Circulation Policies

Contact Circulation staff in Firestone Library at with questions or for information not covered in the policies listed below.


All library users must present a valid identification card to access the collections. Princeton students, faculty, and staff must present their University ID card (TigerCard) in order to borrow materials from the Library. Non-University borrowers must obtain a photo-ID card from the Access Office. Loss or theft of an identification card should be reported immediately to the nearest Circulation Desk.

All cards, except those issued to organizations, are non-transferrable. Bearers of access-only cards are not eligible for certain library services such as paging books, using reserve material, requesting items through interlibrary loan or borrow direct, and retrieving books that have been received but are not yet processed. They may use electronic resources on-site (see Visitor Access to Electronic Resources).  Remote access is limited by licensing agreement to current Princeton University faculty, staff and students.

Borrowing Privileges

All Princeton University faculty, staff, and students, their spouses, domestic partners and dependents, the faculty and students of Princeton Theological Seminary, and the members and staff of the Institute for Advanced Study are eligible to borrow books and other material from the Princeton University Libraries.

Other individuals or entities who wish to use the library collections should contact the Access Office in Firestone Library by email at or by telephone at (609) 258-5737. 

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 postal and e-mail address on file with the Library.

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 other damage.

Loan Periods

Loan periods vary in different libraries and by borrower status. Please select your appropriate library status to see the loan period to which you are entitled.

Please note that some material does not circulate. Some examples of materials that do NOT circulate are reference books, books from the Marquand library, as well as books in Graduate Study Rooms in Firestone. All materials are subject to be recalled if needed for course reserve.

Browse for Material in the Library Stacks

Please feel free to browse the library stacks for books that you're interested in and if you have borrowing privileges, bring them to the Circulation Desk to check items out. If you cannot locate an item in the stacks and it is not checked out, patrons with borrowing privileges may place a request online. A full search for a missing book may take several days, however many of these books are found within 2 business days. If an item is missing and you are eligible to use the services, you may request it through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.  Visitors who need assistance locating a book in Firestone Library should go to the Book Finder Desk on B Floor or the Information Desk on the 1st Floor.


All patrons are responsible for honoring recall requests and are subject to recall fines at all times of the year. In the event an item is recalled for course reserve, a notice is generated with the new due date and sent to the current borrower. The current borrower will have up to ten days from the date on which the recall is placed to return the recalled item. Failure to return a recalled item by the new due date will incur fines of $1.00 per day, and the borrower will be prevented from borrowing again until the item is returned.

Fines and Lost Book Fees

Most borrowers are subject to fines for the late return of Library books and other materials. For non-reserve items, these fines are $0.25 per day. Reserve fines and equipment fines are higher, typically $1 per hour.

Unpaid fines of $20 or more will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges for most patrons. Library fines can be paid at the Firestone Circulation Desk by credit card. Students can also request payment by Student Account.

If a book is long overdue or damaged, a minimum replacement fee of $100 will be applied to the account. This fee includes the replacement and processing of the item. The Library reserves the right to adjust this replacement fee upward if the cost of the replacement is higher. In some situations you may replace the lost item with a new book of the same edition and pay a $50 processing fee. Please consult with a circulation supervisor concerning lost items or email


Princeton University Library records relating to an individual patron's use of the Library and its resources are confidential.  Please read the Library’s Policy on Confidentiality of Library Patron Records