Commonly Asked Questions
ANSWER , the Library of Michigan's online catalog, is a database of information about many of the materials owned by the Library. Some materials, such as maps, pre-1976 Federal documents, Talking Books and some Michigan government documents are not listed in the catalog. ANSWER also does not provide access to full-text of books, periodical articles, holdings of other libraries, or Internet databases. Please see Help Using ANSWER for more information. If you have any questions about materials not listed in the catalog, please call the Library at 517-373-1300 during regular Library hours.
Michigan residents who are unable to see or read standard print as a result of a visual or physical disability are eligible to receive free reading materials from a statewide network of libraries. Please see Michigan Commission for the Blind Braille and Talking Book Library for more details. The Braille and Talking Book Library is housed within the Library of Michigan.
The Library has complete microfilm holdings for the federal census records for the United States (1790 to 1930). The Library also has some census records produced by the State of Michigan and census records for Canada. Additionally, as part of our federal documents collection, we have a large number of statistical publications compiled from the federal census every ten years. Please search ANSWER for our holdings.
Library of Michigan titles are available for patrons in the library and for state employees.
Please see the Library of Michigan Staff Directory.
We have several copyright forms available at the Library for photocopying.
In addition, copyright forms are also available on the Library of Congress Copyright Office website or call the Forms and Publications Hotline at 202-707-9100 to have forms delivered to you.
Patent and trademark forms are available on the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office website or call the Patent and Trademark Office at 800-786-9199 to have forms sent to you.
What are the driving directions to the Library?
Fiction set in Michigan locales or written by authors identified with Michigan is included in our Michigan collection. We do not have a general fiction section. Please search ANSWER for our holdings
The Library of Michigan borrows materials for work-related requests from state and legislative employees in good standing with regard to their Library of Michigan patron status. Persons with overdue or billed materials may not use Interlibrary Loan services. See our Interlibrary Loan FAQ for more information.
The Library of Michigan will provide photocopies from non-circulating materials within U.S. Copyright Guidelines provided the source material is not too fragile and a usable citation is given. The Library will also lend second copies of newspaper microfilm. To request these items, place an interlibrary loan request at your local public library.
The Michigan Commission for the Blind Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) interlibrary loans special format materials to other regional or subregional libraries and registered patrons from the volunteer produced collection.
The Library of Michigan provides Internet terminals for public use on a walk-in basis. Patrons may sign up for two sessions a day. Please read our Internet Use Guidelines for more information, including information on children's access.
Please contact the Michigan Department of Education's Public Information Office to request an interview or obtain press releases. The office may be reached at 517-241-4395.
Please see the listing of the Department of Education Job Vacancies or call 517-373-0794.
The Library of Michigan maintains the State Law Library , which is open to the public.
Please see Library Services and Information Act (LSTA) information.
Where can I get a copy of the Michigan Constitution?
Please see the Michigan Constitution.
There are many excellent websites that provide information about Michigan for children. Some include: Michigan Kids!, the main Michigan government site for children; Michigan eLibrary's Resources for Children and Teens.
You can also search ANSWER to find books about Michigan at the Library.
Please see the Directory of Michigan Libraries.
Browse the New Book List for printed books.
Michigan newspapers on microfilm are available for public use. You may come to the Library and copy the article from the microfilm or you may request an obituary through the interlibrary loan network at your local public library. You must provide the exact title, date and page number of the newspaper the obituary appeared in.
Second copies of Michigan newspaper microfilm is also available for interlibrary loan to Michigan libraries.
The Library is unable to retrieve obituaries requested by telephone or email. Please see our list of genealogy researchers who will search for an obituary for a fee.
Please see our Visit Us page.
The Library of Michigan is not a depository for patent information. You may wish to contact the following patent research libraries.
Detroit Public Library: 313-833-1000
Ferris State University: 231-591-3608
Art, Architecture and Engineering Library (University of Michigan): 734-647-5747
Patent and trademark forms are available on the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
Or call the Patent and Trademark Office at 800-786-9199 to have forms sent to you.
Please see the Michigan Penal Fine Distribution Report.
The Library has current Michigan phone books and past Michigan city directories available for use in the Library. Also, we offer access to several computer databases of nationwide residential and business phone numbers. The Library does not provide a criss-cross or look-up service.
To obtain paper copies of publications, call (517) 373-1580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the Michigan Library Statistical Report. 1999 to present is available.
The Library has federal, Michigan, and Lansing tax forms available while the supply lasts. We also have master copies for federal and Michigan income tax forms that you may make copies of.
The Library of Michigan only collects travel guides about Michigan. Some out of state travel advisories and national park information may be found in our government documents collections. More Michigan travel information can be found at Pure Michigan.
Please see the Michigan Public Library Trustee Manual.
The State of Michigan began to keep vital records in 1867.
Library of Michigan has microfilm copies of the Department of Community Health's actual records, or returns for some dates. Coverage is:
The Library also owns the following microfilm indexes to records kept by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:
Deaths 1867-1914; 1971-1996 (online via Ancestry Library Edition)
Marriages 1867-1921; 1950-1969
For other vital records, you will need to contact:
Michigan Department of Health and Human Affairs: 517-335-8666
For vital records previous to 1867, contact the courthouse in the county where the event took place to see if a record exists.
We are seeking volunteers to work a minimum of two hours a week. Volunteers may contribute to: staffing the Information Desk; assisting patrons with microfilm readers; shelving books, films, and maps; special projects that might be of interest. If you are interested, please contact the Library of Michigan at 517-373-1300.
We have word processing available for patrons on the second floor of the library.
Do you have more questions?
Ask a Librarian via our online reference form or call us at 517-373-1300.