Skip to main content

Faculty Services: Circulation Information

Loan Periods

For faculty the initial loan period on most circulating items in the general collections is one year. Journals, reference books, periodicals, and certain other materials do not circulate. Items from the Core Collection, Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center, and Reserve have shorter loan periods. Please check with the individual collection for specific loan policies.

Books may be renewed online here.

Drive-up Book Drop

A drive-up book drop is available on the Evanston campus north of Locy Hall in the Fisk Hall parking lot. Books are picked up once a day, Monday through Friday. Time-sensitive items such as recalled books, CDs, DVDs, videos, and reserve materials should be returned directly to the library. 


Checked-out materials can be recalled. The current borrower will be notified by e-mail or mail that the item must be returned within 10 days of the recall date. There is no grace period for overdue recalled items, and borrowing privileges.

Uncataloged Materials

Uncataloged items are listed in NUcat as "In Process," "On Order," or "Received on [date]; Inquire at Circulation Desk" instead of having a call number. Requests for uncataloged materials may be placed at the Circulation Desk or through the online form here

Delivery and Pick Up

Full-time Evanston campus faculty may ask to have books and other materials retrieved from the stacks and either held at the Circulation Desk at Main Library or the Seeley G. Mudd Library Circulation Desk or delivered to their offices by campus mail. Books, DVDs, and videos from the collections on the Evanston campus, including the United Libraries, are offered through this service -- as are books from the Joseph Scaffner Library, the Pritzker Legal Research Center, and the Galter Health Sciences Library on the Chicago campus.

See here for more information. 

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) orders materials that are not owned by Northwestern University Library, are missing or lost, or are in use. ILL services, including electronic delivery of articles, are free to all Northwestern students, faculty, and staff.

See here for more information.

Reciprocal Borrowing Agreements

University Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements with libraries at the University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago.

Full-time Northwestern faculty planning to visit other universities within North America may obtain an OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program card from the Library Privileges office in Main Library in order to gain access to and/or check out materials from participating libraries. A list of participating libraries is available here.   


Reserve allows instructors to set aside books, articles, and audio/visual materials for use by their students.  Reserve items have short circulation periods that allow required or recommended materials to be more readily available for students. Electronic reserve provides students access to digital documents through Blackboard. 

See here for more information. 

Contact for Access, Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, and Course Reserves

Research Assistant Cards

A research assistant doing research for a faculty member may be assigned proxy borrowing privileges on the professor's behalf.  The Research Assistant must bring an RA Authorization Form (available here) to the Library Privileges Office or the Circulation Desk at the Main Library.

Spouse/Domestic Partner Privileges

Spouses and domestic partners of University employees may be eligible for WildCARDs, which grant them borrowing privileges. Contact the WildCARD Office at 847-467-6843 for further information.