Answered By: Jessica Keyes
Last Updated: Sep 06, 2019     Views: 332

Note: The MSEL Self-Service Hold Shelf is a pilot project that we are assessing to see if it can improve your experience picking up and checking out requested books. Please provide feedback in a comment on this FAQ or take our online survey after you have checked-out and desensitized your books.

Requesting a Book

The MSEL Self-Service Hold Shelf is the default pick-up location for library users registered on Homewood campus when requesting a book in Catalyst that is owned by a JHU library. Other users may also pick up books here by selecting this location from the drop-down in the request options.

Users can also select the MSEL Service Desk as a pick-up location, or any other location in the list.

Books on the self-service hold shelf are reserved for users who request them, and the books need to be checked out when they are picked up.

Picking up a Book

The MSEL Self-Service Hold Shelf is located on M-Level across from the main stairwell. Books are sorted alphabetically by last name.

If you have requested more than 10 books, your books may be held in overflow shelving behind the Service Desk. This status will be indicated with a flag on the hold shelf placed alphabetically by last name.

Books requested via Borrow Direct and Interlibrary Loan will always be held behind the Service Desk instead of on the hold shelf.

Checking out a Book

  1. Download the free Hopkins Self-checkout App from the Google Play or Apple App store and log in with your JHED ID
  2. Give the app access to your phone's camera
  3. Use the app to scan the barcodes on the books and check them out
  4. If you want to take the books out of the library, use the desensitizer located on M-Level near the Service Desk to desensitize them


If you have any of the following problems, go to the Service Desk for assistance:

  • I can't find my books
  • I can't install the Hopkins Self-checkout App
  • I have the app, but my phone is dead/not with me
  • The desensitizer won't work on my book
  • Other issues

I need help, but the Service Desk is closed.

Please leave your books on the hold shelf and return when the Service Desk is open.

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