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Library services for visitors: Library use

Information for visitors to the MIT Libraries

Library use

The MIT Libraries' primary purpose is to support MIT's teaching, research, and scholarly activities. Access to some resources and services is reserved for the MIT community.

  • Current MIT faculty, students and staff have priority access to physical, electronic, and staff resources.
  • All users must abide by the Libraries use policy.

The Libraries provide limited in-person reference and telephone assistance to visitors:

  • Help with the online catalog and referral to collections and services are available.
  • Full reference service is provided only for Federal government depository collections.
  • The Libraries do not provide in-depth research services to visitors.

Borrowing privileges

Library Borrowing Cards permit borrowing of materials, with some exceptions, in accordance with library policy.

Please note: Borrowing privileges do not include offsite access to licensed electronic material (i.e. databases and ejournals), or on-site access to licensed resources that require MIT authentication.

Document delivery and interlibrary lending

Document Services makes these materials and services available for a fee to those without MIT affiliation:

  • Copies of MIT theses and research publications.
  • Loans of MIT Libraries materials to libraries and businesses, in accordance with library policy.

Computer and network access

Computer use:

  • Priority for computer use is given to MIT users, except for government document depository access, which is made equally available to all.
  • See the Library use policy for more information.

Electronic resources:

  • Public access to Barton, the MIT Libraries’ online catalog, is at
  • Please note that access to some electronic resources is restricted to current students, faculty and staff of MIT, due to licensing agreements. Details are available at information desks.

Wireless access:

For information on wireless access to MITnet, consult Wireless MITnet access@MIT.

Scanning, photocopying and printing

No MIT affiliation is required to use these services. For instructions, visit the Scan, Copy, & Print guide.