General Circulation

The Stony Brook University Libraries provide access to over 2 million volumes and hundreds of databases. Our open stacks policy allows browsing for all users. An SBU Library card is not required when using material (with the exception of reserve material) and resources within the Libraries.  Visitors who need to print can find information about printing here.

Borrowing privileges are for current SBU students, faculty, staff and courtesy borrowers.  All library users are expected to follow library policies.

Abuse of library privileges may result in the loss of those privileges. Loss of library privileges will include an eight-week block on borrowing and interlibrary loan services.

Borrowing Eligibility

Library borrowing privileges are available to:

  • Currently enrolled/registered SBU students
  • Active faculty and staff
  • Emeritus faculty
  • Alumni (contact the Alumni Office for membership card)
  • Courtesy Borrowers

Eligible borrowers must provide a government-issued photo ID (SUNY ID card, driver’s license, etc.) for service.

If you are not associated with any of the affiliations listed above, you may be eligible to borrow through one of our Courtesy Borrower programs.

Courtesy Borrowing

Borrowing privileges may be extended to patrons who are not enrolled or employed at Stony Brook University.  Please see the Courtesy Borrower list for more information.

Our Community Borrowing program extends borrowing privileges to Stony Brook University alumni, local (Nassau and Suffolk County) health practitioners and individuals with Community Borrower Cards for an annual fee.  

Participants in our Courtesy Borrowing program are eligible to borrow library books at all campus libraries.  Other resources such as interlibrary loan, off-campus access to databases and recalls may not available to guest borrowers.

Registration information

Contact the Alumni Office (631-632-6330) for details about obtaining your alumni card. Bring your alumni card and a photo ID to the Main Stacks desk Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm to set up your account.
Community Borrowers
Individuals wishing to have borrowing privileges at Stony Brook University Libraries may have guest borrowing privileges by completing a Community Borrower Program Card Application. The form and the $60 annual fee can be brought or mailed to:


Community Borrower Program
Main Stacks-Circulation, 3rd floor
Melville Library
Stony Brook University
100 Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3339
Guest Faculty/Student & Affiliate Borrowrs

Faculty and students enrolled in other SUNY schools or colleges in New York state, staff at Brookhaven National Lab and Cold Spring Harbor Lab, members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and others can set up a library account as Guest/Affiliate borrowers.  

Please review the SBU Libraries Courtesy Borrowers list or contact us at 631.632.7115 or for eligibility.



Reserve material must be returned to the library from which it was checked out. All other material can be returned to any Stony Brook University Library branch. There is a book drop located at the south entrance of the Melville Library and one to the right of the entrance of the Health Sciences Library. Interlibrary loan, media and reserve items should not be returned in the book drops.

Patrons are responsible for borrowed material until it has been checked in at the circulation desk.


All loaned material, except audio-visual and material on Reserve, is subject to recall, which shortens the original lending period. Patrons will receive an email notification to the email address on file with the new due date. Failure to return the item by the recall due date will result in overdue fines.


Most material in the general circulating collection can be renewed up to 3 times. Patrons can renew online, in person or by phone. If you are renewing online, you will need your NetID and password to access My Library Account.  Once you are logged in, click on My Account and then on the Loans link.

Reserve material must be renewed in person.


A patron can place a hold on an item that is checked out. When the item is returned, it will be held at the circulation desk for the requesting patron for up to 10 days. An email notification will be sent to the patron.

Overdue notices

Patrons are responsible for knowing when borrowed material is due to avoid overdue fines. Courtesy reminders are sent to the email address on file. Failure to receive a courtesy notice does not absolve responsibility for the accrued fines.

Proxy borrowing

Stony Brook University faculty, staff or teaching assistants may authorize up to two proxy borrowers who can charge material on your behalf. The proxy borrowers must be employed by the University or registered students. The faculty, staff or teaching assistant remains wholly responsible for the material borrowed, including the timely return of material and the payment of any library charges as a result of the loan.

Complete the Proxy Borrower form to designate proxy borrowers for your account.


Please refer to the Confidentiality Policy