Research Guides

Access & Borrowing

SPECIAL NOTICE: CUNY-Wide Overdue and Recall Fines Suspended

CUNY libraries have suspended regular overdue fines as well as fines for some of the recalled items. Also, all CUNY libraries now allow one renewal of regular circulating items. Additionally, interlibrary loan staff will automatically request renewals of ILL items on your behalf.

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Graduate Center Library Circulation Desk (212) 817-7083 or

Borrowing Periods

CUNY libraries have different borrowing periods. For details, see CUNY Libraries Circulation Policies and CUNY library websites.

Grad Center Library borrowing limits are shown below.  For more detailed information, see the Privileges Chart for each patron category at the GC.

  • GC Master's Students: 8 weeks, 1 renewal
  • GC PhD Students, GC Faculty, and Retired GC Faculty & PSC Staff: 8 weeks, 1 renewal
  • GC Alumni (from the GC Library only): 8 weeks, 1 renewal
  • Media (VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs) at the 1st floor circulation desk, loaned 7 days to all users, no renewals. Overdue fine $1.20 per day.
  • Reserve books: some circulate for 3 days; others for 2 hours. Overnight reserve loans begin 2 hours before the library closes for return by 1 hour after the library opens the next day. 
  • Reserve VHS, DVDs, and CDs are for library use only; overdue fine $0.10/minute
  • Periodicals and reference books circulate with permission from a 2nd floor reference librarian
  • Non-Circulating items, dissertations, theses, microforms, and special collection materials, stay in the library

Borrowers receive a date due slip at check-out and are responsible for returning items in good condition by the date or for renewing on time.

The library catalog system emails courtesy reminder notices 3 days prior to due dates. To receive notices, borrowers must keep email addresses current at CUNY library circulation desks. Users may also check due dates and renew online via My Account in OneSearch. Borrowers are responsible for all fines and fees, even if an email notice is missed.


CUNY borrowers may avoid recalling books from CUNY readers by using Interlibrary Loan to request titles unavailable in CUNY libraries.

However, instead of using interlibrary loan, CUNY borrowers may also request currently checked-out items using the “Request a Copy” or “Request This Copy” links in the library catalog, or by asking library circulation staff to issue a recall. Requests generate an email notice informing the current borrower of the recall.

The first borrower is guaranteed the initial loan length; renewal is denied after a recall request is placed. If a recalled item has already been renewed, it is given a new, earlier due date — 10 days from the date the recall request is placed. Seven-day and reserve loans may not be recalled.

Overdue recalled items are fined at a higher rate of $1/day. Unreceived email notices do not relieve any borrower of responsibility for fines and fees.

Renewing & Returning Materials

As part of the University's coronavirus response, CUNY Libraries are implementing a set of policies to help students avoid unnecessary trips to campus.  

Increased Book Renewals:  All CUNY libraries now allow at least 1 renewal of regular circulating books, unless items have been recalled.  There will likely be other CUNY-wide updates to circulation policies announced in the coming days.

Renew materials by logging into My Account in OneSearch. To maximize loan lengths, renew titles just before they are due, not far in advance. CUNY libraries have different loan lengths for borrower types. You may not renew via My Account if:

  • a book has been requested by another borrower or course reserve
  • you have $25 or more in CUNY-wide fines
  • you have loans more than 8 days overdue

GC users in violation of the above conditions may request a renewal via the GC’s renewal form. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) renewals can be requested online in the user's ILL account, subject to lending library approval.

Return CUNY library books to any CUNY library. Exceptions: Interlibrary loans, reserve loans, and all non-book media (microforms, VHS, DVDs, CDs), music scores, and other special loans must be returned directly to the lending library’s circulation desk.

CLICS Intra-CUNY Borrowing

CUNY students, faculty, and staff may borrow from every CUNY library except the CUNY School of Law Library. CLICS Intra-CUNY Borrowing is offered to all CUNY-wide users.

Missing Books

If a book is missing:

  1. Check the re-shelving area on the east side of the library’s 2nd floor.
  2. If no luck, fill out a “Search Card” from a librarian on the 2nd floor. Include your name and phone or e-mail address on the back.
  3. Submit the card to the circulation staff on the 1st floor for searching.
  4. Request the item via CLICS Intra-CUNY Borrowing. If it is not available through CLICS, request it via Interlibrary Loan (ILL), with a note that the item could not be found on the shelves.