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Borrowing Materials

Most members of the Northwestern community can borrow materials using their Wildcard. Other patrons can obtain a Borrower's Card to check out books. Borrowing privileges, such as loan periods and items limits, vary slightly by patron type. Learn about borrowing policies & procedures. 

If an item isn't returned or renewed when it is due, it will be overdue and may incur a fine. You could also be charged for lost and damaged items. See how we handle overdue, lost or damaged items.

Requesting materials

Materials can be requested through NUsearch and either picked up from University (Main) Library or delivered to your address.

If you need scans or reproductions of materials, please see Reproduce Materials.

Book pickup

Northwestern University Libraries offers book pickup for faculty, staff and students.

  1. Sign in to Your Account with your NetID or username and password.
  2. Click on the "Get It" tab in the search results, and then select "Request" from the request options.
  3. Select University (Main) Library from the "Pickup Location" drop-down menu.
  4. Requests are processed instantly by the system. If you are blocked from submitting a request, please contact the Main Circulation desk by email.

You’ll receive an email when your item is ready.

Pickup will be at the Main Circulation Desk in University (Main) Library, 1970 Campus Drive. Students, faculty and staff accessing the Library to pick up requested materials are expected to follow University health and safety guidelines by maintaining social distancing, wearing face masks and monitoring personal health.

Off-campus delivery

Northwestern Libraries is offering off-campus delivery for collections material to your home address. Interlibrary Loan books can also be shipped to a home address. The Libraries will make one shipment a week per patron to an off-campus location. If you request multiple items, they will be packed and shipped for once a week and mailed with UPS.

We will ship all circulating collections, including interlibrary loans, CDs, and DVDs.

  1. Sign in to Your Account with your NetID or username and password.
  2. Click on the "Get It" tab in the search results, and then select "Request" from the request options.
  3. Select "Home Address" from the "Pickup/Delivery Location" drop-down menu. Supply the address in the "Notes" field.

Provide a full street address and zip code in the Notes field. Requests with incomplete addresses will be held. You will receive a confirmation email.

If you are on campus but unable to safely come to the library, use this process and supply your campus address in the notes field. Your materials will be delivered to you via campus mail. If you would like to request Interlibrary Loan delivery, please see Requesting Unavailable Items.

Renew materials

You can renew items through your Your Account online, using either your NetID (for Northwestern faculty, staff and students) or assigned user name and password (for borrowers using a Borrower's Card).

After logging in, scroll down to the section titled Items Checked Out, where you will see a list of the items currently checked out to you, along with their due dates. Simply click the checkboxes next to the items you would like to renew, then click Renew Items.