Guide to MERI Library Services and Policies

Circulation and Inter-Library Loan

About the MERI Library’s Collection

The MERI Library’s Collection consists of books, periodicals, government documents, multimedia, maps and archival materials. Library Patrons with a valid MERI Library Access Card can borrow materials directly from the library. This is discussed further in the section titled Circulation Services and Policies. The Library Access Card also allows Library Patrons to access other services, including the New Jersey State’s JerseyCat Inter-Library Loan System. The loan period for different material may vary.

Materials are available for use in-library by those people who are not eligible for a Library Access Card. The MERI Library is open to the public, by appointment only. If you have access to JerseyCat through another library, you may request materials from this library through inter-library loan. Not all of the materials in the MERI Library’s collection circulate through JerseyCat. This is discussed further in the section titled Inter-Library Loan Services and Policies. In brief, only those items from the Circulation collection and the Government Documents collection are available through inter-library loan.

If you would like to know more about what books and other materials are in the MERI Library’s collection, you can start by using the library’s Online Catalog. The Library Catalog can also be accessed through the MERI Library’s web site. Questions and requests for additional information about the MERI Library and its collection can be submitted by e-mail to Ildiko Pechmann, Librarian.

Circulation Services and Policies

Library Access Cards

In order to borrow materials from the MERI Library, you must first obtain a Library Access Card. Applications for these cards are available from the Librarian. Your card must be presented to the Librarian when borrowing out material from the library. It is also required for borrowing materials through the
JerseyCat Inter-Library Loan System.


Library Access Cards are only available to employees of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, employees of Ramapo College currently assigned to the Meadowlands Environment Center, and other affiliated personnel. Special limited access Guest Cards may be provided to researchers and other people involved in long-term projects in association with the NJMC. Eligibility for these cards will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may require the approval of either the NJMC Executive Director or one of the NJMC Departmental Directors.

Library’s Collection and Borrowing Rules

The MERI Library’s Collection contains a wide variety of materials. All of these materials are available for use in the library. Circulating materials may be borrowed for extended periods of time. Much of the collection, however, consists of archival or special materials. In order to protect these materials, it is usually recommended that they be used in library. If there is a demonstrated need to borrow these items, they may circulate for limited periods of time.

Loan Period by Material Category

Circulation Books 4 weeks
Government Documents 4 weeks
Thesis and Annual Reports 2 weeks
Reference Books 1 to 2 days – restricted*
Meadowlands Documents and Archival
2 to 4 weeks – restricted*
Periodicals 3 to 5 days – restricted*
Maps and Graphic Materials 1 to 2 weeks – restricted*
Photographs and Audiovisual Materials 1 week – restricted*
CD-ROMs 1 week – restricted*

* Restrictions may be placed on the borrowing of certain materials. For more information, contact the Librarian.

Recall and Renewal

Materials borrowed may be subject to recall if another request for that item is submitted to the Librarian. Once a recall request is placed, a notice will be sent to the current borrower by e-mail, asking that the item be returned. The current Borrower will then have one week from the receipt of notice to return the item.

A Date Due Reminder form is attached to every item that is circulated. It is the responsibility of the Borrower to be aware of the due date, and to either return the item by that date or to contact the Librarian in order to request a renewal. Each item may only be renewed a maximum of four times, though the Borrower may request an extended renewal under special conditions. This will be subject to the demand for this item and to the discretion of the Librarian.

Overdue Materials and Borrower Responsibility

If an item is not returned by the due date, it is listed as overdue. Within a week of the Date Due for the item, a notice will be sent out by e-mail informing the Borrower that the item is overdue. They will then be given the option to request a renewal or of returning the item. No penalties will be incurred for overdue books, as long as the Borrower responds promptly to the e-mail notice. Excessive abuse of library privileges may result in the loss of these privileges.

Once an item is borrowed from the library, it becomes the responsibility of the borrower to ensure that the material is returned on time and in good condition. Materials that are lost or damaged will need to be repaired or replaced. The extent by which the borrower may be held responsible for the damaged/missing item will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Inter-Library Loan Services and Policies

General Information

The MERI Library is now a member of the New Jersey State Library’s JerseyCat Inter-Library Loan System. JerseyCat is New Jersey’s statewide virtual catalog and inter-library loan system. With JerseyCat you can search multiple online catalogs simultaneously and view the results in one list. The catalogs of participating NJ libraries and consortia with collections greater than 100,000 volumes are listed separately. A union catalog contains the records of smaller NJ libraries. Periodical titles can be searched for in the NJ Union List of Serials. It also provides library patrons with an interlibrary loan system that can use from their home, school, or office via the World Wide Web. For assistance in using the JerseyCat system contact the Librarian at the MERI Library (201)-460-2808, or refer to the JerseyCat Help Files.

Eligibility to Use JerseyCat for Loan Requests

Only those MERI Library patrons with a valid Library Access Card may use the JerseyCat Inter-Library Loan Service through this library. Look under the Circulation policy and services section at the top of this page for more information on obtaining a Library Access Card.

Access to the JerseyCat Online Catalog

The link to the JerseyCat Online Catalog is posted on the MERI Library’s Home Page.

Requesting Loans Through JerseyCat

Inter-library loan requests can either be submitted online, through the JerseyCat System, or it can be submitted to the Librarian for processing. In both cases, you will need to have your Library Access Card on hand. When completing an online request for a loan through JerseyCat, you must enter in the Barcode number located on the back of your Library Card. Only requests with valid MERI Library Barcodes will be approved. Approval of the request may also be denied if the MERI Library already has the item in its collection, or if there are no libraries in the system that can provide this item. If there is a problem with your request, you will be contacted by e-mail.

Once a request is approved, it is submitted to a lending library within the JerseyCat System. Depending on many factors, the item requested could take from one to four weeks to arrive. Upon arrival, the item is recorded as having been received and the person requesting the item will be notified by e-mail.

No more than ten inter-library loan requests per-person / per-day will be approved. If you require more than ten items, please either space them out over a couple of days or contact the Librarian first before placing the request.

Borrower’s Responsibility

Once the borrower receives an item, requested through ILL, that item becomes their responsibility. The Borrower must return the item by the date when it is due, and the item must be returned in the condition in which it was received. Failure to do so might result in penalties from either the MERI Library or the lending library.

Learning to Use the JerseyCat System

An instruction guide to using the JerseyCat System is available through the MERI Library’s Web Site:
Research Guides. NJMC Employees and Carded Library Patrons who would be interested in receiving either individual instruction or group classroom instruction on using JerseyCat can contact the Librarian for more information.

Loan Periods and Renewals

The Loan Periods and availability of an option to renew is solely dependent on the lending institution.

Borrowing from this Library through JerseyCat

All member libraries of the JerseyCat System may request materials from this library. Not all types of materials are available for loan. Currently, only circulating books and Government Documents are available for loan. Requests for copies of periodical articles will also be accepted, assuming that they are available. Materials that are not available to be borrowed through JerseyCat may be used in the library. If you have a question about visiting the MERI Library, or if you have questions about material availability, you can contact the Librarian at (201) 460-2808.

Availability and Loan Period of Materials by Category

Circulation Books Available 4 weeks
Government Documents Available 4 weeks
Thesis and Annual Reports Non-Circ ILL
Reference Books Non-Circ ILL
Meadowlands Documents and Archival Materials Non-Circ ILL
Periodicals Available Copy Requests
Maps and Graphic Materials Non-Circ ILL
Photographs and Audiovisual Materials Non-Circ ILL
CD-ROMs Non-Circ ILL