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Access & Circulation

The Physics Library closed permanently on June 9, 2010 at 6 p.m. All Physics Library materials are due back on or before June 9 and are not eligible for renewal.

Please return books directly to the Physics Library or to the Physics Library bookdrop located outside the Physics-Astrophysics Building (along the East-West Axis). Material will be available again as soon as possible via other campus libraries. NOTE: Books may be returned to other campus libraries. However, this will delay the book’s return to circulation.

Thank-you very much for your patience and understanding during this transition. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Physics Library ( even after the June 9 closure.

Information below will be updated over the summer.

Access | Circulation


The Physics Library is open to all members of the Stanford community. Visitors are welcome to use the collection in the Library. Reference services are limited to members of the Stanford community.

The Library is partially accessible to persons with limited mobility. Wheelchair users may access the main level of the Library, which is located on the third floor of the Varian Building, by means of an elevator on the first floor of the Building. Ask at the circulation desk for help in retrieving out-of-reach materials and items shelved in the Library mezzanine.

Selected Stanford faculty and students are eligible for key access to the Library. For further information, see After-Hours Access.

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Circulation Periods | Returns & Renewals | Holds & Recalls | Additional Information

Circulation of materials is available only to users with a valid Stanford borrower's ID. Your VALID barcoded Stanford ID card is ESSENTIAL for checking out items from the library. Do not forget to bring your ID card to the library.

Visitors who do not have a current barcoded University ID may qualify for borrowing privileges. Please consult the Access Policy for the Stanford University Libraries for guidelines. Contact the Privileges Desk in Green Library,, (650) 723-1492, for further information on becoming a registered borrower and obtaining a valid library card.

For detailed circulation policy, reference policies, and cooperative borrowing information please see:

o Circulation Policies for Stanford Faculty, Staff, Students, and Affiliated Borrowers;
o Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP) between UC Berkeley, UT Austin, and Stanford University;
o University of California / Stanford University Reciprocal Services Program (RSP);
o Use of the Stanford Libraries by Visitors;
o Use of the Stanford University Libraries by Institutions;
o Proxy Privileges;
o Purchased Card Fees; and/or
o Reference Policies.

Circulation Periods
Item Type Circulation Period
Books 28 days (faculty: 90 days)
Course Reserves 2 hours; 4 hours; 1 day
Current Journal Issues 2 hours
Dissertations 28 days (faculty: 90 days)
Journals 1 day
Laser Discs 1 day
Permanent Reserves 28 days (most)
Reference do not circulate
Technical Reports 28 days (faculty: 90 days)
Undergraduate Honors Theses 1 day
Videotapes 1 day
Returns & Renewals

Most materials borrowed from the Physics Library can be returned to any library on campus or to the book drop outside the Varian Physics Building. The exceptions are course reserve materials and journals, which must be returned directly to the Physics Library circulation desk or the Physics Library outside book drop when the Library is closed.

Renewal of materials is permitted unless another user is waiting for the item. Materials that circulate for 28 days or 90 days may be renewed twice online. Materials that circulate 1-14 days may be renewed once. The Physics Library's exceptions are: reserves, journals, and locked stack items; these items may not be renewed. Items must be returned to the owning library to extend the loan period beyond its renewal limit. Fee-based users must renew items at the owning library. For reserves renewal policies, please see Reserves.

To renew online, all SUNet ID holders can access My Account from within Socrates. NOTE: All borrowers with SUNet IDs are not eligible to renew items via e-mail.

E-mail renewal of materials is available only to those individuals without a SUNet ID. E-mail renewal requests should be sent to Submit:
     1. the nine underlined digits on your ID card;
     2. your name; and
     3. the barcode numbers of the books you wish to renew (found on the inside of the back cover, beginning 36105...).
Please allow one day (weekends and holidays excepted) for processing. You will receive e-mail confirmation of the renewal with an updated due date.

Items may also be renewed in person.

For additional information, please consult SULAIR's Returns & Renewals policy.

Holds & Recalls

Any individual with a valid SUNet ID, library borrowing privileges, and a need for material currently circulating may place either a hold or a recall against the charged item through Socrates. A HOLD prevents the current borrower from renewing the requested item. A RECALL changes the item's due date to seven days from the date of recall.

All material that circulates for more than seven days is subject to recall. A hold may be placed against any circulating item whose loan period is one day or longer, with the exception of the Physics Library's reserves, journals, and locked stack items.

See SULAIR Holds and Recalls for additional information.

Users whose need for the material is very brief (e.g. to verify a citation or check a reference) may be able to meet their need without either a hold or recall; see Disclosure of Borrower Information.

Additional Information

For more information on Stanford University Libraries general circulation polices, including protocol for overdues, bills, and notices; blocks; paying fees/fines; replacing lost cards; borrower liability; campus absences; and other user responsibilities, please visit Circulation Policies Governing the Use of the Stanford University Libraries for Stanford Faculty, Staff, Students, and Affiliated Borrowers. For further Physics Library circulation assistance, call (650)723-4342 or e-mail

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Last modified: September 1, 2011

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