Circulation Policies

Loan Periods

You must have a current valid Columbia or affiliate ID to receive borrowing privileges.  All circulating items may be recalled by another patron, or for course reserves.

Regular Circulation

  • Semester loan for all Columbia University ID holders

Reserves Circulation (same for all borrowers)

  • Last copies
    2 hour intervals until 2 hours before library closes.  At that time, overnight circulation, due back 1 hour after library opens the next day.
  • Extra copies
    After 6pm weekdays, due 10am the following day.
    After 3pm Fridays and all weekend hours, due 10am Monday
    (subject to change over holidays and intersessions).


Any borrower with more than $99 in fines or replacement fees will have borrowing privileges suspended at all Columbia libraries.

Regular Circulation

  • 25 cents per calendar day, up to a maximum of $7.50
  • An additional $100 fee is charged after 45 days to replace the item.


  • $1.00 per hour or part of an hour for each overdue item, up to a maximum of $50.
  • An additional $100 fee is charged after 7 days to replace the item.

Recalled Items

  • $1.00 for each calendar day that a recalled item is overdue, up to a maximum of $30; borrowing privileges blocked.

Special Materials

  • Current and bound periodicals circulate for 2 hours.  No overnight or weekend loans.
  • Newspapers do not circulate.
  • Maps (depository and non-depository) do not circulate.
  • U.S. Government Documents collection and South Asian Language material adheres to the regular circulation periods stated above.
  • Reference material (any item with a gold or red star on the spine) does not circulate.
  • Videos on reserve circulate for 1 week.
  • Slavic microfilm may be used only by special arrangement with the Slavic Bibliographer in room 206.
  • Microfilm and microfiche do not circulate.
  • Tibetan Material
    A key for room 210.1 can be checked out at the circulation desk.  Bound volumes adhere to the regular circulation periods stated above; boxed, unbound materials do not circulate.

All materials may be returned to the book drop in the lobby outside of the main entrance when the library is closed.