Borrowing & Returns

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Borrowing Privileges

Washington University students, faculty, staff, and courtesy borrowers who have current library accounts may borrow books. A current Washington University ID or courtesy card is required for all borrowing transactions.

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

Request Chapter Scans

Is an item you are looking for already checked out? Contact the Libraries’ staff to explore options for receiving scanned chapters or materials as PDFs via email (ill@wumail.wustl.edu).

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

To submit a scanning request, log on to ILLiad with your WUSTL key and password. Click on the Article or Book Chapter links in the left-hand menu. Fill in as much citation information as available. Add any comments you wish to share with library staff in the Notes field.

Click Submit Request. Print materials will be scanned in accordance within 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 cancelled by partner libraries on ILL.

Loan Periods

CategoryLoan Period
Undergraduates28 days
Graduate Students60 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. Graduate students with overdue periodicals will be fined $1.00 per day, with no grace period.

Renewals

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.

Recalls

A recall is used when someone needs an item that 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 e-mail 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

  • Returns & fines: The Libraries will discontinue quarantine for returned material starting 1 June in alignment with the updated University health protocols and safety guidelines. For information on fines and fees, see the Billing Fines & Replacement Charges page. Please contact circ@wumail.wustl.edu for assistance with your library account.
  • Book drops: External book drops at the John M. Olin Library and Distributed Libraries (Art, Music, and Business) are open. We also recommend that patrons utilize our drive-up return bins at Throop Drive, the South 40 on Shepley Drive, or the West Campus Library at 7425 Forsyth Blvd. Download a map of these drive-up book drop locations.
  • Returning books by mail: If you will not be returning to campus, please ship Washington University, MOBIUS, and Interlibrary Loan materials to:

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