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Earl S. Richardson Library: Rules & Policies

Alumni Services

  • Morgan Alumni are welcome to the library and use its resources.  However, only Alumni with a valid MSU Alumni Association Card and a Government issued ID can borrow resources.
  • Alumni are required to obtain a guest login from the Library IT Information Desk before using computers and accessing electronic resources.
  • Alumni can only use the Library’s electronic resources while in the Library.  Remote access is not available.
  • Alumni do not have access to the Morgan interlibrary loan (ILL) service and are instead encouraged to use their local public library system.
  • Library study rooms are available to all patrons.  Preference is given to current students and faculty. Space availability is more flexible during summer semesters, or when students are on holidays, and the Library is open.  
  • Alumni can print in the Library using the WEPA printing system, which requires opening a payment account.

Student Disability Support Services

The MSU Student Disability Support Services (SDSS) Office and Testing Center are located in the Earl S. Richardson Library (ESRL). The SDSS Lab has computers equipped with assistive technology and staff to help students meet their information needs. The ESRL has adjustable desks for use on each floor of the Library.

Accessibility Within The Library

  • Entrance: Main entrance to the ESRL is equipped with push buttons to open doors
  • Internal access: Elevators with braille number designations on elevator panels and on library signage such as entrances to restrooms, study rooms, emergency stairwells, and offices.
  • Restrooms: All floors have wheelchair accessible doors and grab bar in each.
  • Public computers: Adjustable tables and computer workstations on all floors.
  • E-Journals: Most of our electronic journals are compatible with screen readers. If you have an access issue, please let us know by contacting the Information / Circulation Desk at 443-885-3477, or Office of Student Disability Support Services at 443-885-1719

Copyright Policy

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted materials.

17 USC Section 107 establishes the principle, commonly called "fair use," that the reproduction of copyrighted works for certain limited, educational purposes does not constitute copyright infringement. Four factors are considered in the determination of fair use:

  1. the purpose and character of the use including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential mark for or value of the copyrighted work

The Library policy incorporates only those policies and procedures which copyright law clearly intends libraries to perform. The University Library policy is to operate within both the spirit and letter of the law blended with the criteria for fair use.

Faculty members have the responsibility of knowing the law on copyright.

General Rules

  • No FOOD or DRINK allowed.
  • No cell phone calls.
  • Headphones must be used when listening to music or other audio.
  • Keep conversations to a private volume and be respectful of other patrons.
  • No smoking or use of any tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes.
  • No disruptive or unsafe behavior including any conduct that interferes with the use of the library, or with the functioning of the library staff is allowed.
  • Do not move or rearrange furniture.
  • Use of loud, abusive, threatening or insulting language is prohibited.
  • Do not mutilate library materials.
  • Children under age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Students must also adhere to Morgan State University's Student Code of Conduct.

Borrowing Materials

The Circulation Department administers the Library's loan policy and procedures. It is located at the main entrance and is staffed all hours that the Library is open.

Borrowing Privileges

  • Current MSU Faculty, Staff and Students need a Bear Necessity Card to borrow from the main and course reserve collections.
  • USMAI borrowers need a current photo ID from their home institution.
  • Borrowing privileges may be suspended due to overdue materials.

Loan Period

  • Faculty/ Staff: Semester
  • Graduate and Undergraduate Students: 4 weeks


  • Faculty /Staff: Unlimited if there is no HOLD pending
  • Students: Unlimited, if there is no HOLD pending
  • Renewals may be requested online through the USMAI catalog and click on My Account.

Lost/unreturned item & fee

  • A lost book is one that is reported lost by the borrower or that is more than 45 days overdue.
  • Lost book charge is $60, plus a $20 processing fee
  • The Library will email you a bill. These charges will be posted on your record, and you will be informed by the Circulation Desk staff when you renew or charge out materials.

Refunds for replacement charges

  • Library materials returned, in good condition, within 30 days after replacement fees are paid will be refunded less the 10.00 maximum late fine. No refunds after 30 days of payment for lost items. Items damaged beyond repair will be discarded. Damaged items will not be returned to students.


  • A patron may request that a TRACE be placed on material designated as available in the USMAI catalog but not found in the stacks.

Reserves Fines Policy

  • $0.25 per hour. Overdue fine applies after 2 hours of check out time
  • Items will be billed as lost on the following day if not returned
  • Patron will pay $80.00 fine for each item billed as "lost"
  • If "lost" item is returned, patron will be billed only the total of overdue hourly fines incurred at the time of return. Maximum is $25.00

For more Circulation information please call (443) 885-3477.

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