a DLC wishes to sponsor a visitor for physical circulation privileges, they can provide send a sponsorship letter via email to circulation(@) with an e-signed sponsorship letter from the sponsoring DLC.  The letter should contain:

  • Name of the person being sponsored
  • Confirmation of sponsorship by DLC
  • Name and contact information of the individual sponsor from the DLC for the account
  • Acknowledgement that the sponsor takes financial responsibility for the sponsored account if the user should leave MIT with outstanding loans 
  • An expiration date for the sponsored account (between 1 month and 1 year)
  • A signature/esignature from the sponsor

Sponsored accounts take 1 business day to process.

Privileges may be renewed by emailing an updated sponsor letter.

Summer Programs (MSRP, Knight Fellows, Engineering Design Workshop and others)

To get library borrowing cards, program staff can submit a request via email to the Hayden Library Access Services Manager. Please include full names of participants, name and DLC of the program, and dates the program will run. Summer program participants will need to visit the Hayden Library service desk to pick up their borrowing cards.

Whitehead Employees

Whitehead employees may register to borrow with their MIT Whitehead ID at any MIT library.

Wellesley College

Wellesley students, faculty, and staff may obtain MIT library cards with full borrowing privileges by presenting their Wellesley ID at any MIT library.