Visiting Scholars & Seminar Associates Borrowing Privileges

Lobby Arch Photo

Columbia University Visiting Scholars* and Seminar Associates** are automatically provided with borrowing privileges after they pick up their ID card at the ID Center in Kent Hall. The privilege is not valid at the Health Sciences, Law, or Teachers College libraries. 

* Columbia Visiting Scholars are appointed at the recommendation of a dean, director, or chairperson of a department, with the approval of the Provost.

** University Seminar Associates are appointed by the Director of the University Seminars on behalf of the President. Privileges are renewable annually.

Loan Period

Seminar Associates: Semester loans or the expiration date of the borrowing privilege for most materials. 

Visiting Scholars: Semester loans or the expiration date of the borrowing privileges for most materials. 

Visiting scholars with borrowing privileges may also use Borrow Direct, and interlibrary loan. 


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

Columbia Visiting Scholars or Seminar Associates who do not need borrowing privileges but who wish to use library materials on site may do so using their CU photo ID card which they obtain in the ID Office in Kent Hall. 

Return of Library Materials

Visiting scholars are asked to be sure to return all library materials before leaving the University.

Services Not Included

For Seminar Associates, the purchase of borrowing privileges does not include the use of Interlibrary Loan or Borrow Direct services or off-campus access to the Library's licensed electronic resources.

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