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Borrow, renew, return

These pages explain circulation services and policies at the Stanford University Libraries, including borrowing periods, renewals, and return policies. While policies vary by library and user privilege level (faculty, staff, undergraduate, alumni, etc.), books typically have longer lending periods than other materials, such as DVDs and media. Still have questions after reading these pages? Contact


What you'll need

To check out library materials, present a valid Campus ID Card, SUL Borrowing Card, or RLCP card at the circulation desk.

Number of items that may be borrowed

Campus ID Card holders have no book checkout limit. Some patrons, including fee-based borrowers, are limited to 25 SUL items. (Books from the Medical Library and SLAC don't count toward this limit.)

Length of time items may be kept

Most books in Green Library can be borrowed for 28 days by undergraduates, for a quarter by graduate students, and for a year by faculty. Bound journals and periodicals can usually be borrowed for 7 days. Policies vary by branch and type of material, so check individual libraries for specifics. 

Course reserves

Print materials on reserve for Stanford University courses can typically be checked out for two hours to several days. If you checkout the material near closing time, overnight checkout may be permitted at some libraries. Please inquire about the policy on overnight use from the lending library. 

Media reserve materials at the Media & Microtext Center in Green Library can usually be checked out for four hours.  Overnight check out is available within four hours of the media area's closing time. Items checked out overnight must be returned within one hour after opening the following day.

Media & Microtext Center

The Media & Microtext collection has special policies. Please contact the Media & Microtext Center if you have questions.

  • The microtext collection (microfilm, microfiche, microcards, and microprints) must be used in the Media & Microtext Center.
  • The media collection (DVDs, Blu-ray discs, Videogames, CD-ROMs, Laser discs, slides, etc) may be borrowed by most users for seven days. Media reserve materials may be borrowed for four hours.
  • Faculty and academic staff are eligible to renew materials online once using My AccountAll other borrowers must renew materials in person at the Media & Microtext Center desk.
  • Faculty are eligible for extended loans of media for course-related instruction. Request an extended loan at the circulation desk from a supervisor.
  • Some media can only be viewed in the Media & Microtext Center.
  • Patrons may reserve media items for scheduled loans, such as for a group screening. Reservations can be placed at the Media & Microtext Center desk.

Borrowing by non-Stanford patrons

  • Individuals with a day access pass, a purchased access-only SUL Card, or a summer camp/conference attendee SUL Card may not access media collection.  They may use the microtext collection in Green Library.
  • Students in the Continuing Studies Program (CSP) may use media after obtaining borrowing privileges from the Privileges desk.
  • University of California students who are part of the Reciprocal Service Program (RSP) may use media after obtaining borrowing privileges from the Privileges desk.
  • Media is not lent as part of the Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP).
  • Some media is lent via Interlibrary Borrowing to UC campuses.