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About the Library: Access to Collections, Borrowing, & Use

General Terms Governing Use of Materials

The Yale University Library, as one of the world's leading research libraries, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to and services for a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity. Through its web sites, the Library offers public access to a range of its collections through online exhibitions, archival finding aids, digital repositories, and the online public access catalog. For information on appropriate uses of our licensed electronic resources, please see E-Resources Access and Use policy. 

Yale University provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes only.   The Library endeavors when possible to provide accurate factual information about copyright owners and related matters in catalog records, finding aids, and other texts that accompany collections or individual items that may assist you in making necessary legal determinations. Please contact if you have helpful information about any material included in these collections or if you believe the web site has not properly attributed your work or has used your material without necessary authorization.

Borrower Responsibilities

  • Borrowers are responsible for library materials charged out to them until they are received by the library.
  • Borrowers are prohibited by Library policy from lending their library card to others.
  • Borrowers are prohibited by Library policy from borrowing library materials for another person.  Faculty members may have a proxy charge materials to their account.  Please contact the Privileges Office for more information.  
  • Yale University students, faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining current contact information with their School’s Registrar or Departmental Business Office.
  • Non-Yale library cardholders are responsible for maintaining current contact information in My Account and upon renewal of library privileges.
  • Borrowers who abuse Library borrowing privileges may have their privileges suspended throughout the Yale University Library.  Examples of abuse of library borrowing privileges include but are not limited to delinquency in returning materials by stated due dates, NOT paying replacement bills, NOT responding to recall notices, returning library materials even after replacement bills have been issued, and mutilation or damage of library materials.
  • Fines, replacement fees and processing fees are regularly assessed for late materials. More information is available on fines and blocks on patron accounts.

Fines and Blocked Accounts

  • It is the responsibility of the borrower to return or renew an item by the due date.
  • All library cardholders may be assessed fines for various reasons, including books returned late.  For details, please refer to the Borrowing and Circulation Guide.
  • There are maximum numbers of materials that can be borrowed and fines. Once a maximum is reached or a recalled item is not returned the library may block borrowing privileges. For details, please refer to the Borrowing and Circulation Guide.
  • If you have a question about a fine or blocked account, please contact the Privileges Office at or by phone (203) 432-1775.


Notices to Borrowers

You will receive item available, recall (new due date), overdue notices, and fine/fee billing notices via e-mail from  These notices are sent as a courtesy.  We encourage all library users to check their library accounts regularly to manage recalls and due dates.

  • Yale University faculty, staff and students with Yale IDs:  If you have a new email address, be sure to update your information with your department administrative or business office. 
  • Users with Library-issued IDs: Update your email address with the Privileges Office.

Reusing Material

Yale University makes no warranty that your distribution, reproduction or other use of these materials will be non-infringing. You are solely responsible for making legal assessments regarding the use of an item and securing any necessary permissions. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

Email or specific collections for additional assistance.

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Contact Privileges Staff


Send questions to Sterling Memorial Library Services at:

Phone: (203) 432-1775



The Library Service desk is located on the ground floor of Sterling Memorial Library in the nave and is open during normal library hours.

Visitor Library Privileges Hours

Academic Year

Monday-Thursday: 8:30AM-6PM
Friday: 8:30AM-4:45PM
Saturday: 10AM-4:45PM
Sunday: 12noon-6PM

Please review weekly hours before planning your visit.

Get Help

Help is available Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Emal Email:

Call Call: (203) 432-1775

SMS text Text: (203) 826-2053