Borrowing Materials

You may check out up to 50 items* at a time with your NYPL Card, including a maximum of 10 DVDs.

Library materials may be borrowed for the following lengths of time:

Material Type Loan Period
Books, Book/Recording Sets, Recorded Books, Pamphlets, CDs, Periodicals, Picture Collection Materials, Scores, Librettos, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Material 3 weeks
New Books 2 weeks
eNYPL items Varies. See eNYPL site for details.
Express Books 1 week

DVDs, VHS, VCDs, CD-ROMs

1 week
DVD Express 4 days
Reserve Films (LPA) 60-90 minutes
(in-library only)
Wireless Laptops

45 minutes
(in-library only)

Research Library Materials 1 day
(in-library only)
Scholar Materials Consult the appropriate division

You are responsible for returning borrowed items on time, and for any fines and fees associated with overdue or non-returned items.  A receipt indicating the date due is issued with every item you borrow.

Please note that your Library card alone does not allow access to certain Special Collections; check with the appropriate division for details.

*Educator Borrowers may checkout up to 100 items.

How do I request Library materials?

Using The Library’s online catalog, you may request up to 15* circulating items at a time to be delivered to the Library location of your choice.  You may also place requests with the assistance of a Library staff member. 

Only certain circulating items in the catalog may be requested.*  If you see the Place Hold option next to an item you are interested in that is not available at your neighborhood library, click Place Hold and enter your library card number and PIN.  On the next screen, select your preferred pickup location from the drop-down menu.  If you need the item by a certain date, you may also enter a Cancel If Not Filled By date.  Otherwise, your request will remain active for one year, or until filled.

All requests for Library materials are on a first come, first served basis and are subject to availability.

Using your Library account, you may cancel requests or change the selected pickup location until the item has been routed to the pickup location.

Once you receive notification that your items are available, you have 7 days to pick them up before they are returned to circulation. Please collect all items being held for you at once.**

Library materials stored off-site and viewable only in designated Research Libraries may be requested through The Library’s catalog.  Learn more about access to off-site materials.

*Holds cannot be placed on Book Express and DVD Express titles, CD Express titles, videogames,  or items that are non-circulating, such as reference materials.

**The library card used to request the item must be the same card used to check out the item.  In order to allow for a family member or other proxy borrower to check out library materials requested by another, both parties must agree to it in person at a library location. An explanatory note will be placed on the records by library staff and they will be linked.   Note that this applies only to active requests and not additional checkouts or other use of the card.

Materials in our Research Libraries may be requested for on-site use only.

*Eligible Educator Borrowers may request up to 50 items at a time.

How do I renew Library materials?

Items that have not been requested by another borrower and have not exceeded the maximum number of renewals become eligible for renewal 2 days into the current loan period.  You may renew circulating items up to 10 times.* 

Note that borrowers remain responsible for any fines that may accumulate before an overdue item is renewed.   The Library cannot consider an item as having successfully been renewed if we have no record of the transaction. If any of the following renewal outlets are temporarily out of service, patrons are expected to renew via another listed method.

We recommend that borrowers do not wait until the last minute before renewing an item, in the event it cannot be renewed.

As long as your account is in good standing, eligible materials may be renewed:

  • Online
  • In person
  • Through Self-Service Checkout
  • Via The Library’s Automated Telephone Renewal Service: (212) 262-7444
  • Via a call to your neighborhood library

Note that online & telephone renewal is not available during the off-peak hours of 1:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. EST due to required system backups.

When are materials considered late?

All Library materials must be returned on or before their due date.  Initial due dates are listed on receipts received at checkout.  Due dates extended through the renewal of eligible materials are available by accessing your Library account for renewals performed online or by phone or through new receipts issued for in-person or self-service checkout transactions.

Overdue materials may be subject to late fines.  

The Library offers courtesy alerts to cardholders who have provided a valid e-mail address on their patron record.  These alerts are sent by e-mail as an item approaches its due date for the original checkout.  Subsequent courtesy notices will not be sent out for items that have been renewed.  Failure to receive a courtesy alert does not resolve the borrower from any overdue fines that may accumulate.  Therefore, it is important that patrons take note of an item's due date on the receipt issued at the point of checkout, or when the item is renewed online or by telephone.

Borrowing privileges are suspended for users who have been sent a second overdue notice for any currently checked out item. A second overdue notice is sent approximately 2 weeks after an item becomes overdue.

Where can I return Library materials?

The Library offers universal returns; most circulating material can be returned to any New York Public Library location in the Bronx, Manhattan or Staten Island, except the Schomburg Center. Likewise, pickup of holds and payment of fines and fees may take place at any Library location with the exception of Schomburg.

The Library also offers a number of convenient book drops, many of which are available 24 hours.

I think I have returned an item, but it's still attached to my record?

Patrons are responsible for any library materials borrowed on their card until they are checked in at a New York Public Library location and cleared from their list of checked out items.  If you believe you have returned an item, you must call or visit The Library to claim it returned.  To expedite the process, it is strongly suggested that you visit the Library from which you borrowed the item and request staff check the shelves for it. 

If the item is not found, you will have until the end of The Library's billing cycle to locate it and return it before a replacement charge is applied to your record.  Until the item is found or replacement charges are paid, you will continue to receive overdue notices and the item will appear on your record with its status changed to that of a Claimed Returned/Disputed Item.  This status will also be applied in cases where an item appears on your record that you do not recall checking out and the same notice and billing cycle apply.

The surest way to know that an item is no longer checked out to you is to request a return receipt at check-in.

Downloading from our digital collections

Cardholders have access to downloadable books, movies and music through eNYPL and other digital collections.  For additional information, visit eBooks, Music and Video.

Accessing Library databases

The New York Public Library offers access to many electronic databases on a variety of topics from the arts and humanities to science and technology available both in The Library and at home.  Many of these databases include full-text articles, audio and video content, and resources in languages other than English.

Please note that many databases that can be accessed from outside the Library will still require you to enter your Library card number and PIN.

*Effective September 1, 2010

WHY WE FIGHT: HIV and AIDS in New York City Neighborhoods - Call for Artists, Writers, and Activists

Opportunity to study and collaborate with artist, writer, and activist Avram Finkelstein.

In conjunction with the WHY WE FIGHT: Remembering AIDS Activism exhibition, The New York Public Library will be hosting a project to create site-specific installations in four library branches—across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—that explore the ways that HIV and AIDS are currently affecting these local New York City communities. The Library is putting out a call 

Read More ›
24 Frames per Second

24 Frames per Second

Everything and anything to do with with film and film programs at the New York Public Library.

Across A Crowded Room
Africa and the African Diaspora

Africa and the African Diaspora

The history and culture of Africans and African descendants around the world.

Archives

Archives: Out of the Box

This blog channel explores the library’s world-class and ever-growing archival holdings. We’ll examine these unique materials and the works produced by researchers consulting them. Open the box and delve into the archives with us!

Barrier-Free Library

Barrier-Free Library

The New York Public Library strives for total accessibility, no matter what our differences may be. Join us as we move down the path toward that goal.

Blog en Español

Blog en Español

Blog en Español incluye una serie selectiva de listas de libros nuevos en español de ficción y no ficción (Novedades), y otras listas conmemorativas y festivas de obras que pueden estar disponibles en diferentes formatos de audio, video y electrónico, además de información sobre programas y servicios ofrecidos en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York.

Community Information

Community Information

Resources and services for residents of the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Can't find what you need? Also try the Community Information Search in NYPL's Best of the Web.

eReading Room

eReading Room: The future of books at NYPL

There are so many new ways to access books and other digital reading matter on personal computers and portable devices. How to keep up? Library staff offer tips and tricks to get the most out of free ebooks online and our own eNYPL services, and share occasional thoughts on the future of reading.

Facing the Page

Facing the Page: Adult Learning Centers

Exploring adult literacy at the library. The voices and experiences of students and volunteer tutors at our Adult Learning Centers.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Uncovering the edible NYPL in books, menus, and ephemera.

For Teachers

For Teachers

This blog highlights the opportunities and resources for teachers that are available throughout the the NYPL system. Learn more about our primary sources, professional development opportunities and student learning experiences. Let NYPL help you reach your teaching and learning goals!

Freedom of Thought

Freedom of Thought

Reflections on the work of NYPL Correctional Services, promoting access to knowledge for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in our communities.

Hand-Made

Hand-Made

Are you interested in sewing and knitting, book arts and letterpress printing, traditional crafts and the new DIY, sewists of yesterday and today, vintage-inspired design, and all things handmade? Then join in the conversation at Hand-Made. We'll share information on unique items from the Library's collections as well as details on Library events that cater to the curious crafter in us all.

Inside NYPL

Inside NYPL

Dig deeper into NYPL and learn about new programs, projects, and services for patrons of all ages.

Je vois la vie en blogue… @vec NYPL

Je vois la vie en blogue… @vec NYPL

Bonjour francophones et francophiles new-yorkais! Bloguons en français avec la Bibliothèque publique de New York.

Bienvenus à ce nouvel espace dans le Web où toutes les personnes intéressées de célébrer les cultures francophones sont invitées à partager des idées et opinions sur différents sujets, soit en littérature, histoire, musique, événements, faits divers et plusieurs autres thèmes.

Job Search Central

Job Search Central: Looking for Work?

Let the Library guide your search for employment with everything from resume help to databases to classes.

LGBT@NYPL

LGBT@NYPL

Connecting you with the LGBT collections, programs, and expertise that The New York Public Library has to offer.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

Part of NYPL's Mission is to inspire lifelong learning. No matter your age, where you are in life or what new thing you are trying to learn, you can follow this channel to get suggested resources as well as support and inspiration.

LIVE from the NYPL

LIVE from the NYPL

The before and afterlife of LIVE events. Learn about speakers, get background readings, interviews, clips and more. The conversation about the conversation.

Musical of the Month

Musical of the Month

Each month, a libretto of an important early American musical in a variety of electronic formats, plus associated photographs, vocal scores, and the occasional audio file.

My Library

My Library

Who I am.
Why I use the library.
...And what keeps me coming back.

Next Chapter

Next Chapter: A 50+ Library Blog

Don't despair if you are a Boomer, or a Silent, or a Greatest — the public library is with you every step of the way! This channel covers services, programs and other items of interest for the active older adult.

NYC Neighborhoods

NYC Neighborhoods

Five boroughs, 300 square miles, 6,375 miles of streets, 8.3 million people... hundreds of neighborhoods.

This channel covers the history, culture, people, hustle and bustle and goings-on of New York City.

NYPL Labs

NYPL Labs

NYPL Labs is an experimental technology unit that works closely with curators to create tools that expand the range of interaction, interpretation and reuse of research library collections and data. Learn more

Paperless Research

Paperless Research

The New York Public Library subscribes to hundreds of online databases and other information tools. Some are available onsite while others can be accessed at home using your library card number. This blog channel offers tips and tricks on getting the most out of online resources.

Periodically Speaking

Periodically Speaking

A reading series providing a major venue for emerging writers to present their work while emphasizing the diversity of America’s literary magazines and the magazine collections of The New York Public Library. Each event presents writers from three influential literary magazines—one poet, one fiction writer, one nonfiction writer—introduced by their editors. This blog provides coverage and context around Periodically Speaking events.

Poetry Month

Poetry Month

Each April, librarians throughout NYPL post readings, discussions and events celebrating National Poetry Month, a time when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

Popular Music

Popular Music

Libraries are thought of as quiet places, but that doesn't mean the NYPL doesn't know how to rock out. This channel will highlight popular music found in the library's collections.

Preservation

Preservation

News about the Library's preservation efforts and information for those interested in preserving their own collections. About the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division.

Reader’s Den

Reader’s Den

The Reader’s Den is an online book discussion group offering library readers with busy lifestyles a convenient way to connect with books and The New York Public Library.  This virtual discussion is accessible 24/7 and gives readers an opportunity to spark insightful discussions with the surrounding community by reading at his or her own pace.

The NYPL Broadcast

The NYPL Broadcast

The NYPL Broadcast serves up the latest in audio and video recordings made at The New York Public Library, everything from short profiles of our staff and collections, to full-length recordings of our LIVE from the NYPL, KidsLive and TeenLIVE programs.

The Ticketless Traveler

The Ticketless Traveler

Travel the world without leaving your chair with these book, film and music recommendations.

Three Faiths

Three Faiths

Librarians, curators, programmers, educators, and users share their thoughts on faith, and discuss the Library's Three Faiths exhibition. Check here regularly from October to February 2011 for: behind-the-scenes glimpses at the making of the exhibition; art, literature, and music at the intersection of Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam; lively discussions about the similarities and differences among these three religions... And more!

Vandamm

Vandamm

This blog channel is inspired by the exhibition at the Library for the Performing Arts, Poet of Light: Florence Vandamm & the Vandamm Studio, which is on view from September 2013 through February 2014. The exhibition samples the photographs, key sheets and negatives are becoming available on the Digital Gallery.

Women's History Month

Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, each March, NYPL librarians present a monthlong series of posts highlighting the many amazing women they've discovered through the print and online resources of The New York Public Library.

All Possible Worlds

All Possible Worlds: Conversations on Voltaire's 'Candide'

Based in the recently closed exhibition Candide at 250: Scandal and Success, this blog traces the vectors Voltaire's book has taken through the popular and scholarly imagination. Posts frequently reference passages and commentaries in an experimental online edition, Candide 2.0. Learn more...

Design by the Book

Design by the Book

Mining the Library's collections for art and craft inspiration.

Duke Jazz Series

Duke Jazz Series

Coverage and context on The Duke Jazz Series and Talks at the Library for the Performing Arts.

Haiti

Haiti

NYPL resources on the history, culture and geography of Haiti, and information on rebuilding and relief efforts in the aftermath of the January, 2010 earthquake.

The Great American Revue

The Great American Revue

Revues and other topical popular entertainment of the early 20th century.