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Information for Other Library Users - Spring 2021

Safety Guidelines

Library Privileges for Resident and Reciprocal Borrowers During COVID-19

Purchase New and Renew KU Library Borrower Cards

Renewing KU Library Materials

Returning Library Materials


Safety Guidelines

Before visiting a library location on the Lawrence campus, please review and follow the We welcome you safely guidelines.


Library Privileges for Resident and Reciprocal Borrowers During COVID-19

Library Stacks Closed

The book stacks are closed in all library locations on the Lawrence campus.  In the interests of keeping library users and staff safe, patrons with active KU Library Borrower Cards will be able to request eligible items via the Retrieve from Shelf service while the stacks are closed.

Before you request items, review the expiration date for your KU Library Borrower Card.  If the date is not recorded on your card, you may call the Watson Library Checkout Desk at (785) 864-8983 or email libfines@ku.edu to ask, and library staff will report your expiration date.  If your card is already expired, you will be able to see that by logging in to My Account; see Renewing KU Library Materials below for how to log in.  Be sure the borrower card expiration date is at least two months from the date you are placing requests.  See Purchase New and Renew KU Borrower Cards below for more information.

Requesting and Checking Out Library Materials

With each Retrieve from Shelf request, designate the location where you want to check out items by selecting a Deliver to location:  Anschutz, Art & Architecture, Music & Dance, Engineering, and Watson will be open to checkout library materials and answer your questions.  Be sure to wait for the Item Available Notice, usually sent via email, before coming to the library to check out items.  See Retrieve from Shelf for information about placing requests.  See also library locations and hours.

Home Loan Delivery

Active borrowers living outside of Lawrence and Douglas county may request Home Loan Delivery as the Deliver to location in their requests.  When completing the request, provide your street address in the “Comments” field of the request form or email your address to illlend@ku.edu.  Items will be mailed to you, and you will be responsible for renewing and returning them following standard procedures.


Although the library system allows more than 20 requests to be placed, Resident Borrowers will be limited to checking out 20 items.  We ask that you select carefully and limit your requests.  This service will be provided while the stacks are closed, and as long as we can meet your needs while serving KU students, faculty, and staff.

Please Keep in Mind

Consider requesting needed items through the interlibrary loan services of your college, university, or local public library.  Borrower card holders will be unable to access or check out KU Libraries materials currently available through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service.  See What to expect in the libraries for information about HathiTrust.


Purchase New and Renew KU Library Borrower Cards

Preferred Option

Send an email message to libfines@ku.edu or call the Watson Library Checkout Desk at (785) 864-8983 to request a new borrower card or renew borrower card by mail application packet.  Be prepared to provide your postal mailing address.  An application form and instructions for required documentation and payment will be sent.  Upon receipt of complete packets and payment, a new borrower card will be mailed out or an existing card will be renewed.  You will then be able to enter requests and check out library materials.

Alternate Option

You may apply for a borrower card or ask to renew a card at the Watson Library Checkout Desk between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Application Requirements

A government-issued photo identifiation card and proof of Kansas residency are required to apply for or renew a KU Library Borrower Card.  The Kansas driver's license or State of Kansas photo ID card can meet both requirements.  Copies of these forms must be enclosed with application and renewal requests sent by mail or presented for in person transactions.  For other identification and proof of residency options, including information for members of the KU Alumni Association and for participants in reciprocal borrowing programs, see KU Library Borrower Card.

Renewing KU Library Materials

You are responsible for keeping track of when your checked out items are due.  You may use the process described here to review due dates and times for all checked out items and to renew eligible library materials.

Due Dates:  when are the items checked out due?

For in person processes, you may request a printed receipt at the time of checkout, or upon returning items; please ask before the checkout or discharge process begins.  To review the due dates for your materials, go to My Account by following the login instructions.  See Logging In below for more information.

Long-term Loan Items

You will be able to renew long-term loan items checked out for 6 weeks up to five times provided your borrowing privileges are active, as long as the items have not been requested by another borrower, and as long as your privileges are in good standing (usually determined by owing less than $80.00).  After the maximum online renewals have been used, the items must be returned to the library to be checked out again.  See Renewing Library Materials for renewal instructions.

Short-term Loan Items

All items checked out for two weeks or less must be returned to the library from which they were checked out by the time due in order to avoid overdue charges and in order to check them out again.  Most of these items cannot be renewed online.  Selected bound and unbound journals and some DVDs may be renewed online once for one additional week.  Ask for information at a library service desk, email libfines@ku.edu, or call (785) 864-8983.

Logging In

Use the patron barcode and your last name to log in to confirm due dates, to renew eligible items online, and to enter Recall and Retrieve from Shelf requests when you are eligible.  Posted instructions request an 8-digit number; you will need to enter the full combination of the 8-character barcode recorded above including letters and numbers. Library users with older borrower cards with photos will need to use the last 8 digits of the 16-digit number on the front of their borrower cards.

Please Note

In person renewals are not currently possible at the Edwards Campus.  Contact libfines@ku.edu for assistance when the maximum number of online renewals have been used.


Returning Library Materials

KU Libraries materials checked out for 6 weeks or longer may be returned to one of the walk-up book returns on the Lawrence campus or to a Lawrence campus library during hours open.   See Returning Library Materials for locations.  Library materials returned to the Edwards Campus book return in Overland Park will take a week or longer before they appear as returned on your library account.  While materials are in transit to Lawrence, borrowers may receive overdue notices for the items.  Materials are backdated to the date they are returned at the Edwards Campus.

All items checked out for two weeks or less should be returned to the library from which they were checked out by the time due in order to avoid overdue charges and in order to renew them.  Placing items checked out for two weeks or less in one of the walk-up book returns may result in overdue charges.

Use this address to return library materials through the mail or via a delivery service:

Circulation Business Specialist
Watson Library, Room 350
University of Kansas Libraries
1425 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Please be certain library materials are securely packaged before mailing them.  Borrowers should obtain tracking and purchase $100 insurance for each item sent in case materials are lost in shipping.


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