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Borrowing Guide: Alumni

Welcome to Yale Library!

Yale Library is open to current Yale ID card holders. We regret that we cannot extend library access to patrons outside of our immediate community. Information about Yale Library and our services is available here.

All fines for overdue, recalled, and lost Yale Library and Interlibrary Loan materials will be waived. If you accrue fines, please email or fill out this form for quick resolution.

Alumni Guide to Borrowing

Levels of Access

Alumni of Yale University and their Spouses may apply for any three levels of library privileges as described below.

Rates and Details:

Pass Options Rates Maximum Number of Borrowed items
Stacks Pass Free N/A, request 20 items
Alumni Standard Borrowing $45 per 3 month
increment or
Alumni Premium Borrowing $60 per 3 month
increment or

All circulating library materials may be recalled by another reader. You will be sent a notice in case this happens

How do I register?

Alumni and their spouses who wish to use the Yale University Library collections must register in person at the service desk located in the nave of Sterling Memorial Library (SML).  To register, you will need to provide a current government issued ID.  The following documents are acceptable forms of identification for registration:       

  • Driver’s license (from U.S. or Canada)
  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • Permanent Registration Card (form I-551) from USCIS
NOTE:  Alumni spouses need to identify their spouse's name upon registration so that privilege staff may confirm status.
Yale Library accepts credit card payments with VIsa or Mastercard, checks and cash. We do not accept $50 or $100 bills. 

How do I renew?

If you wish to renew your borrowing privileges, please call or visit us at the service desk during business hours. We can be reached at 203-432-1775 and will accept credit card payments with a Visa or Mastercard over the phone. We also accept checks and cash. We will not accept $50 or $100 bills.


Explanation of Pass Options

Stacks Pass:

  • Access to the Sterling Memorial Library stacks
  • No borrowing privileges
  • Retrieve materials from Sterling and the Library Shelving Facility (LSF) (20 items per day)* 
  • Access to Library facilities for all open hours (some exclusions for School and Departmental libraries – please inquire at specific location before arrival)

Alumni Standard Borrowing:

  • Check out materials from any library (items on reserve are not available for checkout)
  • Building Access – allowed until closing
  • 3 month minimum purchase; discount for yearly purchase
  • Loan length varies by owning library. Standard loan periods are two months or date of account expiration, whichever is lesser.
  • Book limit – 15 books  
  • Eligible for Interlibrary Loan, Scan and Deliver and Mail to Address
  • Not eligible for Borrow Direct lending

Alumni Premium Borrowing -- same as standard except for the following:

  • Book limit – 50 books

 *Use “Place Requests” to retrieve materials and have them delivered to the circulation desk of the selected Yale University Library.  Allow two business days for delivery of items between libraries. 

How much am I charged if I'm late returning a loan?

  • Alumni are generally not charged for regular overdue books. However, the Library appreciates the timely return of books.
  • Lost or long-overdue material: Material that has not been returned 30 days after the due date will be declared LOST automatically. The patron will be assessed a $130.00 Unreturned Book Fee.
  • Other types of overdue fees:
    • $2.00 per day for overdue books that have been recalled.
    • The borrower is responsible for the return or renewal of the book on or before the due date.

Problems with your account

If you believe you've accrued a fine in error or if you believe you've returned an item that is still on your library account, please fill out the following form.


Additional Information

Access to Electronic Resources (Databases, online journals, etc.)

Access to electronic resources is contractually limited to currently employed faculty and staff and currently enrolled students of Yale University and its immediately affiliated institutions, and therefore does not allow remote access to Non-Yale users.  At least one research station with access to Yale Library's subscription database and electronic resources is available for use at each library. 

Yale alumni can also register for free access to the online database JSTOR. Registration required.

Chat with us!

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.