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Register to Borrow


Graduate Center students take registration and bursar’s receipts (or letter from a GC Provost or program Executive Officer) to room 9123, phone x7769, to obtain a GC photo ID with current semester validation sticker. Students not taking courses but maintaining matriculation must pay registration fees.

Non-GC CUNY students register for or receive CUNY photo IDs at their home institutions. All CUNY students, staff, and faculty may borrow books from all CUNY libraries, except the CUNY School of Law Library.

CUNY doctoral faculty with temporary or permanent appointments at the GC must take a letter from a GC department Executive Officer or GC Human Resources department to room 9123, phone x 7769, to obtain a GC photo ID and current semester validation sticker.

Bring current GC photo ID to the Graduate Center Library 1st floor circulation desk. GC library staff will adhere a barcode, allowing CUNY-wide borrowing in person or online via CLICS Intra-CUNY borrowing. A GC library barcode is also required to create an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) account. Keep your e-mail current with circulation and ILL staff to receive library e-mail notices.

1-2 days after registration and payment, new GC students are automatically issued a GC computer network account. Also use this username/password to access library databases from off campus. Newly appointed GC faculty and staff may also have to bring a letter from a GC department Executive Officer or GC Human Resources department to the IT Help Desk, phone x7300, for assistance.

Borrowing Rules

  • Borrowers receive a date due slip with each item at check-out. Borrowers are responsible for returning loaned material in good condition by the date due or for renewing the material in timely fashion.
  • Borrowers are responsible for prompt payment of library fines and fees. As an unguaranteed courtesy, the library catalog system emails reminder notices 3 days prior to due dates. To receive library email notices, borrowers must keep email addresses current at CUNY library circulation desks. Users may check accounts online via “My Account” in the catalog. An unreceived notice does not relieve the borrower of responsibility for fines and fees.
  • Recalls: CUNY borrowers may request currently checked-out items by clicking the “Request a Copy” or “Request This Copy” links in the library catalog, or by asking library circulation staff to issue a recall. Requests will generate an immediate notice in email and/or paper informing the current borrower of the recall. The first borrower is guaranteed the initial loan length; renewal is denied after a recall request is placed. If the item has already been renewed, it is given a new, earlier due date — 10 days from the date the recall request is placed. Seven-day and reserve loans may not be recalled. Overdue recalled items are fined at a higher rate of $1/day. Unreceived email notices do not relieve any borrower of responsibility for fines and fees.
  • Overdue fines for returned books may be paid at any CUNY library. CUNY-wide fines are generally $.10/day, with higher fees for overdue recalled ($1.00 per day) and reserve material ($1.20/hour). A $5 total in CUNY-wide fines blocks CUNY-wide library privileges. Long overdue replacement costs and fees must be paid at the lending library.
  • Long overdue books generate registration, transcript, and graduation blocks, which must be cleared at a borrower’s home library after making payment at the lending library. Failure to return CUNY library books is considered theft and may be enforced by police or by a collection agent.
  • Renew CUNY loans and view due dates via “My Account” in the library catalog. To maximize loan lengths, renew titles just before they are due, not far in advance. CUNY libraries have different loan lengths and renewal policies for all borrower types. You may not renew via “My Account” if:
    • a book has been “requested” by another borrower or course reserve
    • you have $5 or more in CUNY-wide fines
    • you have loans more than 8 days overdue
  • GC users in violation of the above conditions may request a renewal via the GC’s renewal form.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) renewals can be requested online, subject to lending library approval.
  • Return CUNY library books to any CUNY library. Exceptions: Interlibrary loans, reserve loans, and all non-book media (microforms, VHS, DVDs, CDs), music scores, and other special loans must be returned directly to the lending library’s circulation desk
  • Intra-CUNY library book borrowing, through the CLICS service, allows books from other CUNY collections to be delivered for pick-up at the GC or another CUNY library. CUNY students may also visit and borrow directly from other CUNY libraries. CUNY Libraries Circulation Policies apply to these loans.
  • Media: VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs are kept at the 1st floor circulation desk, loaned 7 days to all users, no renewals.
  • Non-Circulating items, as well as dissertations, theses, microforms, and special collection materials, stay in the library.
  • Periodicals and reference books may circulate with special permission card from a 2nd floor reference librarian.
  • Reserve books circulate for 2 hours. Overnight reserve loans begin 2 hours before the library closes for return within 1 hour of the library’s opening the following day.  Some reserve items circulate for three days at a time.
  • Reserve VHS, DVDs, and CDs are for library use only.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is available to GC users only. Overdue ILL fines are $0.25/day payable in the GC Library ILL office, room 1100.06.
  • Off-campus access to GC e-resources is available to GC users only, including faculty, students, and staff with current ID and recent (1 year) alums with current GC computer network accounts.

Library Notices

The email notice schedule for CUNY loans:

  • Immediately upon arrival – CLICS pick-up notice
  • Immediately upon request by another borrower – Recall notice
  • 3 days prior to due date – courtesy notice reminder to return or renew items coming due
  • 7 days after due date – 1st overdue notice
  • 21 days after due date – 2nd overdue notice, online renewal blocked
  • 40 days after due date – 3rd overdue notice
  • 50 days after due date – lost/replace notice, non-refundable $25 processing fee added to accumulated fines, book replacement price assessed ($45 minimum)
  • All CUNY library privileges blocked at $5 CUNY-wide overdue fines
  • 50+ days after due date – CUNY graduation, registration, transcripts blocked

Borrowers are informed of due dates at the point of loan. Missed overdue notices or lost date due slips do not mitigate borrower responsibility for applicable overdue fines.

Items may be rush recalled, with new earlier due dates, for use by course reserve. Rush recalls generate an immediate email notice of any new due date. Higher fines apply to overdue rush recalls. Recalls may be placed only by CUNY circulation staff.

Missing books

If a book is missing:

  1. Check the re-shelving area on the east side of the library’s 2nd floor.
  2. If no luck, fill out a “Search Card” from a librarian on the 2nd floor. Include your name and phone or e-mail address on the back.
  3. Submit the card to the circulation staff on the 1st floor for searching.
  4. Request the item via CLICS. If it is not available through CLICS, request it via Interlibrary Loan (ILL), with a note that the item could not be found on the shelves.