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Borrowing & Returns

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Jump to: My Library Accounts | Request Chapter Scans | Loan Periods |
Circulation of Periodicals | Renewals | Recalls | Returns

Circulation & Borrowing Privileges

Washington University students, current and emeriti faculty, staff, visiting researchers, and courtesy borrowers with current library accounts may borrow books from our collection. A current Washington University ID or courtesy card is required for all borrowing transactions.

Library patrons may request items for pickup at and return materials to whichever library location is most convenient, including all seven Danforth libraries and the Becker Medical Library. In addition, faculty and staff are also eligible to have materials delivered to their primary mail stop code in Workday by choosing Campus Delivery as the pickup location.

Visitors may get borrowing privileges after donating to the University Century Club.

For more information about Borrowing Privileges or any questions, contact the Circulation Librarian by phone during Olin Library hours at (314) 935-5420 or via email (

My Library Accounts

Check your holds and renewals, submit Interlibrary Loan requests, reserve materials with Ares, log into the proxy server for off-campus access, and more. Access library accounts from the My Library Accounts page.

Request Chapter Scans

Is an item you are looking for already checked out? The University Libraries Interlibrary Loan service can obtain scanned chapters or materials as PDFs for you.

The PDFs are created by scanning books and journals within the University Libraries when available. If the University Libraries do not own the needed article or chapter, we rely on partner libraries worldwide to supply PDFs from their collections through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) program.

Submit a scanning request with the following four steps:

  1. Log on to ILLiad with your WUSTL key and password;
  2. Click on the Article or Book Chapter links in the top menu. Fill in as much citation information as available;
  3. Add any comments you wish to share with library staff in the Notes field;
  4. Click “Submit Request.”

Print materials will be scanned in accordance with what is allowed by copyright and fair use. Large portions of a book or entire books that are within copyright will not be scanned and are more likely to be canceled by partner libraries on ILL.

Loan Periods

CategoryLoan Period
Undergraduates28 days
Graduate Students60 days
PostDocs90 days
Faculty90 days
WashU Staff28 days
Courtesy Borrowers21 days
Pop-Lit Books2 weeks (all borrowers)
Videos / DVDs2 weeks (all borrowers, limit 30 per person)

Circulation of Periodicals

Some periodicals circulate to Washington University faculty, staff, and students but are not requestable. Check with the staff at your library for more assistance. Bound periodicals circulate for 3 days. Unbound periodicals (current issues) circulate for 1 day. Overdue periodicals are subject to fines of $1.00 per day, with no grace period.


Items that have not been requested by another borrower or reached the renewal limit may be renewed using the My Catalog function on the library system. Patrons may also renew by bringing materials to the home library on the Danforth Campus. If the books have reached their renewal limit or are very overdue, they must be brought to a library to be checked in.


A recall is used when someone needs an item another person has checked out. Unlike a “hold,” which lets the first borrower keep the item until the due date, a recall will sometimes shorten the due date. When a recall is placed on an item you have checked out, you will receive an email notice stating the due date.

If the item is checked out, request the item from MOBIUS (when a copy is available) instead of recalling the library’s copy. MOBIUS items arrive sooner than recalled items. Interlibrary Loan is also available to request items not available in our library or MOBIUS.

Due Dates for Recalled Items

Every person is guaranteed to have an item until the original due date, unless:

1. Library staff recall items for course reserves.

2. The item has been renewed or is overdue. In these cases, the items are subject to immediate recall.

3. The item belongs to the Art & Architecture Library or the Law Library. A recall will shorten the due date. In most cases, Art & Architecture Library and Law Library items are guaranteed to users for 14 days unless needed for course reserves. Contact Art & Architecture Library or Law Library for more details about recalls.

Other options for getting the items you need: If an item you need is checked out, please consider requesting it through MOBIUS or ILLiad (interlibrary loan) instead of placing a recall for Wash U’s copy. In many cases, you will get the item more quickly by using MOBIUS or ILLiad.


  • Returns & fines: For information on fines and fees, see the Fines & Fees page. Please contact for assistance with your library account.
  • Book drops: Library patrons may return materials to whichever library location is most convenient, including all seven Danforth libraries and the Becker Medical Library. Patrons can also utilize our drive-up return bins at the South 40 on Shepley Drive or the West Campus Library at 7425 Forsyth Blvd. The Throop Drive book return is temporarily closed due to a campus construction project. The closure is expected to continue into Fall 2024.

    Download a map of these drive-up book drop locations.
  • Returning books by mail: If you are unable to drop off items on the WUSTL campus, please ship all library materials, including MOBIUS and Interlibrary Loan, to:

    Olin Library Circulation
    MSC 1061-141-B 
    Washington University in St. Louis
    1 Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130
    ph: (314) 935-5420