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Borrowing Materials

Most members of the Northwestern community can borrow materials using their Wildcard. Campus is currently closed to visitors. 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

Currently, our stacks are closed. All materials must be requested through NUsearch and either picked up from University (Main) Library or delivered to your address.

Please note, an active WildCard is required to enter the building.

If you need access to non-circulating materials, please see the page on Personal Book Carts. If you need scans or reproductions of materials, please see Reproduce Materials.

Book pickup

For Spring 2021, Northwestern University Libraries will be offering 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 at 847-491-7633 or by email.

You’ll receive an email when your item is ready, with a link allowing you to schedule a pickup window.

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.

If you currently have books waiting for you on the hold shelf, schedule an appointment here: Northwestern Libraries Appointments.

If you would like to use an item in your carrel, please contact to make arrangements to pick the item up.

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 the address in that confirmation is incorrect, please contact as soon as possible.

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.