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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


All borrowers are responsible for items checked out under their names until the items have been returned. Return receipts are available upon request during library hours. Borrowers who claim to have returned material but do not have a return receipt should initiate a Claims Returned Search at the owning library. If the material is not located after four staff searches over a one-month period, the borrower will be held liable for replacement costs and a nonrefundable billing fee.

In person

Return items to any library or book return bin on campus. However, to expedite returns, we recommend that you bring items back to the library from which you checked them out. Items left in book return bins are checked into our system and backdated to the last date the bin was emptied.

Course reserves must be returned to the library from where they were borrowed.

Return media items directly to the Media & Microtext Center desk; after hours, items can be returned to the designated book return outside of Green Library's east entrance (near the Coupa Cafe).

By mail

The Stanford University Libraries assumes no risk for items returned by mail. Items are not considered "returned" (and continue to accumulate fines) until they are actually received and processed by library staff. We recommend that packages are sent insured, via a service that provides tracking.

Central return address for all Stanford University Libraries:

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