To borrow materials from the Health Sciences Library, valid identification from one of the institutions listed on our access policy page is required. However, access privileges do not guarantee borrowing privileges. Please contact the Library to ensure that you have borrowing privileges.

Loan periods

  • Books circulate for three weeks.
  • Archives & Special Collections items, journals, and reference materials do not circulate.
  • Items obtained through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan will have different loan periods.
  • Course reserve items are checked out in 2-hour increments.



All borrowed materials can be returned to any Columbia University Library, except the Law School Library and the Teachers College Library.

Holds and recalls

Recalled items will have a shortened due date and you will be asked to return the item.  Fines accrue at $1.00 per day for items not returned by the new due date.

Overdue items and fines

Fees for overdue materials are $.50 per day with a maximum of $15.00 total. Overdue Course Reserves material accrue fines at $2.00 per hour up to a maximum of $50.00 per returned item.

For items that are not returned, users will be charged the overdue fines plus the cost of replacing the item and a processing fee. The minimum amount is $100.00 per book.

Deputy borrower

University Officers can designate a Deputy Borrower, someone who would be able to charge and return items on behalf of the Officer. To designate a Deputy fill out the application form through the Columbia University Libraries.


For more information regarding this policy contact Eric Dillalogue, Access Services Manager, at

Last updated: 8/2017