University of Chicago Patrons

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Borrowing Privileges at NU for University of Chicago Patrons

University of Chicago faculty, staff and currently registered students may gain access to the Northwestern University libraries by showing their valid University of Chicago ID at the building entrance. They are also eligible to receive borrowing privileges at all Northwestern libraries with the exception of the law and medical libraries.

Who Is Eligible?

Faculty, benefits-eligible staff and registered students with current Library Privileges at U of C may obtain a borrower's card, which entitles the holder to access and borrowing privileges at all libraries on Northwestern's Evanston campus (excluding the United Library of the Garrett and Seabury Theological Seminaries) and the Schaffner Library on the Northwestern Chicago campus. The agreement does not include the Northwestern Law and Medical Libraries.

The access and borrowing arrangements do not apply to proxies (authorized borrowers); alumni; retired faculty (except emeritus faculty); visiting scholars; children and/or spouses or domestic partners of faculty, staff or students; Library Society members; Crerar corporate members; Lab School students or fee borrowers.

Obtaining an NU Library Borrower's Card

There are three ways to apply for a Northwestern card:

You may receive a card immediately by presenting your U of C ID at the Circulation Desk at Northwestern's Main Library (see hours below). Staff there will verify your status with the Privileges Office at Regenstein Library and issue you a card on the spot. You may also apply for a card at the Schaffner Library, located on the Chicago campus.

To arrange to have the card sent to the Chicago Privileges Office, you have two options:

1. You may visit the Privileges Offices in the Regenstein Library and complete an application for a Northwestern borrower's card. The  library card will be available to be picked up from U of C's Privileges Office approximately seven days after the initial application.


2. You may complete the online application. The library card will be available to be picked up from U of C's Privileges Office approximately seven days after the initial form request, or the library card will be mailed to you, depending on your preference.

The Northwestern card expires on June 15 of the academic year, and may be renewed annually with verification of your status at the University.

Loan Periods

University of Chicago patrons may borrow most Northwestern stacks books for 12 weekst; the loan period for material from the Transportation Library is 4 weeks. Three renewals are allowed before the material must be brought in for checkout or return.


Renewals may be made in person at Northwestern Library circulation desks by presenting the book(s) and your borrower ID; or by using My Account on NUcat, Northwestern's online catalog. All University of Chicago patrons may renew online 3 times before the material must be returned or brought in to start a new loan cycle.


Books may be recalled at any time; if this happens, you will receive a recall notice via email or postal mail with a revised due date. Every borrower is guaranteed a minimum 10-day initial loan period with books from the general collection.

Fines and Overdue Blocks

While Northwestern does not charge daily fines on regular loan books, there is a $1.00 per day fine for overdue recalled items. Once a book is 30 days overdue it is automatically marked with a “lost” status by the library system. A replacement fee and a non-refundable $10.00 processing fee are automatically assessed for every book overdue by 30 days or more. Replacement fees are a minimum of $50.00 to $125.00 per book (depending on the owning library or collection).

Fines on overdue Reserve items are charged at $1.00 per hour for books on 2-hour or 4-hour reserve; $5.00 per hour for books on 1-day reserve; and $1.50 per day for books on 3-day reserve.

University of Chicago patrons who hold overdue regular, reserve or recalled Northwestern library material will have a block placed against both their Chicago and Northwestern borrowing privileges until the delinquent material is returned.

Returning Books

In addition to returning material directly to Northwestern, University of Chicago borrowers may return books to any of the University of Chicago libraries. Please note: any Northwestern Library item returned to the University of Chicago Library will not be checked in until it reaches the Northwestern Library. Please plan accordingly by assuming a minimum 7-day transit between the libraries, during which fines may accrue. Patrons will be held responsible for any book returned in this manner until it is checked in at the owning library.

Contact Information

Northwestern University Library Circulation Desk

1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

(847) 491-7633

(847) 491-6633

Privileges Hours for the Academic Year:
8:30am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday
10:00am to 1:00pm Saturday

Summer Hours:
8:30am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday

University of Chicago ID and Privileges Office

Joseph Regenstein Library
Room 100F
1100 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

(773) 702-8782
(773) 702-3344

(773) 702-6623


Regular Academic Year Hours:
8:30am to 7:00pm Monday-Thursday
8:30am to 5:00pm Friday
9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday

Summer Hours:
8:30am to 5:00pm Monday-Friday
9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday