Stanford Libraries contains over ten million physical items. With an active Stanford ID card you can check out books immediately. No Stanford ID? Learn about visitor access.

Stanford University identification card

Explore 12+ million items

Stanford students are typically assigned a SUNet ID, and there are general guidelines for how the ID affects your access and borrowing privileges regarding library resources. Read about Stanford student SUNet ID and library privileges. For more detailed guidelines:

How long can you borrow an item?

In general, books can be borrowed for 28 days by undergraduates, a quarter by graduate students, and a year by faculty. Bound journals and periodicals can usually be borrowed for seven days.

However, loan periods can vary based on your status, the lending branch or center, and the item type. Always check the due date via My Library Account, and watch for emails from Stanford Libraries for any due date changes. 

Borrower Responsibilities

All items checked out to your account are your responsibility.

  • Please do not dog-ear, highlight, or otherwise mark your borrowed item. Report any such damage you notice to the circulation desk.
  • Return items by their due date to a Stanford library book drop, circulation desk, or via mail. 
  • If your item is recalled, return the item by the recall due date on the notice. Overdue fines accrue daily.
  • Items are considered lost after being overdue for eight days, and your account will be billed the appropriate lost-item fee. 
  • If you will be away from campus for more than a week, we suggest you either return all library items or have someone at hand who can return items in case they are recalled.

Learn how to renew or return


You can renew most library books and items in person or online via My Library Account. The number of times you can renew depends on the item type and the lending branch or center. 

Renewal policies for items borrowed from other institutions vary. Visit the Interlibrary Loan and BorrowDirect page for renewal information. 

Renewal limits

If you reach the renewal limit, we can renew for you in person as long as no one has recalled or placed a hold on the item.

Blocked records

You will not be able to renew items with a blocked My Library Account record. You will need to clear the block—often by returning overdue items and/or paying fines—before you can renew more items. 

Log in to My Library account



With a few exceptions listed here, you can return library books and items to any of our library branches or book drops. You can also return books by mail to:

Cecil H. Green Library
Access Services Dept.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6063

Note: Please insure and track the package. We do not assume any risk for items returned by mail, and we do not consider them returned until we have received them.

Course reserves item

Return directly to the lending branch or center.

Media & Microtext Center item

Return directly to the Media & Microtext Center desk or the designated book return outside of the Green Library east entrance (near Coupa Cafe).

Interlibrary Loan item

Use any of the Green Library book return bins.

If we don't have the book or item...

Screenshot of interlibrary request form

Borrow from another library

If we don't have an item in our collection, we can often get it through interlibrary loan. Libraries across the world will send items to Stanford for you to check out. 

Place an Interlibrary request (SUNet ID required)

Screenshot of suggest a purchase form

Suggest a purchase

We welcome your suggestions. Please check SearchWorks first—we might already have it. Also, consider using Interlibrary loan for quicker access.

Suggest a purchase (SUNet ID required)

Questions about borrowing?

For any questions or concerns, please contact the circulation staff or call (650) 723-1493.