Stony Brook University Libraries provide access to over 2 million volumes and hundreds of databases. Our open stacks policy allows browsing for all patrons. An SBU Library card is not required when using material (except for reserve material) and resources within the Libraries.

Borrowing Eligibility
Library borrowing privileges are available to:

  • Currently enrolled/registered SBU students
  • Active faculty and staff
  • Emeritus faculty
  • Alumni (contact the Alumni Office for membership card)
  • Courtesy Borrowers, including Open Access – current SUNY students and employees with SUNY ID

Eligible borrowers must provide a government-issued photo ID (SUNY ID card, driver’s license, etc.) for service.

Courtesy Borrowers
Stony Brook University Libraries provides limited borrowing privileges to individuals who are not currently affiliated with Stony Brook University. Check this list for eligibility as a courtesy borrower: SBU Libraries Courtesy Borrowers 

Courtesy Borrowers are required to present documentation and credentials to be approved for borrowing privileges. Complete a Courtesy Borrower application and bring the requested documentation to the Circulation Desk at the Library.

Loan Periods
Eligible borrowers must present a government-issued photo ID to complete library transactions. Borrowers are responsible for adhering to the circulation policies and are also responsible for fines and fees as a result of overdue, lost, damaged material.

Circulating collection

Undergraduate Students
Loan period: 30 days
Maximum number of items out: 50 items
Number of renewals: 3

Graduate Students
Loan period: End of currently enrolled semester
Maximum number of items out: 100 items
Number of renewals: 3

Faculty, Emeritus Faculty, Staff
Loan period: End of currently enrolled semester
Maximum number of items out: 500 items
Number of renewals: 3

Courtesy Borrowers
Loan period: Varies; see Courtesy Borrower list
Maximum number of items out: Varies, see Courtesy Borrower list
Number of renewals: 3

Reserve material must be returned to the library from which it was checked out. All other material can be returned to any Stony Brook University Library branch. There is a book drop located at the south entrance of the Melville Library and one to the right of the entrance of the Health Sciences Library. Interlibrary loan, media and reserve items should not be returned in the book drops.

Patrons are responsible for borrowed material until it has been checked in at the circulation desk.

All loaned material, except audio-visual and material on Reserve, is subject to recall, which shortens the original lending period. Patrons will receive an email notification to the email address on file with the new due date. Failure to return the item by the recall due date will result in overdue fines.

Most material in the general circulating collection can be renewed up to 3 times. Patrons can renew online, in person or by phone.

Reserve material must be renewed in person.

A patron can place a hold on an item that is checked out. When the item is returned, it will be held at the circulation desk for the requesting patron for up to 10 days. An email notification will be sent to the patron.

Overdue notices
Patrons are responsible for knowing when borrowed material is due to avoid overdue fines. Courtesy reminders are sent to the email address on file. Failure to receive a courtesy notice does not absolve responsibility for the accrued fines.

Proxy borrowing
Stony Brook University faculty, staff or teaching assistants may authorize up to two proxy borrowers who can charge material on your behalf. The proxy borrowers must be employed by the University or registered students. The faculty, staff or teaching assistant remains wholly responsible for the material borrowed, including the timely return of material and the payment of any library charges as a result of the loan.

Complete the Proxy Borrower form to designate proxy borrowers for your account.


The Library supports and complies with New York State Law (New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 4509) with respect to the confidentiality of library records.

All library records relating to an individual patron’s use of the library and its resources are confidential. These records may be consulted and used by library staff in the course of carrying out library operations but will not be disclosed to others except upon the request or consent of the library user, or pursuant to subpoena, court order, or otherwise required by law.

The University is authorized to provide access to student records to staff with a legitimate educational interest in such access without the student’s written consent. Such persons include those with responsibilities for campus academic, administrative or service functions, whose normal and customary job duties require ongoing or periodic access to student records. This determination is made on a case-by-case basis by the Registrar’s Office.

Student information must NOT be transmitted by any University employee to anyone outside the University (including parents or spouses) without an express written release from the student or a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.