Requirements for Borrowing Library Materials

  • All borrowers must have a current, valid Northwestern University WildCARD or valid Northwestern University Law School Alumni Borrowing Card.

Loan Periods

  • Law students and other Northwestern graduate students may borrow materials for 12 weeks.
  • Northwestern undergraduates, staff, alumni, authorized guests, and faculty/staff spouses may borrow books for 28 days.
  • Northwestern faculty and ABF faculty may charge books out for 1 year.
  • Reserve materials may be charged out for 4 hours.
  • Reserve study aids may be charged out until the library's closing on the following day.
  • Laptop and phone chargers may be charged for 3 hours. 
  • Other equipment available at the circulation desk, such as laptop locks and lamps, may be charged out until the end of the day.
  • When a patron's WildCARD is near expiration, and this falls within a chargeout period, materials will only be charged out until the WildCARD's expiration date.


All borrowers have the option to renew non-reserve materials twice online. A book can be renewed a third time by bringing it to the circulation desk. If another borrower has placed a hold on a book it will not be renewed. Overdue fines apply to renewals. Reserve items are not renewable online but can be renewed by bringing them to the circulation desk.


An item charged to another patron may be recalled. Patrons receive notices of recalls via e-mail. Recalled items must be returned within 5 days of this notice. Patrons will be charged $1.50 per day per recalled item.

Overdue Fines

Patrons receive courtesy notices via e-mail reminding them three days before items are due. Patrons receive one notice once an item is overdue and are responsible for paying all fines associated with a late item.

  • Overdue fines are not calculated by the system until the overdue item is returned and checked in.
  • Overdue fines of $1.50 per day per item apply to recalled books that are not returned by the new due date.
  • Fines of $1.20 per hour apply to reserve materials.
  • Fines of $1.20 per day apply to laptop locks, lamps, and Ethernet cords.
  • Maximum overdue fine amount is $20.00.
  • Fines may be paid by cash or check at the circulation desk. The library does not provide change. Fines may also be paid by mail with a check made payable to Northwestern University.
  • Overdue fines will apply at all times, including over holidays and vacations.

Questions about fines, and lost or billed items should be directed to the lending library. As a courtesy to our patrons we accept and route check payments to other Northwestern University libraries. You can use the NUsearch web site to check your fines and fees.

Lost Book Fees

Books that are 30 days or more overdue are considered lost. A billing and processing fee, a replacement fee, and any accumulated fines will be charged for each lost book.

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