Alumni Borrowing Privileges

Lobby Arch Photo

Recent graduates of Columbia University who were registered in the semester that they graduated in will be able to enter the libraries for a period of one hundred and twenty days after the date of graduation using their student ID cards. After this period, alumni must obtain an alumni card in the Library Information Office in Room 201 of Butler Library. Recent Columbia alumni will retain access to licensed electronic databases for a period of three months beyond the last semester that they were registered. Please note that this grace period does not apply to graduates of Barnard College or Teachers College.

Alumni of Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College and Union Theological Seminary are invited to apply for borrowing privileges at Columbia's libraries at a charge of $30 per month.

Application can be made in person to the Library Information Office. Teachers College alumni should obtain an alumni card at Teachers College in the Whittier Building.

Loan Periods

4 weeks; or expiration date of library borrowing privileges: All libraries. Alumni borrowing privileges are not valid at the Health Sciences Library, Law Library, or Teachers College Library.

Alumni with borrowing privileges may borrow up to 20 items at a time.


Fines are charged for some overdue items.

  • Course reserves/short-term loan items: $1.00 per hour for each hour or part thereof, to a maximum of $50.00.
  • Butler Media circulating items: $7.00 per day, to a maximum of $50.00.
  • Recalled items: $1.00 per day, to a maximum of $30.00.
  • Lost items: Standard replacement (varies by library) and processing ($30.00) fees will be added to the fines.

Borrowing privileges at all Columbia libraries are temporarily suspended if fines or fees exceed $99 or if a recalled item is not returned on time. Lost items should be reported to the Library Information Office.

Reading Privileges

Alumni who do not need borrowing privileges but who wish to use library materials on site may apply for reading privileges. Application must be made in person at the Library Information Office. A government-issued ID card must be presented before the alumni card is created.

There is no additional cost for the Alumni ID card.

Services not included

The purchase of borrowing privileges does not include the use of Interlibrary Loan services or access to the Library's licensed electronic resources.

Hours of use

Alumni may use CU Libraries during normal service hours. After or before service hours, the Libraries are restricted to current Columbia students, faculty and staff.

Extended Leave

Alumni who will be away for an extended period, or who will not continuously renew borrowing privileges, are asked to return library materials before departure or the expiration of privileges.

Please Note: The Libraries reserve the right to withdraw privileges if they are abused. Privileges are granted to individuals and are not transferable.