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Borrowing Information

Activation and Charging Out Books

Items are only charged out to patrons using their own ID cards.

Never lend your ID card to another person, since you are responsible for all usage made on the card.

Faculty may designate a "proxy borrower." For information about this, contact the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor, via, or at (718) 951-5335.

Members of Brooklyn College or CUNY, as well as others, have access to the Library.

With activated IDs (see the Circulation Desk), the following groups of Brooklyn College or CUNY patrons may borrow Library materials:

  • undergraduate and graduate students
  • faculty (active and retired)
  • staff
  • Friends of the Library
  • members of the Institute of Retired Professionals and Executives

Students and faculty from member institutions of Academic Libraries of Brooklyn, Faculty spouses, Cont. and Adult Ed., Brooklyn College Academy, and College NOW may also borrow material from the Brooklyn College Library.

NOTE: For a complete list, please visit our Patron Privileges page.

Book Renewal

Books may be renewed if certain criteria are met.

Brooklyn College books may be renewed up to three times. Books are renewable in person or online. Books are not renewable by telephone or mail.

Books may not be renewed if:

  • The book has been placed on hold or recalled by another patron.
  • There is a block on your Library record.
  • The book is more than 5 weeks overdue.
  • The renewal limit has been reached.
  • Your ID card is not registered in the Library system.
  • Overdue fines
Books may be renewed online.

All CUNY circulating material (that is not overdue) may be renewed online:

  • Open your browser and type in the URL:
  • Click on Catalog.
  • Click on My Account / Renew (top-right of page).
  • Enter your 14 digit library barcode (beginning with 2) in the textbox marked Barcode. (Do not enter spaces or dashes.)
  • As your Password, enter your 14 digital library barcode again. (NOTE: Your library barcode will remain your password unless you change it.)
  • Then click on Log In.

(If you have never used the Brooklyn College Library, please go to the Circulation Desk and ask to have your patron record activated before attempting to log-on.)

When you are in your patron record, you may renew charged out material:

  • Click on the underlined number to the right of Loans.
  • Find the item(s) you wish to renew and check the appropriate box(es).
  • From the orange menu at the top, choose Renew Selected.
  • If your renewal is successful, the list of renewed books will display. Otherwise, an error message will show up.

When you are finished looking at your record, click on End Session or Logout (at the top).

Books may be renewed in person.

In the Brooklyn College Library, books are checked out and renewed at either the Music Desk on the 2nd floor or Circulation Desk. In order to renew your book(s) in person, you must have a valid CUNY ID card. You must also be able to identify the specific book(s) for renewal.

For other reader categories, see Categories of Patrons. You may also contact the Circulation desk on the 1st floor, via, or at (718) 951-5335.

Courtesy Discharge at CUNY

Books can be returned to any CUNY Library.

Materials from any CUNY library that circulate for regular loan periods can be returned to any CUNY library. You do not need to go back to the library from which you borrowed the item(s).

NOTE: Special loan items (e.g., reserve and interlibrary loan items) must be returned to the library from which they were borrowed.

Library overdue fines may be paid at any CUNY Library. 


Holds can be placed on books that are charged out of the Library.

If you locate the book you wish to borrow in the library catalog but find that it is charged out to another patron, you may place a "hold" on that item:

  1. Click on the orange Request this Copy button.
  2. Enter your 14 digit barcode number that is on the back of your valid ID card. (Do not include spaces or dashes.)
  3. Enter your password. If you have not created a password, enter your 14 digit barcode number again.
  4. Make sure that "Brooklyn" is selected as the pickup library. (Unless, of course, you wish to pick up the book from a different CUNY Library.)
  5. If you don't need the book after a certain date, enter that date in the format YYYYMMDD in Period of Interest field. (In most cases, you want to leave this field as-is.)
  6. Click on Go.
  7. A message will come up letting you know whether the hold request was successful.

Loan Periods

Books are circulating material.

You may borrow as many books as you can read, just be sure to return them on time, or renew online through the library catalog.  Books are charged out at the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor or the Music Desk on the 2nd floor of the Library. They may be borrowed for:

  • 28 days for all CUNY undergraduate students and staff (3 renewals)
  • 42 days for all CUNY graduate students (3 renewals)
  • 120 days for active Brooklyn College faculty, HEOs, CLTs and Research Assistants (2 renewals)
  • 56 days for all CUNY retired faculty, HEOs, CLTs (3 renewals)
  • 21 days for local Patrons such as Friends of the Library, Institute of Retired Professionals, Adult Education students, Students from Academic Libraries of Brooklyn, College Now, Midwood High School Faculty and Students and Brooklyn College Academy. (3 renewals)

You will receive a recall notice if the book has been requested by another patron.  There will be a new due date on the recall notice.  You are guaranteed a 21 day loan period if someone requests the book you have charged out. 

For other reader categories, see Patron Privileges. You may also contact the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor, via, or at (718) 951-5335.

Loan periods for Interlibrary Loan materials may vary because they are set by the lending library.

Government documents often circulate.

The Brooklyn College Library is a selective depository receiving 49.12% of materials printed by the U.S. government. The Library became a depository in 1937, but our holdings go back much further than that. Our holdings from 1976 to the present are included in the library catalog. Paper indexes are available for older materials. Aside from a small collection of reference materials kept behind the service desk (on the Lower Level), the collection is shelved on open stacks. The collection includes a wide range of Congressional materials that date back to the 1800s and deal with a wide range of topics including health care, economics, foreign policy, equal rights, the environment, and education. Collection strengths include statistical information on education, health and nutrition, U.S. Census, crime and justice, historical information, maps, science, and geology.

Some non-reference print and electronic materials may be borrowed by members of the Brooklyn College community. Online resources are freely available to anyone with Internet access; you can find links to many of these resources on the Government Information subject page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Government Documents Librarian, Prof. Jane Cramer, at (718) 951-5332 or


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Media are circulating material.

Circulating videos are charged out at the Music Service Desk on the 2nd floor. The loan period for BC students and Brooklyn College Academy (BCA) is 10 days. The loan period for all CUNY faculty is 2 weeks. Loan periods for reserve media are usually 2 hours (for in-library use only) or 3 days. Borrowing time limits are placed on materials to ensure that they are accessible to as many people as possible. Videos and DVD's may be returned to the Music Library Service Desk or the Main Circulation Desk.

Music items are circulating material.

Music books can be checked out at the Music Library service desk on the 2nd floor or the Circulation desk on the 1st floor.  Books can be renewed online.  Music scores can be checked out only at the Music Library service desk, must be renewed in person.  Scores must also be returned to the Music Library service desk.

Music "reference scores" may be borrowed by BC faculty only for one week (no renewals); overdue fines are $1.00 per late day.

Periodicals do not circulate.

Faculty may inquire at the Current Periodicals Desk (718  951-5333) on the Lower Level or the Music Library Periodical collection (718  951-5844) on the 2nd floor of the Library about exceptions.

Reserve materials do not circulate.

Items placed on on-site reserve by instructors — books, articles, and personal copies — may be requested at the Reserves Desk on the 1st floor of the library. In order to identify an item that is on reserve, you must check the catalog and confirm that it is available in Brooklyn Reserve.

Books on reserve are available for short periods of time. These loan periods allow many students to have access to the materials:

  • Items placed on 2-hour Reserve loans may be checked out for In-Library use only.
  • Items placed on 3-day Reserve loans may be checked out and used outside of the Library.
Special Collections do not circulate.

While Special Collections materials are non-circulating, they are available for in-Library review. For information on the access policy, please see the Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections page.

Lost or Damaged Materials

A reasonable time is allowed for Library staff to search for a book reported by the patron as returned.

Once a book is determined to be lost, the reader (under whose care the book was lost) is then charged for the price of the book, in addition to a $25.00 service fee. A refund, minus the $25.00 fee, is given if the book is later found.

Lost Music books, Music Scores or DVDs must be paid at the Music desk.  Lost books from the general collection must be paid at the Main circulation desk.

All registration and/or transcript blocks can be removed at either the Music or Main Circulation desks.

If you have any questions, please inquire at either the Music Desk on the 2nd floor or the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor.

Damaged Materials

Material that is returned damaged may be subject to a fine or replacement charge.

Overdue Fines

Excessive lateness is heavily penalized.

A reader will be blocked from borrowing additional library materials when:

  • he or she has accumulated $5.00 in fines,
  • he or she has one or more overdue book(s),
  • he or she has been billed for a lost book,
  • a recalled item has not been returned. (Recall fines are levied at the rate of $1.00 per day.)

Brooklyn College students with outstanding fines or other obligations will not be able to register for their classes or to obtain transcripts.

A similar failure on the part of borrowers not affiliated with Brooklyn College may result in the suspension or revocation of borrowing privileges.

Items returned late incur late fines.

Late fines at the Brooklyn College Library are:

  • $0.25 per day for regular & 3-day Reserve loans
  • $6.00 per hour for 2-hour Reserve loans

All overdue fines can be paid at either the Circulation or Music service desks.

For more information, see Circulation policies. You may also contact the Circulation Desk (1st floor) via or at (718) 951-5335. (Non-receipt of overdue notices does not exempt the borrower from overdue fees.)


Recalled material must be returned to the Library.

If the book is recalled, it can not be renewed and must be returned by the due date stated on the Recall Notice to the Circulation Desk on the 1st floor of the Library.