Circulation Policies

College Library Info - Source Data



The libraries of the City University of New York participate in a Universal Courtesy Open Access lending agreement. This website was created to provide CUNY students, faculty and staff with each college's circulation policy concerning loans, renewals and fines.

Who may borrow?

  • A currently validated I.D. card must be presented to enter or borrow library materials from any CUNY school.
  • CUNY faculty, staff, currently enrolled students, and retired faculty (with appropriate identification) may borrow books from any CUNY library except:
    • The CUNY Law School Library only lends to Law School faculty, staff and students. Patrons from other CUNY colleges can visit the CUNY Law Library but have no borrowing privileges.
  • Students currently enrolled in SUNY's Empire State College students are granted the same borrowing privileges as CUNY students. They should be issued a CUNY Open Access card with a generic barcode with an expiration date at the end of the semester.
  • Each library has a certain number of patrons that only have borrowing privileges at that library. These are typically:
    • Local alumni (alumni have access only to their home campus library)
    • Visiting scholars
    • Friends of the Library
    • Neighboring high school students
    • Special patrons

Check with the circulation desk staff if you have questions about these patrons.

Loan periods

  • Loan periods and renewal policies listed on this website are based on regular loan, circulating books only. Policies may differ significantly for other library materials.
  • The CUNY library circulation committee recommended, and the Council of Chief Librarians approved, a standardized loan period for the initial loan of books:
    • CUNY Undergraduate students: 4 weeks (28 days)
    • CUNY Graduate students: 6 weeks (42 days)
    • CUNY Doctoral students: 8 weeks (56 days)
    • CUNY Staff: 4 weeks (28 days)
    • CUNY Faculty: 8 weeks (56 days), although a college may give a longer loan period to their own faculty

Placing holds

  • Open Access patrons can place a hold through the CUNY Catalog when logged onto My Account.
  • Patrons can select the pick-up library for the book when placing the hold.
  • Circulation desk staff can place holds for patrons who are not part of Open Access.


  • Items may be renewed a limited number of times if there are no hold requests on the item. Renewals must be done:
    • in person at the lending library only, or
    • electronically through the My Account link in the CUNY Catalog.

Renewal periods and the number of renewals allowed depend on local library policy. See the following pages for more information on renewals.


  • Books may be returned to any CUNY library.

Fines and fees

  • Regular fines: Overdue fines are twenty-five cents ($0.25) per day for each regular loan item.
  • Hold/Recall fines: Overdue fines are one dollar ($1.00) per day for recall and rush recall loans to a maximum of $50.
  • Reserve fines: Overdue fines are generally $5.00 - $15.00 per hour for reserve loans. Maximum fines for overdue reserve materials vary by campus.
  • Replacement fees for lost materials must be paid at the library owning the material. Fees may vary. Check with the lending college.
  • Overdue fines may be paid at any CUNY library.