Policy Guides

Access and Borrowing Privileges at CUNY

Circulation Policies

Copyright and Copyright Guidelines

Internet Access Guidelines

Professional Reassignment Leaves

Public Access to CUNY Libraries

Access and Borrowing Privileges at CUNY

Borrowing books:

Current CUNY students, faculty and staff may borrow books from any CUNY library, with these exceptions:

  • the CUNY Law School extends access-only privileges (no borrowing) to students and faculty not currently enrolled there.
  • Retired faculty may borrow from any CUNY library (note above exceptions) with appropriate identification
  • Students enrolled in SUNY's Empire State College are also granted borrowing privileges at all CUNY libraries. They should be issued a CUNY Open Access card with a generic barcode which has an expiration date at the end of the semester
  • Each campus library has a certain number of patrons that only have borrowing privileges at that home library. These are typically:

- local alumni (alumni have access only to their home campus library),

- visiting scholars,

- students from other CUNY programs, e.g., CUNY Start, or

- neighboring high school students.

Check with the circulation desk staff if you have questions about these patrons.

For information on returning books, renewing books, placing holds, paying fines, and other policies, see:
Circulation Policies by College.

Open access cards and generic barcodes:

Open access cards with a generic (2 9999) barcode are to be issued to students who do not have a barcode from their home campus on their ID card and want to check out items from another CUNY library. The generic barcode should be issued with an expiration date of 10 days to allow the patron to return to their home campus library and be issued a permanent barcode. The generic barcode should never be placed on a regular college ID card.

If the patron's ID card is imprinted with a valid library barcode, staff at any library can enter them into the Aleph patron file.


The New York Public Library, Columbia University, and New York University are piloting a lending program for faculty and graduate students. Cardholders from each institution, including CUNY faculty and graduate students, are invited to apply for borrowing privileges from all three research libraries through June 2012.

For more information, please see MaRLI: Manhattan Research Library Initiative

see also Public Access to CUNY Libraries (below).

Circulation Policies

Circulation Policies by College

 (C)OPYRIGHT@CUNY is a user-friendly web resource designed to support the CUNY community in making independent, informed decisions about copyright compliance and educational fair use.  Organized by library faculty in consultation with CUNY's Office of General Counsel, it is intended to update the previous 2003 Copyright Guidelines for CUNY Libraries to respond to more recent developments in course management software, e-reserves and social networking tools.

Divided into three sections to address our major constituencies - LIBRARIANS, FACULTY and STAFF, and STUDENTS - the site consists of scenarios of specific intellectual property challenges frequently brought to librarians' attention.  Brief responses are provided with links to related copyright concepts and legislation for additional information.

The site is further enhanced by links to recommended FAQs, free tutorials and other online tools.

Internet Access Guidelines

Internet Access Guidelines for CUNY Libraries

Professional Reassignment Leaves

For more information, see

Rules and Procedures for Professional Reassignments in the Libraries

Public Access to CUNY Libraries

If you are a member of the public desiring access to research information held in the CUNY library system, your best bet is to check first with local public libraries (New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, or Queens Library) to see if the desired information is available there. *If* the public libraries do not have the title you need, and they see that CUNY does, they may then provide you with a referral to CUNY in the form of a Metro card that cites the unique title of the reference source you need from CUNY. Without this METRO referral or a valid CUNY ID, you do not have access to campus libraries. In no case may non-CUNY researchers remove materials from the libraries.

See also Library Services/InterLibrary Loan

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