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How to use the Notre Dame Hesburgh Library: Home

A guide for the Saint Mary's community on the technical and logistical details of accessing databases, electronic journals, and other electronic resources at Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library.

Please note: The Hesburgh Library is operating under different conditions during the COVID pandemic.  Please see the Hesburgh Libraries' Service Continuity page for more details. 

Where to go

Hesburgh Library, as viewed from the southThe Hesburgh Library

The Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame is just north of the football stadium, about a mile and a half walking distance from the center of the Saint Mary's College campus.  The Transpo Sweep bus stops at the library on its regular route.  The nearest visitor parking is in the lot to the east of the Walsh Architecture building, or in the Compton or Joyce lots.

Research Workstations

Once you are at the Hesburgh Library, you will need to use a computer that is labeled as a "Research Workstation." There are Research Workstations in the lower level, and on most upper floors of the building. 

These computers do not require a login and do not have a time limit, but they also generally require that you stand up to use them.  If standing to use the computer presents a physical challenge for you, speak to a member of the staff at Hesburgh and ask if any research workstations that allow sitting are available.

Guest Wifi?

While Notre Dame does have a wireless network that is open to non-affiliated users, that network does not have access to the library's licensed electronic resources.  You can't use your laptop or mobile device on the guest network to access Notre Dame's databases, electronic journals, or e-books.

Image credit: By Mendaliv - Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0,

How to save documents


The Research Workstations only allow access to library resources, so you can't log in to your email account, use Google Drive or Dropbox, or any other service for storing files in the cloud.  However, many databases and journal platforms allow you to email full-text documents to yourself, and those functions should still work.  Be sure that what you are sending to yourself is the full text of the document you need, not just a link, because that link won't work from outside the Notre Dame campus.

USB or Flash Drive

If the content you need can't be sent via email, you should still be able to download and save it on a USB (flash, thumb) drive.  The USB ports on the Research Workstations should work.  If they don't, ask a staff member at Hesburgh for help.


Non-affiliated users cannot print at the Hesburgh Library.

Why do I have to do this?

Why do I need to do this, anyway?

It would be really great if the Saint Mary's community could access Notre Dame's electronic resources without being physically on the Notre Dame campus, but unfortunately, the licenses between universities and publishers don't generally allow this kind of access.  The reverse situation is also true: Notre Dame users have to come to the Saint Mary's campus to use our electronic resources.   

The Short Version

  • Bring a USB / flash drive.
  • Use the "research workstations" located in the lower level and on most upper floors.
  • Ask for help at Hesburgh if you need it.
  • Let one of the librarians at Saint Mary's know if you run into difficulties.

Access to Hesburgh at Night

Beginning in Fall 2019, Hesburgh Library has restricted access after 8:00 p.m. to students, faculty, and staff with Notre Dame ID cards.

However, Saint Mary's community members can enter the building and are welcome in Hesburgh after 8:00!  Just call the monitor's desk at (574) 631-6350 and a staff member will come to the door to let you in once you show your Saint Mary's ID card.

Checking out books from Hesburgh

Saint Mary's students, faculty, and staff can check out books from Hesburgh Library using your SMC ID card. You get to keep the books for 60 days, and can renew them once for another 60 days. 

Notre Dame books must be returned to a Notre Dame library.  If you return a Notre Dame book to the Cushwa-Leighton Library, we will send it back to Notre Dame but we can't guarantee that it will get there before the due date.