Student and Staff Guide to Circulation Privileges

This page covers privileges and responsibilities for the following groups of patrons:

Note: the following groups do NOT have circulation privileges at Bobst library

  • Staff at Consortium Libraries
  • Non-degree students at Consortium libraries
  • Holders of NYU Card IDs that read "Conferee/Guest", "General ID","Research" or "Summer Housing"

ID Cards

You must present a current school ID card or library-issued borrowing card in order to check out or renew books.

If your card is lost or stolen, be sure to let us know immediately. You will be held responsible for any items checked out on your card if you do not inform us that it is missing.

Any time you obtain a new or replacement ID card, you must activate it for library use in person at the library's main circulation desk.

Expiration Dates

Students only have library privileges during semesters they are taking classes, during a semester for which they have paid a maintenance of matriculation fee, or during Summer semester if they were registered for Spring.  Matriculation and registration information is provided solely by the NYU Registrars office.

Friends of the Library cardholders and Sponsored Borrowers may only access the library until the expiration date printed on their card.

Students at Cooper Union, LIU Palmer, and Hebrew Union MUST have a current validation sticker or their records will be considered to have expired.

Borrowing Limits

Non-degree students are allowed to have 25 items checked out at one time. Other borrowers may have up to 200 items checked out at one time.

Loan Periods

The due date will be stamped in each book at the time of checkout. Note that because due dates may be changed by remote renewal or when an item is recalled (see below), the stamp will not always reflect the actual due date. To check the due date of any item checked out to you, you may view your library record online (instructions on viewing your record and renewing books online). You may also request a printout of your record from the Full Service line at the Circulation & Reserve Services desk when you visit the library.

Loan TypeStandard Loan PeriodLoan Period  NYU Non-degree StudentsLoan Period  PhD/Master's StudentsLoan Period  GTAs
General Collection 84 days 28 days 120 days 120 days
Items with Holds on them 14 days 14 days 14 days 14 days
Special Loans Set by Reference Set by Reference Set by Reference Set by Reference
Interlibrary Loans Set by ILL No Set by ILL Set by ILL
Journal Loans 7 days 7 days 7 days 7 days
Leisure Collection 28 days 28 days 28 days

28 days

E-ZBorrow 84 days No 84 days

84 days


General Collection refers to circulating books from the stacks. Circulating books are located on floors 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Library Use Only books, also found on these floors, may not ordinarily be checked out.

Special Loans refer to non-circulating or Library Use Only titles that cannot be checked out without a subject librarian's approval. Special Loans are approved only in extenuating circumstances and only with the express permission of the subject librarian who also sets the loan period. Information about subject librarians and special loans is available at the 1st floor Multidisciplinary Reference desk.

Interlibrary Loans may be checked out until the due date set by the Interlibrary Loan department. 

Journals Loans: Bound journals are located in the General Collection, and may be checked out for one week.  Unbound journals are located in the Current Periodicals Room on the 3rd floor, and may not be checked out.

Leisure Collection refers to the current titles in fiction and non-fiction for recreational reading, shelved on Lower Level 2.  They can be checked out for 28 days, and are not renewable.



Renewal guidelines:

  • Books from the General Collection may be renewed remotely or at Circulation & Reserves Services desk .  
  • Special loans may not usually be renewed. To request a renewal, bring the Special Loan item to the appropriate reference department.
  • Journal loans, and books from the Leisure collection may not be renewed.
  • To renew an Interlibrary Loan,log into the Interlibrary Loan system.

Books from the General Collection may be renewed in person at the Circulation & Reserve Services Desk (to renew in person, you must bring the books to the Circulation & Reserve Services desk) or remotely on the web. Books may be renewed up to 200 times as long as they have not been requested by other users or for Course Reserve. You might not be aware that a Hold has been placed on an item until the time you try to renew it.

To avoid overdue items, be sure to renew before the due date.

You are responsible for returning and renewing books on time, even if the online renewal system is unavailable. (See Blocks below for information on blocked records.)


If you need a book that is not currently available, you may request that a Recall be placed on the item. The user who has the book will be sent a notice alerting them to this request. When the book is returned, we will notify you by email and hold the book for 10 days. Requests for recalls may be placed at the Express line at the Circulation & Reserves Services desk, or directly through BobCat.

If you request a book that is not already due within 14 days, the book will become due in 14 days.  If the book is already due within 14 days already, then the due date will not change.  The notice sent to the patron will specify the new due date.

Note that items that have been recalled from you must be returned by the due date specified in the recall notice, regardless of the original due date or the due date stamped in the book. Recalled books which become overdue accrue fines at the rate of $1/day and block your record so that you cannot check out or renew any books until the recalled items are returned.  Books that are already overdue will accrue charges retroactive to the original due date.

Keep in mind that you are responsible for the recalled item and any fines that may accrue, even if you are out of town, out of the country, or otherwise indisposed at the time that the notice is sent, or when the book becomes due. Books may be recalled at any time, including between semesters, over the Summer, and during Fall and Spring Break (this often occurs when a book is required for Course Reserve).  If you will be out of town at the time a requested item is due, please contact the Circulation & Reserves Services department for your return options.

Notices are sent to the mail and email addresses the library has on file for you.  All NYU card holders will receive email notifications to their NYU Home accounts.  For forwarding your email to another account, please see:

If you no longer need the item you requested, please contact the Circulation &  Reserves Services Department to cancel it.

If you are not notified that the item you requested is available within 2 weeks of recalling it, you may alternatively request this item through Interlibrary Loan.

Remember that all books are subject to recall at any time.


Books checked out from:
The NYU Libraries: Bobst, Courant and Abu Dhabi 
The Cooper Union Library
The New School Libraries Fogelman, Gimbel and Scherman
New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) Library

Can be returned to any of the following libraries:
Bobst, Courant, IFA, ISAW, Poly and Abu Dhabi Libraries at NYU
The Cooper Union Library
Fogelman, Gimbel and Scherman Libraries at the New School
New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) Library

Click here for library locations and contact information.

When you return your book to any of these sites, it will be removed from your library record and be sent to the home library.

You may return most items in the book drops at the libraries. You can also return items to a circulation & Reserve Services assistant at the service desk.

Items must be returned on or before the due date to avoid fines. If you cannot return your item on time, you might be able to renew.

You are responsible for returning your library books by the due date even if you are out of town or otherwise indisposed on that date. The book drops at NYU Bobst Library are accessible without an NYU ID. You may consider having a friend or family member return items for you if you cannot come yourself.


Avery Fisher Center (AFC)
AFC materials, including books, must be returned directly to the AFC circulation desk or the AFC book drop (after hours).

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Media Items
Media items (CDs, DVDs, etc.) acquired through interlibrary loan must be returned to a circulation assistant at the service desk of the library from which it was loaned (during hours of operation). Please do not place media items in the book drops. Please do not leave media items at the service desk when it is closed.

Overdue Fines

*The following chart lists the most common types of charges, their rates, and their maximums. For items that are at least 30 days overdue (20 days for recalls), please see the Lost Book Fines and Fees section below.

Loan TypeFine RateMaximum Fine/Item
General Collection No daily fines. $125.00 once a book becomes 30 days overdue.


Recalled Items $1.00 / day $50.00
Special Loans (including Journal Loans) $1.00 / day $20.00
Interlibrary Loans/ EZ-Brorrow $1.00 / day $90.00
Leisure Collection No daily Fines.  125.00 once a book becomes 30 days overdue. $125.00
Reserve Materials $ 2.50/ hour $50.00
Uncharged Materials Left in Rented Locker/Study Carrels $5.00 / item $5.00
Damages to Books (see Preservation of Library Books section for details) At the discretion of the Circulation and Preservation Depts. Replacement cost of item (varies per item)
Returned Check Fee $10.00 $10.00

*This Policy applies to books charged out after September 5, 2007.

Other charges may be assessed that do not appear on the above table. Please contact the Circulation & Reserve Services department if you have any questions.

Lost Books Fines and Fees

When a book becomes 30 days overdue (or a recalled book becomes 20 days overdue) it is categorized as "lost", and your account will be assessed a $125.00 replacement charge, and the maximum overdue fine. If the book is subsequently returned you will be responsible only for any late fine.

Interlibrary loans, special loans, audio-visual material and other items that are not standard books from the open stacks may have different maximum fines or accrue fines at different rates. Please inquire at the Circulation & Reserve Services department if you have any questions.

Preservation of Library Books

Books must be returned to the library in the same condition in which they were borrowed.

Charges will be assessed for books returned damaged. Books that are damaged beyond repair will result in replacement costs.

Please avoid the following conditions and common sources of damage to library books:

  • Moisture (including rain and spilled beverages)
  • Using inappropriate materials as bookmarks, for example:
    • Post-it notes; the adhesive substance used on post-it notes is acidic, can rip pages, and can lift text
    • Paperclips; leave impressions and can rip pages
    • Pencils (or anything thicker than a piece of paper); wedged between pages causes damage to the spine
    • Rubberbands; leave damaging residue on pages and should not be used to hold pages back
    • Folding the corners of pages (dog-earing)
  • Animals
  • Stuffing books into an overfull bookdrop (if they don't go into the chute easily, return them at the Circulation desk)

Charges may be assessed at the discretion of the Library if any of the above conditions occur, even if accidental or inadvertent.

Please do not ever write in library books, even in pencil. Writing in books will result in charges being assessed.

If you come upon any library materials you believe need repairing, please hand them to a Circulation & Reserves Services staff member. Everyone's cooperation is required in order to keep the collection in the best condition possible.

Overdues, Bills, and Notices

A reminder notice will be e-mailed to you three (3) days before your books are due.  You will be sent overdue notices approximately every three days until the item goes into billing.

Notices are sent to the email address the library has on file for you.  All NYU card holders will be sent email notifications to their NYU Home accounts.  To forward to a preferred email account from NYU Home, Please see:

Books are due on the date indicated in BobCat (instructions on viewing your record and renewing books on the web). The library sends this notice as a courtesy; books are due on the date indicated whether or not you receive an overdue notice.  Failure to receive these notices does not exempt the user from any fines that may accrue as a result of lateness.

A bill will be sent to you if your account totals $6.00 or more in unpaid fines and fees. You will be billed for the replacement cost, and fines, of any books which are more than 50 days overdue (or for recalled books which are more than 20 days overdue).  Bills should be paid within 30 days to avoid having your information sent to a Collection Agency.

Registration Blocks

Fines in excess of $60.00 and/or any lost books on your record will result in a stop being placed on your University record. This stop will prevent you being able to register for classes (including drop/add), receiving your diploma, and receiving transcripts. If you have been informed by the Bursar that you have a "library stop" on your record, please contact the Circulation Reserve Services  department.  Failure to respond to a library stop may result in your information being reported to a Collection Agency.

Other Blocks

Your library account will be blocked, so that you cannot check out or renew any items, for any of the following reasons:

  • You owe a total of $5.00 or more in fines and fees.
  • Any book on your record that is 30 days overdue.
  • Any book which has been recalled from you has not been returned by the new due date.
  • Any email we send you is bounced back

Please note that there are more blocks that may appear in your account, which will not cause your record to be placed on Administrative Hold.  See the Circulation Department if you have any questions.


Paying Fines and Fees

Fines must be paid at the library to which they are owed. Fines owed to Bobst Library may be paid at the Circulation desk. Please note that any blocks on your record due to fines (as explained above) are based on the total fine on your record. This means that you might have to make payments at more than one library in order to return your account to good standing. You may pay with cash, personal checks, credit cards and debit cards.

Confidentiality of Library Records

As required by New York State law, library records pertaining to patrons are strictly confidential. This includes personal information such as addresses, circulation information such as the books you have checked out, building use and reference information. In order to obtain information regarding your library record, you must present your school ID or library-issued borrowing card.  If you are calling to request information, you must provide your University ID  number.  Staff may ask further questions to verify your identity.

Requesting Searches

Quick Searches

If you are unable to locate a book which is indicated as "Available"  or "On Shelf" in BobCat (or a journal which is indicated as "Available" or "Bound"), you may submit a Quick Search request online. We will attempt to locate the book or journal within 24 hours, and notify you via email if the item is found. Note that placing a search will not prevent another user from checking a book out, but will limit the length of time they may use the book and will ensure that you are notified when it is returned (see Holds and Recalls above for more information).

Claims Returned

We will perform a search in the library if there is a book showing up on your account you believe you have returned. You may request a "Claims Returned" search at the Full Service line at Circulation. If the item does not turn up immediately, several subsequent searches will be conducted. We will inform you  by email when the book is found, or at the conclusion of  all searches.  Material not returned properly (see Returns) are not eligible for Claims Returned.

Other Libraries

NYU students in degree-granting programs may use the following libraries in addition to Bobst:


  • New School University:

Borrowers who are not in degree-granting programs at NYU who need to gain access to one of the libraries listed above should inquire at a Reference center. A pass may be issued if the needed material is not available at a public library.


The policies summarized on this page apply only to Bobst Library. For information regarding policies at other libraries, please inquire at those locations. Note: Not all libraries listed above have circulating collections and not all allow general access to their collections.

More Information

For more detailed information regarding specific policies, inquire at the Full Service line at Circulation.

To receive announcements, search tips and schedules of library events, subscribe to the LIBLINK listserv. Send a blank email to


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