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Your Borrowing Privileges

Use the tabs below to learn about your loan periods, loan limits and how to borrow. 

Currently enrolled Northwestern undergraduates can borrow items with their WildCARDs.

Non-enrolled students doing coursework (such as students with an incomplete or on a leave of absence) can obtain a three-month Borrower's Card to check out items. Contact the Circulation Department at 847-491-7633 or circulation@northwestern.edu to learn about the required documentation and steps to obtain a card.

Note that a Borrower's card does not grant access to NU Library's online databases, but visitors can obtain a GuestNetID for database access.

Loan period and limits

The loan period below is for items from the University Library's general collection. Items from the Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center, the Music Listening Center and items on Reserve for a class have shorter loan periods.

  • Loan period: 12 weeks; items can be renewed consecutively three times.
  • Loan limits: 200 items

A due date could be shortened in the following circumstances: 

  • The item is recalled by another user; in this circumstance, you would be notified via email of the new due date (overdue fines will apply)
  • Your WildCARD expires during the loan period; in this circumstance, your materials are due on your WildCARD expiration date

Currently enrolled graduate students and faculty members can borrow items with their WildCARDs.

The following groups, which do not have WildCARDs, can obtain a Borrower's Card to check out items: 

  • Non-registered graduate students doing coursework and graduate students who arrive before course registration
  • Contract faculty and Short-Term Faculty, Lecturers, Visiting Scholars, NU Consultants or Post-Docs, or Appointees to NU (who are here for too short of a time to receive a WildCARD)

Contact the Circulation Department at 847-491-7633 or circulation@northwestern.edu to learn about the required documentation and steps to obtain a card. Note that a Borrower's card does not grant access to NU Library's online databases, but visitors can obtain a GuestNetID for database access.

Loan period and limits

The loan period below is for items from the University Library's general collection. Items from the Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center, the Music Listening Center, and items on Reserve for a class have shorter loan periods.

  • Loan period: Up to one year with items due on 5/31 of each year. Items can be renewed indefinitely.
  • Loan limits: 500 items

A due date could be shortened in the following circumstances:

  • The item is recalled by another user; in this circumstance, you would be notified via email of the new due date (overdue fines will apply)
  • Your WildCARD expires during the loan period; in this circumstance, your materials are due on your WildCARD expiration date

Staff members can borrow items with their WildCARDs. 

Employees of University contractors on the Evanston campus can obtain library borrowing privileges. Contact Circulation staff at at 847-491-7633 or circulation@northwestern.edu to learn about the required documentation and steps to obtain a card.

Loan period and limits

The loan period below is for items from the University Library's general collection. Items from the Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center and the Music Listening Center have shorter loan periods.

  • Loan period: 12 weeks; items can be renewed consecutively three times.
  • Loan limits: 200 items

A due date could be shortened in the following circumstances. 

  • The item is recalled by another user; in this circumstance, you would be notified via email of the new due date (overdue fines will apply)
  • Your WildCARD expires during the loan period; in this circumstance, your materials are due on your WildCARD expiration date

Those outside of the Northwestern community may be able borrow items in the following circumstances:

  • Domestic partners and spouses of Northwestern employees are eligible for WildCARDs and are granted borrowing privileges with those WildCARDs. Partners and spouses of current graduate students must obtain a "Proxy" card. 
  • Northwestern alumni can gain access to the library using an Alumni Association Card but must obtain an Alumni Borrower's Card to check out items.
  • Evanston residents over the age of 18 may obtain a three-month or one-year Borrower's Card. (Please note that the Evanston Resident Borrower's card does not include borrowing privileges from Interlibrary Loan, the Music Listening Center, Multimedia, Law, Health Sciences, Art, Core, or Reserve Collections.)
  • Those from another University with which Northwestern has a borrowing agreement, any of the Big Ten Schools, the University of Chicago and Loyola University, may obtain a Borrower's Card. Additional borrowing details can be found on our Reciprocal University Borrowing webpage.

Contact the Circulation Department at 847-491-7633 or circulation@northwestern.edu to learn about the required documentation and steps to obtain a card. Note that a Borrower's card does not grant access to NU Library's online databases, but visitors can obtain a GuestNetID for database access.

Loan period and limits

The loan period below is for items from the University Library's general collection. Items from the Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center and the Music Listening Center have shorter loan periods.

Patron type Loan period Loan limit
Spouse or Domestic Partner of Faculty, Graduate Students or Staff 12 weeks 100 items
Northwestern Alumni 4 weeks 100 items
Loyola and UIC Guest Borrowers 4 weeks 100 items
U of C and CIC Guest Borrowers 12 weeks 100 items
Evanston Residents 4 weeks 25 items
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Members 4 weeks 100 items

Note that a due date could be shortened if an item is recalled by another user; in this circumstance, you would be notified via email of the new due date (overdue fines will apply).

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