To borrow materials from the Health Sciences Library valid identification from one of the institutions listed on our access policy page is required. However, access privileges do not guarantee borrowing privileges. Please contact the Circulation Desk to ensure that you have borrowing privileges.

Deputy borrower

Officers of the University can designate a Deputy; someone who would be able to charge and return items on behalf of the officer. To designate a Deputy fill out the application form through the Columbia University Libraries.

Loan periods

  • Books circulate for three weeks.
  • Archives & Special Collections materials, journals, and reference materials do not circulate.
  • Items obtained through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan will have different loan periods.
  • Course reserve items are checked out in 2 hour increments.


  • Books checked out from the Health Sciences Library may be renewed up to 10 times, as long as another borrower has not requested it.
  • Media items may be renewed just once. 
  • Borrow Direct items may be renewed once for an additional six weeks.
  • Interlibrary loans may only be renewed by contacting the Interlibrary Loan office

To renew your items call the Circulation Desk or access your library account online.

Holds and recalls

If an item you have checked out is recalled the due date will be reset and you will be asked (via email) to return the item.  A $1.00 per day fee will levied for books returned after the new due date.


All materials borrowed can be returned to any Columbia University Library.

Overdue items and fines

Fees for overdue materials are $.50 per day with a maximum of $15.00 total. Overdue course reserves will accrue hourly ($2.00 per hour) to a maximum of $50.00 per returned item.

For items that are not returned users will be charged the overdue fines plus the cost of replacing the item and a processing fee. The minimum amount is $100.00 per book.

For more information regarding this policy contact Gene Robinson, Circulation Supervisor
(212) 305-4182

Last updated: 4/2012