Patron Eligibility and Registration

Anybody is welcome to use the library and its resources, however visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For people seeking to check out library materials or use subscription e-resources off-site, it is necessary to obtain a library card.

Library Card Policies and Lending Rules

You must be an Oman Library account holder to check out library materials or use subscription e-resources remotely.

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Oman Library now open to in-person visitors, however an appointment must be made with the librarian and there is a limit of two simultaneous visitor groups, totaling no more than four people.
    • Library members may request books according to their patron category privileges. Please see below for details, and contact the librarian to discuss delivery options.
    • Scans of book chapters or sections (within limits stated in current copyright law) are available upon request, please contact the librarian for details.
    • Non-members may join MEI or obtain a $30, "Visiting Scholar" library account which is valid for four months and permits them to create private or shared item lists in the catalog and place up to five items on hold, among other actions. Contact the librarian for details.
    • To contact the librarian for more details, send an email to
  • Library accounts may be created for MEI members, fellows, interns, or staff. Click here to learn more about MEI membership and benefits.
  • Valid ID (and proof of MEI membership, if applicable) must be presented in order to open an Oman Library account.
  • MEI Member Library accounts and privileges of MEI members expire after one year and must be renewed in order to continue enjoying library borrowing privileges. Fees for a library account are included in MEI membership.
  • Library accounts and privileges of MEI interns expire after five months and must be renewed in case the internship is repeated or extended. Interns, along with MEI staff and resident scholars, are able to open library accounts at no charge.
  • MEI Nonresident Scholars are politely asked to consider making a donation upon opening a library account.
  • Visiting Scholars' accounts and library privileges expire after four months and allow account holders to check out up to five items, maintain 10 on-site checkouts, and place up to five items on hold simultaneously. Enrollment fees cost $30, please contact the librarian to discuss opening a library account.
  • Materials from the Reference Collection, Periodicals, and Rare Books Collection do not circulate.
  • The lending period for all circulating materials is two weeks. Items may be renewed up to three times as long as there are no holds on the item.
  • Patrons may renew their items in person, online, or by phone, no more than five days before the item is due.
  • Patrons are requested to return items to the library by the due date, during operating hours. If items are returned late, they will be subject to fines.
  • Overdue items accrue $0.50 per day until the item is renewed, returned, or the maximum late fee of $10 is reached.
  • Patrons who have $10 or more in fines are blocked from placing holds, renewing, or checking out items, until their fines have been paid.
  • All library patrons in good standing, with the exception of Visiting Scholars, may have charged to their account a maximum of 10 items. Visiting Scholars may have a maximum of five items charged to their account.
  • Patrons may have a maximum of five items on hold simultaneously; holds expire after seven days.
  • All patrons are responsible for the items they have checked out. If a material is damaged or otherwise lost, the person who has checked out the library material is responsible for reimbursing the item’s full replacement cost. This may result in a fine that prevents the patron from renewing or checking out more materials until the fine has been paid to an amount that is less than the $10 limit.
  • Materials that are located in the Reference Section, Periodicals, or Rare Books, do not circulate, and must only be used within the library.
  • Overdue notices or bills relating to lost items will be sent by email in a timely manner.
  • No refunds or fee adjustments will be offered for materials that were marked as lost and the patron charged. Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of library materials that are marked lost, plus a $5.00 processing fee. Once the library receives payment for a lost item, that item becomes the property of the patron.
  • Library members will receive notification 30 days in advance of the expiration of their account. Before their membership expires, if they wish to maintain library privileges, they must renew their account and inform the librarian.
  • MEI members and affiliates who live outside of the DC area may contact the librarian to discuss delivery options.

Behavior Policies

  • Drinks with lids are permitted only on the first floor. Food and beverages are prohibited on the second floor.
  • In order to visit or use library resources, a person must be 18 years or older or be accompanied by an adult. Any non-MEI member may use library materials within the Oman Library, however they may be asked to present current photo identification (such as driver’s license).
  • Non-MEI members wishing to check out books or use subscription-based online resources while away from the library must first become MEI members and establish a library account.
  • Cell phone use, discussing loudly, and playing loud music inside the library is not allowed.
  • Patrons and library users are responsible for the materials they use. If materials are lost or damaged so as to be judged by the librarian as being unsuitable for the collection, the person using the material must pay the full replacement cost. This includes but is not limited to damage incurred on library premises.

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