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Northwest Missouri State University

Library Services

Accessing the library building:

  • Service areas in the library have different hours. Please try to check service hours ahead of time when planning to obtain assistance.
  • We reserve the right to search your belongings if you set off the door alarm when exiting the building.
  • Third floor is a quiet floor. Please try not to talk out loud on third floor. Talking should be kept at a low volume on first and second floors.

Circulation Process

Patrons checking a book out of Owens Library must bring the book and their valid ID to the Library Services Desk on first floor.

  • The number of checked items at once per borrower's type is listed below.
    Borrowers Type Items can checkout at once
    Alumni* 40
    Faculty 100
    Family of Faculty/Staff 40
    Graduate Students 50
    Maryville Public Library 5
    Professional Staff 100
    Special Borrowers** 5
    Support Staff 50
    Undergraduate Students 50
    Upward Bound 40

    * Included as a benefit of Alumni Association Membership.
    **Special Borrowers fees are $20 for the first year and $10 in following years.

  • Please check the Circulation Policy Composite List for the borrower types and loan period.

Due dates: The patron is responsible for knowing the date on which the materials are due and for getting them back to the library on or before that date.

  • Due dates are available for reference in Your Library Account.
  • Desk assistants tell the patron when the materials are due back in the library.
  • The computer automatically generates a courtesy overdue notice on the first day after the book is due and the notice is mailed the same day. This notifies the patron of the materials which are overdue and asks the patron to return them immediately. However, even without the notice, the patron is responsible for knowing the due date.
  • On the 8th day after the due date, a final notice is generated by the computer and mailed the same day. At that time, a $5.00 late fee is assessed along with a replacement cost for each item. If the materials are returned after a replacement costs is accessed, the replacement cost is refunded. All monies received from late fees are placed in a general university account. Library fees are not paid to the library, and the library receives a minimal amount of the money from this university account.

To ensure accurate check-ins, ALL materials that are checked out from the Library Services Desk must be returned to the indoor bookdrop at the Library Services Desk when the library is open or the bookdrop outside by the front doors if the library is closed.

(Patrons who use materials in the library without checking them out should place them on any of the wooden book carts placed in various locations on all the floors for their convenience.)

Book check-in procedures:

  • Books are sensitized to set off the door alarm
  • If the book is returned after the due date, the computer creates a late fee charge, and we log the date, the number of days overdue, the name of the book, and the borrower’s ID number so we know who had the book.

All books are checked in the same day they are received; there is nothing left in the bookdrops when we close the building at night.

Library Claims: Claims for items returned or billed can be made at the Library Services Desk. We will send you the results of your claim within 5 working days (Monday-Friday) of receipt of the appeal form. If at that time you wish to make a further appeal, you may make an appointment with Kathy Howell by calling her at (660) 562-1195 or sending an e-mail at

Borrowing RESERVE materials:

  • Your Bearcat ID is required to check out Reserve materials.
  • The late fee for Reserve materials is 50 cents per hour.
  • Return Reserve materials to one of the book drops at the Library Services Desk on first floor
  • Please check the Reserve Services for Students page for more information on reserved materials.

Renewal Guidelines

  • Materials may be renewed when you need an item longer than the initial loan period unless requested by another patron.
  • Northwest Owens, Towers cluster, and MOBIUS items may be renewed up to 2 times. If you have already renewed an item as many times as possible, the note “too many renewals” will appear next to the due date. This item may no longer be renewed and must be returned to Owens Library as soon as possible.
  • Items may only be renewed within 7 days of the due date. If you try to renew an item more than a week before it is due, the note “too soon to renew” will appear next to the due date and the item will not be renewed. Please wait until closer to the due date and try to renew the item again.
  • Holds are placed for patrons when they request materials that are currently checked-out. All loans are subject to recall after the initial loan period if a request (hold) for the material is made.
  • If you try to renew an item online that another patron has requested, you will see an “on hold” message next to the due date and you will not be able to renew the item. In such cases, please return the item to Owens Library as soon as possible.
  • After returning the item in question to the library, please ask a Reference Librarian to assist you in placing a hold or locating another copy if you need to use the item again.

Minors in the library

  1. The Northwest Library’s primary users are Northwest students, faculty, and staff who have priority usage of Library resources.
  1. Minors between the ages of 14-17 without a valid Northwest Missouri State University Identification card must submit a signed Parental Permission Consent Form, which outlines general behavioral expectations and internet access guidelines. Forms are available from and should be returned to the Library Services Desk. The form must be signed by the parent and the child and be on file in the Library before access to computers will be permitted.
  1. Minors under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times.
  1. Disrupting the living/learning environment or misusing property (including electronic resources) will not be tolerated, will be reported immediately to University Police, and may result in the guest being banned from the Library.
  1. Those using the Library’s public access computers are additionally expected to comply with all laws, Northwest Missouri State University computing policies, and any policies specific to a resource.
    1. Acceptable usage of the Northwest computing network and other Northwest computing policies are outlined at:
    2. Appropriate Use of Licensed Electronic Resources Policy can be found here:
    3. Viewing of pornographic material in a public lab is a state offense according to Missouri Statute §573.060 and will be reported to the University Police.
Guests may be asked to show proof of age upon request by Northwest Missouri State University personnel. If proof cannot be presented at the time of the request, the guest will be asked to leave the facility until s/he can present proof of age.

Gifts to B.D. Owens Library

Gifts to B.D. Owens Library are accepted at the Library Services Desk. All materials donated to B.D. Owens Library become state property. Items not added to the library collection may be sold or disposed of at the Library’s discretion.

What We Accept
In addition to books, we accept donations of media and assorted printed material, including:

  • Audio CDs, and books on CD
  • DVDs and Blu-ray discs
  • Graphic Novels (but not Comic Books)

We do not accept:

  • Damaged items: including items that are damp, moldy, torn, dirty, or have mildew or mites – please discard such items, as mildew and mites can spread and could damage other items.
  • General encyclopedias (World Book, Britannica, etc.)
  • Legal statutes and casebooks
  • Magazines (Readers Digest, National Geographic, etc.)
  • Loose CDs, DVDs, etc. without their cases
  • Home-recorded (aka burned) CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • Comic Books

How to donate
Please bring donations to the Library Services Desk in B.D. Owens Library during open hours. Donations may be made anytime the library is open. With each donation, a short donation form will be completed.
Please contact the library at 660.562.1193 before dropping off several (more than 2) copies of the same book.

What Happens to my books when I donate them?
Library staff determines what to do with the donated items. Please donate with the understanding the following options may occur. If any of the options are unsatisfactory, please do not donate the item.

  1. Library Collection -- If an item is in good condition and meets the Library’s selection policy, it may be added to the collection. There are a few reasons why an item may not be added. For example, the library may already own it, or the content or condition may not meet selection guidelines. Many donated books replace well worn copies.  
  2. Recycle/Waste -- Items which are in poor condition, such as wet, or mildewed, or having torn pages, may be discarded. Outdated material, such as an outdated almanac, may also be discarded.
  3. Other Organizations -- When stock is plentiful, the library donates to Better World Books.


Adapted with permission from:
Rochester Public Library:
San Francisco Public Library: