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Research Guides

School of Labor and Urban Studies: Library Access

Register for a CUNY Library Account

To borrow books from any CUNY library you must first register for a library account. The GC Library will place a barcode on your SLU photo ID card; this becomes your CUNY library card.

Use your CUNY library barcode to login to your library borrowing account: renew books, view fines, and manage your profile.

Students at the School of Labor and Urban Studies may obtain a barcode at the Graduate Center Library Circulation Desk, located at 365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th St.). Bring a current SLU photo ID card, available at the SLU Campus.

All CUNY students, staff, and faculty may borrow books from all CUNY libraries, except the CUNY School of Law Library. Keep your e-mail current with GC Library circulation staff to receive library e-mail notices.

Borrowing Periods

Borrowing periods and fines are outlined in the Privileges and Fines Chart and summarized below. For CUNY-wide loan, renewal, and fine schedules, see CUNY Libraries Circulation Policies(Note that different CUNY libraries have different renewal limits. Also, the CUNY-wide chart may not be fully current. For each library's current loan and renewal policies, consult that library's website.)

  • SLU Master's Students can check books out for 6 weeks with unlimited renewals
  • SLU undergraduate students can check out books for 4 weeks (28 days) with unlimited renewals
  • SLU current faculty can check books out for 8 weeks with unlimited renewals
  • SLU Alumni can check books out (from the GC Library only) for 3 weeks with 3 renewals
  • Media (VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs) are kept at the 1st floor circulation desk, loaned 7 days to all users, with no renewals. The overdue fine for these materials is $1.20 per day.
  • Reserve books circulate for 2 hours. Overnight reserve loans begin 2 hours before the library closes for return within 1 hour of the library's opening the following day. Some reserve items circulate for 3 days at a time. Reserve VHS, DVDs, and CDs are for library use only. The overdue fine for reserve items is $0.10/minute.
  • Periodicals and reference books may circulate with special permission card from a 2nd floor reference librarian.
  • Non-Circulating items, as well as dissertations, theses, microforms, and special collection materials, stay in the library.

Borrowers receive a date due slip with each item at check-out. Borrowers are responsible for returning loaned material in good condition by the date due or for renewing the material in a timely fashion.

As an unguaranteed courtesy, the library catalog system emails reminder notices 3 days prior to due dates. To receive library email notices, borrowers must keep email addresses current at CUNY library circulation desks. Users may check accounts online via My Account in the catalog. An unreceived notice does not relieve the borrower of responsibility for fines and fees.

Recalls: CUNY borrowers may request currently checked-out items by clicking the “Request a Copy” or “Request This Copy” links in the library catalog, or by asking library circulation staff to issue a recall. Requests will generate an immediate notice in email and/or paper 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 the 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

Renew materials by logging into My Account in the library catalog. To maximize loan lengths, renew titles just before they are due, not far in advance. CUNY libraries have different loan lengths and renewal policies for all 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.

Overdue Fines

Overdue fines for returned books must be paid at the Bursar's Office. CUNY-wide fines are generally $0.25/day, with higher fees for overdue recalled ($1.00 per day) and reserve material ($0.10/minute). A $25 total in CUNY-wide fines blocks CUNY-wide library privileges. Long overdue replacement costs and fees must be paid at the lending library.

For a complete list of CUNY-wide loan, renewal, and fine schedules, see CUNY Libraries Circulation Policies. Graduate Center fine schedules are outlined in the Fines & Fees box below.

Long overdue books generate registration, transcript, and graduation blocks, which must be cleared at a borrower’s home library after making payment at the lending library. Failure to return CUNY library books is considered theft and may be enforced by police or by a collection agent.

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