Borrowing, Returning, Renewing Materials

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Borrowing Privileges

The following affiliates are eligible to borrow library material:

  • registered students possessing an SBU photo ID card
  • active SBU affiliated faculty / staff possessing an SBU photo ID card
  • participants in Special Programs, Institutes or Workshops sponsored by the University
  • Emeritus faculty
  • Alumni (contact the Alumni Office for further details at 2-6330)

The Library relies on the official registration database (SOLAR) to authenticate whether a student is registered or not. When a student's SOLAR record indicates the student is currently registered and this information appears in the Library's patron database then the Library will grant borrowing privileges. This means that new students must already be registered for their first semester in order to borrow and continuing students must be registered for either the current semester or, during the summer, for the coming Fall semester in order to keep their borrowing privileges. A Graduate Student with registration questions should contact the Program Coordinator of his/her academic department or the Graduate School.

'Courtesy' Borrowers

If you are not associated with any of the affiliations listed above, you may be eligible to borrow through one of our ‘Courtesy’ Borrowers programs.  See List, or call 632-7115 to find out if you are eligible.

If you have any questions just call or visit Circulation Services (632-7115, 3rd Floor, Melville Library).

‘Courtesy’ Borrowers are required to present documentation and credentials necessary to be approved for borrowing. Upon completion of a Patron Registration Application, a Library card will be issued and a patron record created. Courtesy Borrowers are generally allowed to check out a maximum of 10 items. Open Access Borrowers (registered Students at other SUNY schools) are allowed to check out a maximum of 5 items.

Alumni - Stony Brook Alumni are entitled to borrowing privileges.  To register as a Courtesy Borrower, alumni need to obtain a Lifetime Alumni card from the Alumni Office.  There is no fee for the card.  Bring the card, along with a valid photo ID to the third floor Circulation Desk in the Main Library. 

With more than 2 million volumes, hundreds of databases, and state-of-the-art information services, our libraries service alumni, students, faculty, and the surrounding community. Please note: Access to library databases is available via Stony Brook University computers only. Some restrictions apply concerning databases and Interlibrary Loan. 

Off-campus access and use restrictions:
Almost all electronic resources are owned or leased by the libraries, and are not available on the “free” web. On campus, they are available to all users; however, off-campus access is limited to current Stony Brook faculty, students, and staff. In addition, certain restrictions govern their use, reproduction, and distribution. All users should be aware of and abide by these restrictions.

Loan Periods

Branch Libraries

General Material for all borrowers

30 days or less *

Main Circulation, Music, and Science & Engineering Libraries

General Material for Faculty, Staff, and Emeritus Faculty

Last day of Fall and Spring Semesters *
End of currently enrolled semester

Graduate Students

End of currently enrolled semester*


30 days*

* Books may be recalled at any time, which may result in a shortened loan period.

Reserve Material**

2, 4, or 5-hour cannot leave;
1, 2 day or 7 day

** Materials on Reserve circulate for varying periods as requested by the course instructor.

Video Collection***

7 days

*** Audio-Visual Services reserves the right to loan videotapes to specific categories of borrowers. You may be restricted from borrowing at this Service Area.  Patrons may check out 3 videos or DVDs.

Patrons from the Southampton campus may borrow videos for 21 days.

 Maximum number of checked-out items

  • Undergraduates - 50 normal loan items, 4 reserve items (3 reserve items for Sci & Eng), 3 audio-visual items

  • Graduate Students, Staff, Emeritus Faculty, Management Confidential, Professional - 100 normal loan items, 4 reserve items (3 reserve items for Sci & Eng), 3 audio-visual items

  • Faculty - 500 normal loan items, 4 reserve items (3 reserve items for Sci & Eng), 3 audio-visual items

  • Open Access Program and Research Loan Program participants - 5 items

  • Courtesy borrowers - 10 items

  • Visiting Scholar - 20 items

Checking out or returning Material

To check out library material, present a valid Stony Brook University ID card to library staff. An ID card is not transferable. You are liable for all materials checked out to your ID number. Please notify Circulation Services, 632-7115, if your ID card is lost or stolen. Faculty, staff or teaching graduate students may complete and submit the Proxy Borrower Form, which will allow others to borrow on your library account. There is a limit of two proxy borrowers per account.

Date-due slips or stamped cards are placed in all materials borrowed. You are responsible for knowing the due dates and returning or renewing the material by the designated time. Items on Reserve must be returned to the library from which it was checked out. All other material may be returned to any service desk, however, it is strongly recommended that you return borrowed items from the library where borrowed.

Materials (except items on Reserve) may also be deposited in the outdoor book return drop (24x7), located at the South Entrance of the Melville Library Building.

To return books by mail, send them to the attention of Hanne Tracy at:

Circulation Services, S3410 Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, Stony Brook, NY, 11794-3339

If you would like notification that the books arrived and have been removed from your account, please place a note in the package and include your name and email address.  Ms. Tracy will send you a confirmation email.  Please be sure to return them by the due date in order to avoid late return fees.

Renewing Material

Normal loan material can be renewed up to 3 times for all borrowers.

Short-term loans (reserves) may be renewed in person only, at the library where they were checked out, if no other patrons are waiting for them.

In person. Present your ID card to service desk staff. It is not necessary to bring the material into the library in order to have them renewed. There are no phone or email renewals.

Through STARS (West Campus Libraries Catalog):

1. In STARS, click on the Sign in button on the toolbar at the top of the page.
2. Enter your Stony Brook NetID or your Stony Brook University Card Number (begins with 6038...) and your NetID password or your birthdate in the format mmddyyyy, unless you have already changed it.
3. Click on “My Account” on the toolbar.
4. Click on “Loans” under “Activities.”
5. Click on “Renew All” (or choose individual titles to renew).
6. A message will appear if any items in the record are non-renewable.

Any of the following conditions will prevent you from renewing your material:

  • You are not a registered student

  • Your borrowing account has expired

  • There is a restriction on your borrowing record

  • You owe the maximum allowed for your patron status type

  • The material has been recalled by another patron or reserve

  • There is a hold on the material

  • You have reached the renewal limit

  • The material itself is non-renewable



The Library supports and complies with New York State Law (New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 4509) with respect to the confidentiality of library records. All library records relating to an individual patron's use of the library and its resources are confidential. These records may be consulted and used by library staff in the course of carrying out library operations, but will not be disclosed to others except upon the request or consent of the library user, or pursuant to subpoena, court order, or otherwise required by law.

The University is authorized to provide access to student records to staff with a legitimate educational interest in such access
without the students written consent. Such persons include those with responsibilities for campus academic, administrative or
service functions, whose normal and customary job duties require ongoing or periodic access to student records. This
determination is made on a case-by-case basis by the Registrar's Office.
Student information must NOT be transmitted by any University employee to anyone outside the University (including parents or spouses) without an express written release from the student or a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
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