Services for Students

Below are some services that you might find useful to know about the Library. Please see our TCL Library FAQ  for answers to frequently asked questions or a more complete listing of services offered by University Libraries.

Ask A Librarian  The University Libraries offers a number of different Ask a Librarian services including chat reference.  For more information go to .
Book Check Out

USC students may check out books with their University ID cards. Books circulate for 6 weeks unless otherwise noted. Renewals are possible as long as no one has requested the materials. Periodicals and Reference books do not circulate.

Graduate students may check out books for a full semester. All books checked out will be due at the end of each semester. Please note that you may not use email renewals to renew these items for the next semester. All items requiring renewal must be brought to the Circulation Desk to be renewed. 

There is no checkout limit for students.  For additional information, please contact the Thomas Cooper Library at (803) 777-3145.

Book Purchase Requests for the Library You can request the library purchase a book for its collection by using ERequest. ERequest is an online order system for submitting your book requests. Initial registration is required to set up an account. Fill in information about your book request and submit the form. Your request is automatically sent to your departmental representative and then to the library.
Book Recall All library materials are recallable.  When a book is recalled, it is due two weeks from the date of recall, unless the original due date is earlier.  When the requested item is returned, the Circulation Department will notify the requestor and place the item on hold for ten days.  Contact the Circulation Department for recall options at (803) 777-3145.
Book Renewal

Most library materials are renewable.  To renew in person, bring the item to the Circulation Department with a valid USC ID card.  Undergraduates can also submit renewal requests by sending an e-mail to .  Graduate students are required to renew in person at the end of each semester.

Interlibrary Loan materials can be renewed via the ILL web program. The Interlibrary Loan Department will confirm the renewal date.

Computer Lab & Laptop Computers The Cooper Technology Lounge is available for all current USC.  The Lab is located on Level 5 of Thomas Cooper Library. Laptop computers are available for check out for in building use.  A CarolinaCard is required for printing from all public workstations.  Printouts cost $.10 per page.
Distance Education For available services go to the Library’s Resources for Distance Education web page. 
Educational Film Collection

A wide variety of documentaries, training films, biographies, and feature films are available to USC faculty, staff and students.

Viewing equipment is available at Thomas Cooper Library for faculty, staff, and students who wish to view or preview films from the Educational Film Collection.
Electronic Resources &
Online Catalog
Consult the University Libraries’ homepage for information regarding access to the catalog, electronic indexes and electronic journals.

Most of the Library’s electronic resources are available remotely by way of proxy server.  This service is only available to current USC-Columbia students.

Interlibrary Loan Requests to borrow materials from other libraries should be made via the Interlibrary Loan form on the web. Need a quick turnaround time? Just check off the Faculty Express button on the ILL form.
Journal Checkout Graduate students may check out journals for 3 days. Please bring the journal to the Circulation Desk for check-out.
Microforms/Newspapers The Government Information Department houses more than three million items.  The collection includes newspapers, periodicals, and other collections of historical importance in many fields of study.  Check the library catalog for availability.
Moving Image Research Collections MIRC preserves the unique Twentieth Century Fox Movietone News Collection.  It also contains other South Carolina collections and home movies, making these collections available to researchers in the University community and throughout the world.
New Books The New Books Database organizes the latest additions to the University Library holdings and allows patrons to quickly search and browse books recently added to the library catalog. The database can be searched by keyword or be browsed by the month.
Photoduplication Services

All libraries provide self-service photocopy machines. The Thomas Cooper Library offers mediated copying of library materials, faxing services and production of overhead transparencies at the Circulation the Desk on Main Level. 

The Government Document/Microforms Department has copying resources for microform materials.

The South Caroliniana Library offers duplicating and digitizing services for the books, manuscripts, photographs, and other media found in its collections.
Study Rooms Study rooms are available for group study sessions. These rooms must be checked out at the Circulation Desk of Thomas Cooper Library with a proper USC ID. These rooms are available on a first come/first served basis and have a four (4) hour check-out limit.
Tours and Tutorials Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the library buildings or databases? Tours of Thomas Cooper Library are regularly scheduled at the beginning of each semester or you can take a self-guided tour at any time. Remember librarians are available to help you in all the libraries.
Wireless Access The wireless network provides untethered access to the Internet throughout Thomas Cooper Library for current USC students.  For instructions on how to access the network go to the Wireless Instructions – Student web page.  If you require further assistance, please visit the Cooper Technology Lounge on Level 5 of Thomas Cooper Library. 


Columbia Departments Campus Libraries
Columbia Libraries and Collections