Borrowing Privileges

Registering with the Libraries

All faculty, staff and students officially affiliated with Penn State and residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are permitted to register with the Libraries. Faculty, staff and students including wage or part-time staff and non-degree or part-time students are eligible for Penn State IDs that will serve as library cards. Penn State IDs are available at any ID office. Pennsylvania state residents having proper ID (PA drivers license or state ID) with current address will be issued a Resident Borrowers card by the Libraries.

Please Note: A viable Penn State ID or Resident Borrowers card must be presented whenever borrowing materials from the Libraries.

Penn State students, including World Campus students, are typically registered automatically with the library. Penn State faculty and staff will typically be registered with the library after activating their Penn State Accounts.

Pennsylvania state residents may register with the libraries by first creating a Penn State Account. Bring you Penn State Account ID to any Penn State library to complete your registration and receive your borrower card.


Loan Periods/ Account Limits

Limits on Loan Periods and Numbers of Items
Patron Status Loan Period Maximum Number 
of Items
Undergraduate semester  200
Graduate semester 500
Faculty / Staff semester 500
Retirees and Faculty Emeritus semester 500
State Resident/ Penn State Alumni Association members 28 days 100


Your Responsibilities

As a borrower, you are also responsible for all materials charged to your account. Borrowing materials "for" someone else with your card, loaning library materials charged to your account to another, or giving library materials to someone else to return for you does not alleviate your responsibility for such materials.


Address Changes

All changes to your postal and/or email address must be reported directly to the University Libraries. The Libraries are not notified of any address changes reported to the Registrar, Bursar, or any other Penn State office.

You may change your address with the Libraries online at My Library Account or at any Penn State Libraries location.


Library Notices

Notices for materials on hold, and overdue materials, overdue and replacement fees, will be sent by email, unless requested otherwise. Any changes in address must be reported to the Libraries.

Please note: Regular overdue notices are sent as a courtesy reminder only. Failure to receive any notice does not relieve a borrower of the responsibility of returning an item by the date due.



  • Renew Penn State materials online through My Library Account.
  • Faculty, staff, graduate and professional students and Schreyer Scholars receive unlimited renewals of most materials.
  • Resident (non-Penn State) borrowers may renew most materials three times.
  • Videos for all borrowers may be renewed four times.
  • Renewal of interlibrary loan is subject to the policies of the lending institution.
  • E-ZBorrow (PALCI) materials may not be renewed.
  • Materials with holds, periodicals, equipment (laptops, cameras, etc.), course reserves and special permission loans may not be renewed.


Returning Materials

  • All materials borrowed from the general stacks may be returned to any Penn State Libraries' location statewide.*

  • Periodicals, course reserve and all special permission materials should be returned to the service desk from which they were borrowed.

*University Park borrowers may also return any general stacks Penn State materials at Schlow Centre Region Library in State College. Materials borrowed from Schlow may be returned at any University Park library. After-hours book returns may be found at any Penn State library. At University Park, book returns are also available in the HUB and the Earth and Engineering Sciences building.


Vacations, Sabbaticals, Leaves of Absence

Patrons who will be out of the area for any extended period of time in excess of one week are strongly encouraged to return all Library materials, or to leave any Library materials with someone who will have access to any Library notices that may be sent to the borrower. Patrons on vacation, sabbatical or leave of absence are responsible for any Library materials that may be overdue during their absence.


Semester Breaks

The University Libraries remain open through all semester breaks and intersessions, with the exception of official University holidays. Check library hours.


Fees and Fee Payment

The University Libraries charges fees to replace lost materials and processing fees to ensure quality and integrity of the collection. Delinquency fines are charged when other library users are deprived of the use of materials due to late returns, special permission, course reserve materials and certain high-demand materials.

Fees may be paid by cash, check or money order (sorry, no credit or debit cards) at any Penn State Libraries' lending desk. The Commons Desk at Pattee Library also accepts LionCash. Any fees that remain unpaid will be referred to the following for collection:

  • Penn State Students — Unpaid library fees will referred to the Bursar's Office once each semester and included in billing for semester tuition and fees.  All fees transferred to the Bursar's Office must be paid to the Bursar by mail or in person at 103 Shields Building. Library fees that have been transferred to the Bursar's Office cannot be paid at the Libraries.
  • Penn State Faculty and Staff — Unpaid library fees will be payroll deducted.  Replacement fees for lost materials will be payroll deducted six months after the first bill notice is sent.  All other library fees will be payroll deducted sixty days after the first bill notice. 
  • Resident and Alumni — Unpaid library fees will be forwarded to a collection agency thirty days after the first bill notice is sent.  A $9.00 collection processing fee will be assessed each time fees are referred for collection. 


Account Blocks

Your account may be blocked for several reasons, such as overdue materials or unpaid fees.  Visit your local Penn State library service desk to resolve a blocked account.


Lost or Damaged Material

If library material has been lost by a patron, the Libraries will assess replacement fees of $125.00 and overdue fees if applicable. Higher replacement fees and processing fees of $25 may be assessed for some materials.

Damaged material will be assessed by library staff to determine if the damage is repairable.  If so, rebinding or repair fees will be assessed.  If the damage cannot be repaired then replacement fees will be assessed. 

Replace Lost Materials — Borrowers may opt to replace lost materials rather than pay replacement fees. Replacement of material is subject to library staff approval. Processing, overdue and rebinding fees may apply if replacement material is accepted.


Overdue Materials

All materials borrowed from the general stacks (i.e. materials that are not subject to restricted loan periods) may be returned or renewed within 30 days of the due date without fee. This grace period applies to materials from the general stacks only and does not include videos, periodicals, or reserve materials. 

Materials that have not been returned or renewed within 30 days will be presumed lost by the Libraries' and fees for lost and processing will be assessed. Please note that materials for which replacement costs have been assessed cannot be renewed. If such materials are returned within a month of the bill date, lost and processing fees will be waived, although the patron will still be responsible for any overdue fees. If the materials are returned more than a month after the date billed, the borrower is responsible for the entire processing fee, plus overdue fees if applicable.  Borrowers are responsible for all fees for materials returned more than six months after the bill date.


Penn State Alumni

  • Penn State alumni who reside in Pennsylvania and have valid photo ID are eligible for a library borrowers card.
  • Current members of the Penn State Alumni Association are eligible to register for an Alumni Borrowers Card. A current Penn State Alumni Association 10-digit membership ID card is required to receive an Alumni Borrowers Card.
  • Alumni borrowers who also register online through the library with Penn State Accounts may:
    • place holds on items that are not currently available by clicking on the “I Want It” button from an item screen in the Libraries Catalog,
    • view their borrowing account information online, and
    • renew their borrowed items online.

When out-of-state alumni wish to borrow materials, the requirement is valid ID plus membership in the Alumni Association, substantiated by a membership card. A resident of Pennsylvania, who is also a member of the Alumni Association, may be issued an alumni borrowing card if the Association membership card is presented.

Alumni Database Access

Additionally, Alumni Association members may take advantage of a growing number of databases. Visit the Alumni Library's Members Only Research Tools page for a listing of databases and instructions for accessing. Users must enter their name and 10-digit membership ID to log in. 

See Penn State Accounts for additional Penn State information.


Pennsylvania Residents

Pennsylvania residents are eligible to register for a Penn State Library Borrower Card that allows you to borrow up to 100 books, DVDs, CDs and more. Residents should first create a Penn State Account and bring their Penn State nine-digit ID, their User ID (usually something like abc5000 and a driver's license or current photo ID to a Penn State library to complete their registration.

After obtaining a borrower card, residents may also register for a Penn State account. Please visit our Pennsylvania Residents page for additional information.

Visiting Scholars

Faculty or scholars from academic institutions outside of Pennsylvania may apply for borrowing privileges.

Faculty, staff and students at Pennsylvania academic institutions may register as Pennsylvania resident borrowers.


Penn State Faculty Emeritus and Retirees

Faculty Emeritus retain all faculty library privileges; retirees retain borrowing privileges and Interlibrary Loan services. See the information below regarding access to online resources and exceptions.

Access to Online Resources

Note that some of our online resources, like databases, are available only to current students, faculty, and staff due to vendor or publisher licensing agreements, with which we must comply to avoid any legal ramifications. Per Penn State’s Office of Information Security, Faculty Emeritus are considered current employees, so they are able to access licensed resources.

Retirees and PA residents with Penn State Accounts may access digital resources on-site at any Penn State library. Penn State retirees are also eligible for Interlibrary Loan services.

Requests for assistance should be directed to Access Services at