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Borrowing @ Brandeis

Anyone with a valid Brandeis ID, can borrow materials from the Brandeis Libraries. Other classes of borrowers are listed in the chart below. In most cases borrowers (except Bentley College) will have to register in person at the library.

The Brandeis Libraries' stacks and computing clusters are open to the public, but only the borrower types listed below have borrowing privileges.

Still have questions? Email borrowing@brandeis.edu or call 781-736-5626.

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Borrower Types and General Loan Periods
Who ID Required Loan Period: Books*
Undergraduate students Brandeis ID One semester
Graduate students Brandeis ID One year
Faculty, LTS staff Brandeis ID One year
University employees Brandeis ID One year
Trustees Staff will issue a card One year
Alumni Current alumni card 60 days
BOLLI students (Current) BOLLI ID card 60 days
BLC members Card issued by home library 60 days
Bentley College Card issued by home library 60 days
OCLC-reciprocal faculty borrowing program Card issued by home library 60 days
Tauber Summer Institute Conference ID 60 days
Genesis Program (faculty) Conference ID 60 days
Genesis Program (students) Conference ID (with note from instructor) 60 days
Local area clergy Proof of status; staff will issue a card 60 days
Family cards Staff will issue a card 60 days
Proxy cards (faculty assistants) Staff will issue a card One year

* The Recreational Reading collection circulates for 60 days and all media (DVDs, LPs, CDs) circulates for one week regardless of patron status. WorldCat items also have fixed loan periods regardless of patron type; books are loaned for 60 days while CDs/DVDs are loaned for one week.

Equipment have set loan periods listed on the Laptops and Equipment page.


Library books should be renewed on or before their due date. We recommend that you keep track of your due dates and not depend on overdue notices, which are sent out as a courtesy. Remember that items borrowed via WorldCat are never eligible for renewals.

Equipment must be renewed in person with the item in hand. For more information on equipment renewals, visit the Laptops and Equipment page.

Brandeis Library views renewal of materials as an acknowledgement that you, the borrower, currently have these materials in your possession.

How do I renew Brandeis library materials?
  • Renew your books in person (receipts are available), or by emailing borrowing@brandeis.edu.

  • Material cannot be renewed over the phone, as the library cannot guarantee the accuracy of telephone transactions.

  • Or use the my account feature in OneSearch to renew library materials and monitor your account information directly.

There are two ways you can log into your account in OneSearch:
  • If you have a UNet ID, select the "I have a UNet ID" option and enter your UNet ID and password (just as you would use to access your e-mail).

  • If you are an Alumnus or a Special borrower (e.g. BLC), select the second login option, and enter your Library User ID and Library password.

What do I enter for a Library User ID?

If you are an Alumnus or a Boston Library Consortium borrower your Library User ID is the barcode number on your BLC or Alumni card.

What is my Library password?

Your Library password is assigned by the Libraries' automated computer system. It can be given to you by library staff if you present a photo ID at the Information & Borrowing desk. You may also email borrowing@brandeis.edu to request your Library password.

Can I change my Library password?

You can change your Library password once you log into your account for the first time by clicking on "Change my password".

Can I use this same Library User ID and Library password to access electronic databases and request books through Interlibrary loan?

Electronic databases and Interlibrary accounts can only be accessed using a UNet ID and password. For information on accessing electronic databases go here: E-Resources Help. Click here for questions about Interlibrary Loan.

Materials may not be eligible for renewal if:
  • the book has been recalled/requested.

  • the borrower has overdue Interlibrary loan materials or long-overdue circulating items for which replacement charges have been assessed.

  • the materials have reached their renewal limit: five (5) renewals for internal Brandeis borrowers with month-long loan periods, two (2) for internal Brandeis borrowers with semester-long loan periods, and one (1) renewal for all other affiliated borrowers (i.e. Alumni, BLC, etc). But, you can bring these books back, check them in, and then check them out for another cycle.

Why have renewal limits?

Renewal limits are needed to ensure that the collection is available to the entire community. Having more books on the Library's shelves increases your ability to browse the collection and provides more immediate access to materials than our recall system provides. Renewal limits encourage you to return books you are no longer actively using.

Renewal limits allow both the Library and borrowers to identify -- and replace or repair -- lost or damaged books more quickly. As a result of periodic review of loan records, we have fewer missing books when borrowers leave the University.

  • Books should be returned to the Information & Borrowing Desk at the Main Library.

  • A book drop is available at the Usdan facing entrance of Goldfarb Library. There is also a freestanding book drop box in the Gerstenzang building near where it intersects with Bassine and Volen.

  • Reserve items should be returned directly to the service desk during hours when the building is open. Overnight reserve loans may be returned in the book drop.

  • Email receipts are available for in-person returns.

  • To safeguard against error, all materials returned to Brandeis Library are checked in twice.

  • If a book is on loan and is due within 14 days of the current date, patrons may place a hold request on the item. A hold request does not shorten the original borrower's loan period but serves as a flag in the computer system, which appears when the item is checked in and indicates to the circulation staff that the book needs to be set aside for a patron.

  • If a book is due more than 14 days from the current date, the patron may recall the item from the current borrower. The original borrower's loan period will be reduced and s/he will have a maximum of 14 days for use of the recalled material. Recalled items are subject to fines of $2.00 per day. Recalls can be made by the borrower, or at the Information & Borrowing desk.

  • Patrons are notified by email when their requested or recalled item has arrived and will have 10 days to pick up the item before it is re-shelved.

Late Fees

Late fees are assessed to encourage prompt return of library materials and are imposed for material returned after the due date. Borrowers who keep items beyond the time allotted them are denying their fellow scholars access to these materials. If you have questions about your late fees please email borrowing@brandeis.edu

Rates of accrual
  • Fees are assessed at a rate of $0.25 per day (including weekends and holidays). Brandeis faculty members are exempt from daily fines.

  • Fees for recalled material are assessed at a rate of $2.00 per day.

  • Fees for reserve material are assessed at a rate of $2.00 per hour.

Lost book replacement fees
  • All borrowers are subject to a $110.00 lost material fee assessed for each item not returned. The fee includes cost of material as well late charges and physical processing.

  • If the value of the lost item is more than $100.00 then the borrower must pay the higher fee.

  • Borrowers who wish to reduce this fee by purchasing a replacement copy for lost material must fill out a lost material replacement form and submit it to an Information & Borrowing desk supervisor.

  • Please contact ILL staff before purchasing a replacement Interlibrary Loan item.  Some lending libraries will not accept replacement items.  
Where to pay:

Fees can be paid in person by cash, check, or Brandeis WhoCash at the Information & Borrowing desk at the Main Library. Checks should be made out to the Brandeis University Libraries and can be mailed to the following address:

Information & Borrowing Desk
Brandeis Library
MS 045, Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454-9110

In the case of Brandeis University students, all outstanding library replacement charges and library fees will be sent to the Bursar at the end of the academic year.

To avoid fees borrowers should keep close track of due dates and be certain to have a current email address on file with the Library and the Registrar's Office so that notices can reach them promptly. Failure to receive notices is not sufficient grounds for canceling library charges. Accumulation of excessive fees or long overdue items will result in suspension of borrowing privileges until the patron's record is cleared. Borrowers are responsible for monitoring their own accounts for fees and can do so directly in OneSearch.

Claims Returned

The Public Services Department takes a patron's claim that an item was returned seriously. The "claims returned" search is a process between the Public Services Department and the patron to locate a library item. To accurately represent patron records and library holdings, Public Services must have the item in hand before it can be removed from a patron's record.

Click here to submit a claims returned form.

Microfilm Requests

You can request a closed stacks microfilm in person at the Main Library Information & Borrowing desk, via an email to borrowing@brandeis.edu, or through the online webform in OneSearch.

Search Requests

If you are unable to find an item that is supposed to be in the stacks, please email borrowing@brandeis.edu.

Library Storage Requests

Materials can be retrieved from the Library Storage upon request.  

Requests will be pulled every two hours* as listed below:

  • Monday - Friday 11am - 5pm

*Reduced Hours for Holidays, Intersessions, and Summer

To request items you may:

Document Delivery

Document Delivery is a free service available to Brandeis faculty, staff, and students that allows patrons to request articles and book chapters from the Brandeis University collections in the Main Library and Library Storage.

We will deliver PDFs from print books, journals, conference proceedings, microfilms, etc., or supply from electronic resources. Simply submit requests via the Interlibrary Loan system and we will supply the PDFs within two business days (scans from microfilm may take a little longer). If Brandeis does not have it, we will send the request on to other libraries via Interlibrary Loan.

More information is available in the Interlibrary Loan Guide.