Commonly Asked Questions

How do I search your catalog?

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.

Where can I find information about Braille and Talking Books for people who have a visual or physical disability?

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.

What census information can be found at 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.

How can I check out books?

Library of Michigan titles are available for patrons in the library and for state employees.

How do I contact a staff member?

Please see the Library of Michigan Staff Directory.

Do you have copyright forms?

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?

Please see our Driving Directions and our map to the library.

Do you have a fiction collection?

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

What are your hours?

Please see the Library of Michigan Hours and holidays.

How can I request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

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.

Do you have Internet access for the public?

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.

Who can I contact for interviews and news releases about the Library?

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.

What jobs are available at the Library?

Please see the listing of the Department of Education Job Vacancies or call 517-373-0794.

Where can I research Michigan laws?

The Library of Michigan maintains the State Law Library , which is open to the public.

Where can I find LSTA information?

Please see Library Services and Information Act (LSTA) information.

Where can I get a copy of the Michigan Constitution?

Please see the Michigan Constitution.

How do I find information about Michigan for kids?

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.

Where can I find a list of Michigan libraries?

Please see the Directory of Michigan Libraries.

What new books are available from the library?

Browse the New Book List for printed books.

Can you find an obituary for me?

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.

Where can I park?

Please see our Visit Us page.

Is it possible to do a patent search at the Library of Michigan?

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.

Where can I find penal fine information?

Please see the Michigan Penal Fine Distribution Report.

Do you have phone books?

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.

How can I get information about Library of Michigan publications?

To obtain paper copies of publications, call (517) 373-1580 or email

Where do I obtain Michigan library statistics?

Please see the Michigan Library Statistical Report. 1999 to present is available.

Do you supply tax forms?

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.

What travel guides are available in your collection?

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.

Do you have information for library trustees?

Please see the Michigan Public Library Trustee Manual.

Which Michigan vital records do you own?

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:

Deaths 1867-1920
Divorces 1897-1922
Marriages 1867-1925

The Library also owns the following microfilm indexes to records kept by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services:

Births 1867-1915
Deaths 1867-1914; 1971-1996 (online via Ancestry Library Edition)
Divorces 1897-1969
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.

Do you have volunteering opportunities?

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.

Do you have computers for word processing?

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.

Updated 06/01/2017