Access & Borrowing

Information for Graduate Research Assistants and Sponsoring Faculty

Sponsoring a Research Assistant

  • GC faculty, administrators, and HEOs may sponsor up to 2 Research Assistants.
  • Library Research Assistants do not have to be affiliated with CUNY. 
  • Graduate Center Executive Officers may request extended short-term access to the GC network and library resources for Research Assistants by emailing IT Services (, and specifying the Assistant’s need for GC network credentials, the Assistant’s faculty supervisor, and the dates of affiliation, not to exceed 3 months.

Borrowing Materials

In order for Research Assistants to borrow materials from the GC Library on a sponsoring GC faculty member's library account:

  • Sponsoring faculty members must fill out a Faculty Authorization Form at the 1st floor Circulation Desk. 
  • Research Assistants must obtain a paper Library Research Assistant card, issued by library circulation staff. If not affiliated with CUNY, RAs must also obtain a photo ID from the Office of Security and Public Safety, Room 9123 (212-817-7777), to gain access to the library.
  • Research Assistants are extended Interlibrary Loan privileges. To use this service, RAs must have an ILL proxy account authorized by the sponsoring faculty member. See below for information on setting up a proxy account. For more information about Interlibrary Loan, see the ILL FAQ.
  • Off-site access to licensed resources is not available to Research Assistants.
  • The sponsoring faculty member is responsible for all loans, fines, and fees on materials borrowed by the Library Research Assistant. 

Interlibrary Loan Proxy Accounts for Research Assistants

How it Works

  • Sponsoring faculty members can set up an ILL proxy account so that their Research Assistants can request, pick up, and manage ILL items.
  • The faculty member is the owner of the account, while the RA is a proxy.  The faculty member controls access to the account and retains their research history, even if there is RA turnover. 
  • The faculty member is responsible for the items borrowed through RA proxy accounts.

Setting Up a Proxy Account

  • The sponsoring faculty member should email Silvia Cho, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor ( requesting and authorizing the set up of an ILL proxy account for the Research Assistant.
  • Include the name of the RA and the email address for ILL notifications, which can be either the faculty member's or the RA's email address.
  • Once the proxy account is set up by ILL, the username and password are sent via email to both the faculty member and the RA.
  • At the end of each semester, sponsoring faculty members are contacted to confirm that their Research Assistants are still working with them.

GC Faculty Research Assistants - Library Privileges

On-Site Access Yes
Borrowing Privileges Yes
CLICS (Request Books from Other CUNY Libraries) Yes
Loan Period 8 weeks
Renewal Limit for GC Books Varies
Renewal Limit for Other CUNY Books On-site access; off-site access if network account is obtained
Database Access Yes, with proxy account
Interlibrary Loan No
Printing $0.15/page; free if network account is obtained
Special NYPL Borrowing Privileges No

Useful Things to Know About Using the GC Library

Research Help

Our Research Guides direct you to recommended resources by subject, and the Research Help page explains how to get help from a librarian.

Technology in the Library

Consult our Technology in the Library Guide for information about computers, printers, scanners, microfilm readers, equipment loans, and digital media equipment in the library.


Find out how to place books and media on reserve, how to access items on reserve, and where to go for help with Blackboard in our online Reserves Guide.

NYPL & MaRLI: Manhattan Research Library Initiative

GC researchers are granted special borrowing privileges at the New York Public Library research libraries. You may also apply online through MaRLI for borrowing privileges at Columbia University and New York University.

For more information, consult our guides to NYPL & the GC Library and MaRLI: Manhattan Research Library Initiative.

Academic Works

Learn about CUNY Academic Works, an open access institutional repository dedicated to collecting and providing worldwide access to the research, scholarship and creative work of the City University of New York in our Academic Works Guide

Library News

Find out about upcoming events and workshops and keep on top of the latest library news by subscribing to our Graduate Center Library Blog