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Non-Stanford Users > Individual Privileges

Card Fees

Visitors desiring use of the Stanford University Libraries (SULAIR) beyond the 7 free days of visitor access, or who wish to borrow library materials, must purchase a library card.

  • Access privileges may be purchased for one day, one month, three months, or one year. Purchased access cards permit only on-site use only of library materials.
  • Borrowing privileges may be purchased for either a three-month or twelve-month period. They allow the cardholder to charge a limited amount of materials from most of the Stanford University Libraries (subject to the borrowing regulations of the individual libraries.)

    Fee borrower cards are limited to an individual’s personal use. If the card is to be used by a business, an Institutional library card must be purchased instead.
  • Payments for library cards may be made either by cash or check only. Credit cards or debit cards cannot be accepted. Information about fees for library privileges is available at the Privileges Desk in Green Library or online.

Privileges at Coordinate Libraries are not covered by this document. Contact those libraries directly regarding use of their collections.

Use of the Stanford University Libraries

Individual Library Card holders are responsible for complying with all Stanford University Libraries’ regulations, and for all fines, fees and losses incurred. The Libraries reserve the right to deny use to individuals or institutions that abuse library privileges or in any way infringe on the priority rights of Stanford faculty, staff, or students. Library privileges may be revoked at any time.

Who Qualifies?

Stanford University Libraries has established several categories of people who qualify for visitor privileges. These include, but are not limited to: Stanford alumni, faculty and students of other academic institutions, visiting and independent scholars and high school students. Representatives of organizations and corporations should consult the brochure (available at the Privileges Desk in Green Library) or online at Institutional Use of the Libraries of Stanford University. Policies vary according to category of user. Visitors should carefully read the following sections and determine which one applies to them.

  • Alumni: Alumni may receive courtesy access privileges. Individuals who have attended Stanford University for a minimum of three academic quarters, excluding the Summer quarter, are eligible for reduced fees. Stanford students not currently registered but who have attended a minimum of three academic quarters are considered alumni. Members of the Stanford Alumni Association are eligible for seven additional days of access upon presentation of their SAA membership card at the Privileges Desk.
  • Non-Stanford Faculty and College Students: Faculty and students from other colleges and universities may receive courtesy and/or purchased privileges available to visitors. However, there are two important exceptions. Faculty and graduate students from institutions that are members of the Research Libraries Group Shared Resources (ShaRes) Program or the University of California Reciprocal Services Program (RSP) may qualify for extended privileges and should inquire at the Privileges Desk in Green Library or the Libraries’ Web page regarding cooperative agreements.
  • Independent Scholars: Independent scholars and researchers, not officially sponsored by Stanford University as Visiting Scholars, may receive seven days of courtesy access in a twelve-month period or may purchase privileges available to visitors.
  • High School Students: High school students are eligible for the seven courtesy visits only. They are not eligible for any purchased privileges.

Application Procedure

Visitors who wish to purchase a library card should apply in person at the Privileges Desk, Cecil H. Green Library, during library hours. Registration procedures must be completed and all applicable fees paid in full before library privileges will be granted.

Applicants must present a valid, government-issued photo ID card with current address to be considered for a library card. (E.g. driver's license, passport, etc.)

Borrowing Limits

Fee borrowers (i.e., visitors or alumni who purchase borrowing privileges) are limited to a total of 25 library materials charged out on their record. This limit applies only to SULAIR items and does not affect any limits for fee borrowers at the Coordinate Libraries (Business, Hoover Institution, Law, Medical). Consult individual libraries for specific limits.

Excluded Services

Patrons who purchase privileges may not use the following: reserve collections, computers that require a SUNet ID, computerized literature search service, databases whose use is restricted to Stanford faculty, staff, and students, connections to the Stanford University computer network via a personal computer, laptop computer, or portable handheld device, document delivery, or interlibrary loan services. Availability of reference services varies by library and may be limited. Policies on the use of closed stack collections, lockers and carrels also may vary. Please check with the individual libraries for their policies on use.

Loan Periods

Loan periods vary by a combination of library, material type, and user category; consult individual libraries for their loan periods. Loan periods at all libraries are superseded by the expiry date of the user’s borrowing privileges, if that date precedes the due date of the loan period. Please note: there is no grace period for overdue materials. Any overdue items will cause the card to be blocked from further borrowing transactions.

Holds and Recalls

Fee borrowers may not request a recall of a charged item. Fee borrowers who have a need for material currently charged out can place a hold against the charged item. Holds do not truncate the existing due date. When the material has been returned to the library, the item will be held for 7 days and an e-mail notification of its availability will be sent to the requestor. Patrons with access-only privileges may not place a hold against a charged item.

Library material that circulates for a loan period longer than 7 days, DVDs, and other media items on short-term loans are subject to recall. Recalled items must be returned immediately if needed for course reserves, or, if needed for another borrower, within 7 days of the recall notice. A recalled item is assigned a new due date which supersedes the most recent due date for the item. Recalled items not returned by the new due date will begin accruing recall overdue fines of $3.00/day. Recalled materials must be returned directly to the Loan Desk of the owning library.

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 the section called “Disclosure of Borrower Information.


Requests for renewals may be made in person at the Circulation Desk of the owning library or by e-mail to the owning library. The book(s) must accompany in-person requests. The e-mail request should include the card ID number (found in the lower right corner of the library card) and the barcode number of each book to be renewed. E-mail requests must be submitted two days before the due date to allow time for processing.

Privileges Blocks

Privileges blocks will automatically take effect, suspending further circulation transactions, under the following conditions:

Outstanding fees/fines:

$1.50 or more

Overdue items

One or more overdue items

Two or more overdue recalls (all patron categories)

Block is lifted when all outstanding recalled items have been returned and all fines/fees have been paid.

Borrowing limit

More than 25 library materials charged out

Disclosure of Borrowing Information

Sometimes a patron may need to briefly consult an item (e.g. for a check of a quotation, citation, etc.) that is checked out to another borrower. By approval of the Stanford University Faculty Senate, Stanford University Libraries policy is to disclose a borrower’s name, telephone number and/or electronic mail address to Stanford or University of California faculty, staff, or student (including members of the Research Libraries Cooperative Program or Reciprocal Services Program) who inquire about a specific title circulating to that borrower.

Any borrower who does NOT want his/her name disclosed to other borrowers should notify the Libraries of that choice by submitting a Request for Non-Disclosure of Borrower Information form to the Privileges Office in Green Library or leaving it with the service desk staff from whom it was received. Library staff will forward the form to the Privileges Office. Forms are available at all library Loan Desks or the Privileges Office in the Green Library.

Library Mail

Library overdue, recall, availability, and bill notices are sent by e-mail when the patron provides an e-mail address. If no e-mail address is provided, then the library notices will be sent by regular mail.

Note: Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy to the patron. The borrower is responsible for knowing the due date of all items charged out from the libraries and for returning the items on time.

Change of Address

It is the responsibility of the user to keep the library informed of any changes affecting the delivery of library notices. A user whose address results in returned mail (whether paper or e-mail) will have his/her user record barred from further circulation transactions until such time as a current address has been provided. Fee borrowers should report address changes to the Privileges Office or complete and submit a Change of Address Form, available either online or at all Loan Desks.

Borrower Liability

Borrowing privileges are not transferable and are subject to cancellation if abused. The borrower is responsible for library material charged out in his/her name until it has been returned to the library. Return receipts may be requested when material is being returned during library hours. Users who claim to have returned material but who do not have a return receipt should initiate a Claims Returned Search at the owning library. If the material is not located after four staff searches over a one month period, the borrower will be held liable for replacement costs and a non-refundable billing fee.

Lost Cards

Loss of an Individual Library Card should be reported immediately to the Privileges Desk, Cecil H. Green Library. After paying a $20.00 replacement fee, a new card will be issued for the balance of time remaining on the previously issued twelve-month card.

For Further Information

Please consult the Libraries’ Web page for information regarding specific library locations, hours, services, etc.

Contact Information:

Privileges Office, Green Library
Stanford, California 94305-6063

Hours: staffed during Circulation desk hours
Phone: (650) 723-1492
Fax: (650) 723-3992

Last modified: December 10, 2011

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