Mendel Music Library - Policies

Mendel Music Library

Today's Hours

  • Open 12:00 pm to 5:45 pm
    For summer, holidays or recess hours, please consult the full schedule

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Information about the policies of the Arthur Mendel Music Library.


These policies apply only to materials at the Music Library. Please consult other branches or Firestone Library for their circulation policies. Pursuant to the University Library policy on patron confidentiality, the Library does not release information regarding patrons' use of library resources.

Borrowing Privileges

Borrowing privileges are limited to members of the Princeton University community. All others must arrange borrowing privileges through the Princeton University Library Access Office. General visitor information can be found on the main Visitor Services page. The loan periods for all items located in the Mendel Music Library are described below.

Borrower Responsibilities

Items charged out on a personal identification card remain the responsibility of the individual named on that card. All eligible borrowers are expected to have a current address on file at the Firestone Circulation Desk.

Borrowers are responsible for recalls at all times. If circumstances require individuals to leave town, they should make arrangements for responding to the recall and the prompt return of the item(s) to the Library. Items charged to an individual must be returned in good condition, without evidence of defacement, mutilation, or water damage.


Mendel Music Library items may be renewed either in person, by phone, or by email ( Items may also be renewed online - this is the fastest and easiest method to renew your items. You may not be able to renew an item if another user has placed a recall or hold request on that item, or if it has been recalled for Reserves. You may also be prevented from renewing a book if your borrowing privileges have been suspended. Renewal requests must be received on or before the due date to avoid overdue fines.

Please Note: Audiovisual materials that are on loan to faculty and graduate students for the entire year must be brought to the Mendel circulation desk for renewal.

Fines and Fees

Fines will accrue at $.25/day for items that remain charged to a patron beyond the stated loan period. Fines for recalled items will accrue at $1.00/day. Fines for reserve items are $0.01 per minute to a maximum of $15.00. Overdue fines for items from the Music Library are to be paid at the Firestone Library Circulation Desk. Fines for lost items from the Music Library must also be paid at the Firestone Library Circulation Desk; a lost item replacement fee of $50 and a processing fee of $50 will be assessed for each item lost. Please consult the circulation supervisor or music librarian ( concerning lost items.

Reserve Materials

Reserve books, CDs and DVDs circulate for 3 hours. Each patron is limited to 1 sound recording, 1 video recording, 1 book, and 1 score at a time. Reserve materials may be charged overnight approximately 3 hours before the library closes; these items will be due the following morning within the first business hour. Please note that the Music Library does not permit patrons to place holds or recalls on any reserve materials

Loan Periods

Music Dept. Faculty and Graduate Students

Regular Circulating Books and Scores (MUS) Sound & Video Recordings SV/SVF/MUSPE SVL Microfilm
Academic Year: due June 15th Academic Year: June 15th Only with permission In house, only with permission 24 Hour


Faculty and Graduate Students from other Departments

Regular Circulating Books and Scores (MUS) Sound & Video Recordings SV/SVF/MUSPE/SVL Microfilm
Academic Year: due June 15th

4-week loan: limited to 10 items at a time

Do not circulate 24 Hour


Undergraduate Seniors

Regular Circulating Books and Scores (MUS) Sound & Video Recordings SV/SVF/MUSPE/SVL Microfilm
Academic Year: due end of May (date varies)

4-week loan: limited to 10 items at a time

Do not circulate 24 Hour



Regular Circulating Books and Scores (MUS) Sound & Video Recordings SV/SVF/MUSPE/SVL Microfilm
4-week loan

4-week loan: limited to 10 items at a time

Do not circulate 24 Hour


Guests (with guest card)

Regular Circulating Books and Scores (MUS) Sound & Video Recordings SV/SVF/MUSPE/SVL
4-week loan

4-week loan: limited to 10 items at a time

Do not circulate


Study carrels

The Mendel Music Library provides study carrels for long-term research and study by faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates working on their junior or senior research papers and theses.

Study carrel application

Study carrels are mostly located on the third floor of the Mendel Music Library, with some additional assigned carrels on the second floor adjacent the Cone Seminar Room and in the Periodicals Reading Room.

  • Study carrels are always in high demand in the music library. Priority is given to current graduate music students and faculty. Undergraduate senior music majors may only obtain a study carrel after all graduate student and faculty needs are met.
  • Carrels are normally reserved for currently enrolled musicology students, with first choice given to those in their first three years of study. Students in their first five years of study can usually be accommodated on the third floor; those with longer student careers will be assigned to the second floor (carrel disposition varies from year to year depending on the number of requests).
  • Lockable cabinets accompany most second- and third-floor carrels, and there is additional shared shelving on the third floor. Also on the third floor is equipment for listening, a computer workstation, and a printer. Wireless computer access is available throughout the library, and each carrel also has an Internet connection. Three scanners are located in the scanning rooms on the second floor.
  • Contact the Public Services & Outreach Manager for a carrel assignment and other carrel matters.
  • Be advised that there is public access throughout the carrel area (particularly on the second floor). CDs and DVDs checked out to you and personal property of value could be subject to theft. You remain responsible for all items checked out to you that are left on the carrels. Also, please lock all valuables, particularly laptops and other electronics, in your assigned cabinet when leaving your study carrel, even for just a few minutes. Laptops have been stolen in previous years from unattended carrels. We also ask that you self-police the carrel areas and report any suspicious behavior from unknown individuals immediately to the library staff.

Study Carrel Policies and Expectations

The Mendel Music Library's carrel check-out policy is intended to enhance the study and research experience of the carrel holders by making it easier to locate the most commonly consulted materials in the library's collections, and to facilitate bringing together the materials you need for your work while making it clear to other library users where these materials can be found. This system will only succeed if all the carrel holders cooperate.

  • Carrel users need to fill out a new application for a carrel for the academic year (fall-summer) at the start of each fall semester.
  • To reserve a carrel, you must be in residence during the fall and winter/spring semesters (summers are optional).
  • Most third-floor carrel users are assigned a locking wooden cabinet and a small file cabinet; second-floor carrel users are assigned a locking wooden cabinet only.
  • Spill-over shelves are available on the third floor when all materials will not fit on a carrel. Carrel users are entitled to a maximum of two shelves each and should respect that this is a shared communal space.
  • Carrel users must check out all library materials housed on their carrels or shelves to either their carrels or themselves. We strongly recommend using the carrel checkout option for all these materials (see exceptions below) to reduce liability for materials personally checked out to carrel users and kept on the carrels.
  • Materials checked out to carrels obtain a temporary non-circulating status and cannot leave the library. These materials can be easily located (by checking at the circulation desk) for other researchers to use in-house. You may switch your carrel (circulating only) items back to your regular University account if you decide you want to take them out of the library.
  • Reference books and scores (SV) may be charged to your carrel at week-long increments (and subsequently renewed). CDs, DVDs, microforms, reserve items, and SVL (locked) books and scores cannot be checked out to carrels.
  • All materials charged out to carrels must bear a yellow or purple "checked out to carrel" flag (yellow for normal circulating materials; purple for reference). Mendel employees will remove any library items from your carrel or shelf not charged out to the carrel or you personally.
  • Please keep all library materials checked out to carrels upright with tags showing.
  • Carrel users obtain a special carrel charge-out card from the Mendel Music Library Circulation Supervisor at the Mendel Library. This card is only valid in the Mendel Music Library.
  • Carrel users must present their carrel card at the time of check-out. It is not possible for staff to look up carrel accounts at the circulation terminal.
  • Carrel users are expected to respond to courtesy and recall notices. If you do not return an overdue recalled book, library staff will remove the item and leave a note that the item was taken from your carrel.
  • Carrel users are expected to maintain their own honor system regarding the collaborative sharing of materials kept on their carrels. Special red borrowing tags are available at the circulation desk for those wanting to share materials checked out to the carrels.
  • The Music Library reserves the right to cancel carrel privileges for users who do not follow the established guidelines for carrel use.

Library usage policies

 The following community norms are essential to maintain an environment supportive of serious scholarly inquiry and study in the Mendel Music Library:

  • Refrain from cell phone calls throughout the Music Library. Please set you phones to vibrate or silent mode. Use the Woolworth lobby if you need to make or receive a call.
  • We try to maintain an environment that is as quiet and free from distraction as possible, but we also understand that collaboration and discussions are realistic occurrences in the Music Library. Please be respectful of others in your space when engaging in group conversations.
  • The computer workstations are intended for locating library materials, accessing electronic resources and databases, scanning documents, and employing sophisticated software for the study and composition of music. Please refrain from extended use for other purposes, particularly accessing e-mail and Web surfing.
  • Please note the music department -not the staff of the music library-maintains the machines on the third floor; please contact the music department office for printer paper and for requesting repairs.
  • Please respect the library's no food or drink policy while using the library's collections and computer equipment.
  • The library staff appreciates and encourages feedback and suggestions from the students who use the library for research and study. Please let us know how we might enhance our services, about materials you would like the library to acquire, how to use library equipment, and, of course, how to locate materials and information you need either in the library or online.
  • The music library is open to the public. Please report any suspicious or unacceptable behavior to the library staff, particularly during evenings and weekends. Your help maintaining the integrity of the collections and keeping the library a safe place for study is greatly appreciated.

Borrow Direct, ILS, & Article Express

Borrow Direct is a rapid, patron-initiated borrowing and lending service offered by Princeton University Library and eleven partner libraries--Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, John Hopkins, MIT, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. Eligibility is limited to: currently enrolled students, currently active (and emeritus) faculty, and currently active staff members. Borrow Direct items can be picked up at the Mendel Music Library circulation desk. For more information, see the main Library Borrow Direct page.

Interlibrary Loan Service (ILS) obtains academic materials not available at the University. Service is available to any member of the University community who needs material for an academic research project or course-related assignment. Those eligible for the service include:faculty, currently enrolled students, staff, and spouses and domestic partners of individuals in these categories. Guest borrowers do not have ILS privileges. For more information, see the main Library ILS page.

Article Express is an electronic document delivery service designed to support the teaching and professional research of Princeton faculty. Journal articles, chapters or selections from books, papers from conference proceedings, and newspaper articles are available through Article Express. Article Express is available to: faculty, graduate students, visiting faculty, visiting lecturers, post-doctoral fellows and more. For more information, see the main Library Article Express page

ReCAP, Annex A, & Annex B

Much of the Library's collections is housed in various offsite locations including: Forrestal Campus (Annex A), Fine Hall (Annex B), as well as our ReCAP facility (Research Collections and Preservation Consortium, jointly owned and operated by Princeton University, Columbia University, and the New York Public Library). Anyone with access privileges to the Library can request material from the annexes by filling out a request form linked to an item's record in the catalog. Patrons without borrowing privileges can request items from ReCAP to be looked at in the library; ask a circulation staff member to help you place the request.