Check Out, Renew, Return

All scholars and researchers are welcome to use IUB Libraries resources. Most library material may be checked out; notable exceptions include reference materials and periodicals. Either an IU Crimson Card or a Borrower's Card must be presented at the circulation desk to check out material.

Students, faculty, and staff of Indiana University, persons affiliated with Indiana University, residents of the State of Indiana, Big Ten Academic Alliance Scholars, and OCLC Scholars may borrow or check out library materials. Most libraries in the IU Bloomington library system have the same basic policies for book checkout and renewal. Individual campus libraries maintain some special collections. If you are using one of these specialized libraries, please consult their circulation policy descriptions.

IU affiliates: visit My Account for specific information about items checked out to your account.

Borrowing Policies

  • IUB Faculty, Staff, and Students: Those officially affiliated with IUB may check out library material for home or office use. You may activate your library account by showing proof of IU affiliation using your Crimson Card. Your library number is the fourteen digit number starting with "2."
  • Instructors' Assistants: Faculty wishing to grant proxy borrowing privileges to others (e.g. a student or other assistant) should contact Access Services, located at the circulation desk, Scholars' Commons, First Floor of Wells Library.
  • Indiana Residents: You may obtain a Borrower's Card by bringing a photo ID and proof of Indiana residency (an Indiana driver's license or state ID card) to Access Services located at the circulation desk, Scholars' Commons, First Floor of Wells Library during regular operating hours. If you wish to visit another campus library to obtain a Borrower's Card, we advise you call ahead.
  • Visiting Scholars and Research Associates: Visiting scholars working and researching at IU should be prepared to provide their Indiana University Employee ID number or other credentials to register their account.
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance scholars, Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI) students, and researchers from the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program: Scholars from other academic institutions are eligible for a Borrower's Card. See Reciprocal Borrowing for details. If you are an IU affiliate going to another institution for research, please see Reciprocal Borrowing as well.

  • Circulation Policies: A borrower is financially responsible for all material charged out on their library account. Borrowers must abide by Library Circulation Policies even when they are away from campus for vacation, research, sabbatical, etc.  In these situations borrowers must either return library materials before leaving campus or make arrangements for a responsible party to attend to their library business.
  • Lost or Stolen Cards: Report the loss or theft of a Borrower's Card immediately to the circulation desk at 812-855-4673. If you have lost your Crimson Card, notify Crimson Card Services immediately at (317) 274-0400.

  • Faculty: 120 day loan
  • Staff: 120 day loan
  • Graduate Students and Staff: 120 day loan
  • Undergraduate Students: 45 day loan
  • Indiana Residents: 30 day loan
  • Wells Library Core Collection Materials: 14 days, maximum of 2 renewals for all borrowers.

The Wells Library Reference Collection (found in the Reference Reading Room on level one) cannot be borrowed and is available for in-library use only.

IUB faculty, staff, and students can extend the due date on most library materials through the My Account feature in IUCAT. You can also see a list of materials currently checked out to you and when they are due, and view a list of materials you currently have on hold. You must have an IU network ID and passphrase to use this service.

More information on renewing materials in IUCAT is available in the UITS Knowledge Base.

Reserve materials must be renewed in person at the library where they were checked out.

If you do not have an IU network ID, or cannot access IUCAT you may renew materials:

  • via our webform
  • by telephone: 812-855-4673
  • by email: libcirc @
    Include your name, your address, your Library Identification Number (the numbers on the barcode on your borrower's card), and the barcode/identification number of each item you wish to renew. You may ask that all your items be renewed, in which case you do not need to provide barcodes for each item.

Renew Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Materials
Materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Services must be renewed on the DDS web page.

Most materials may be returned at any IU Library on any IU campus during their operating hours. Selected materials such as reserve materials and Interlibrary Loans may require that they be returned in person to the correct circulation desk. Overdue fines may be charged for some materials if not returned by the due date, depending on the library and type of material.

Other options for returning materials include drive-up book drops on the Bloomington campus (see below), shipping via campus mail, U.S. Mail, or other parcel delivery services, and returning materials to participating Big Ten libraries.

Books Drops on the Bloomington Campus
You can return books at our drive-up book drops located on the south side of the Wells Library. One book drop is located in the Wells Library parking lot (north end), and two are just north of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and Theatre and Drama Center in a turnaround located on Seventh Street.

Mail or Parcel Delivery Services
Most materials may be shipped back to the Library via Campus Mail, USPS, UPS, FedEx or other parcel delivery services (postmark date is considered return date) at the following address:

Book Return
Access Services Department
Herman B Wells Library
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, Indiana, 47405-3907  

Borrowers are responsible for material until the Library receives it, and for that reason might consider insuring material for a minimum of $150 per item when shipping it back to the Library.  

At Other Big Ten Libraries
IU Libraries have joined with our Big Ten Academic Alliance partners to provide an option where Indiana University students can return items to the IU Libraries by dropping off items at one of the participating libraries listed below. Students in the US without access to a drop-off library living further than 30 miles from Bloomington can request a UPS shipping label.

Borrowers are responsible for renewing or returning material on or before its due date. Materials that have reached their renewal limit must be returned on or before their due date. There are no "grace periods" for overdue materials. Overdue intervals vary for recalls and other special loans.

As of July 1, 2021, daily overdue fines are no longer being charged for normal loans. When an item becomes 50 days overdue, it will be treated as a non-returned item (see below for detailed information).

Some special items will still incur daily or hourly fines if not returned by the due date, including but not limited to:

  • Class Reserves materials
  • Media Services materials
  • Collections in the West Tower of the Wells Library (Core Collection, Career Collection, Browsing Collection).
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials, for which the loan policies are governed by the library lending the item
  • Items borrowed via Request Delivery from other Indiana University campuses, whose policies may differ from Bloomington's (Contact information for libraries on other campuses)
  • Non-circulating material (such as periodicals and reference materials), for which special charge loans may be granted and are fined at a rate of $1.20 per hour when overdue
  • Recalled material that is not returned by the recall due date is subject to a $25 fine. When an item is recalled, a recall notice is sent to the borrower indicating the new "recall" due date.

Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy; failing to receive an overdue notice does not absolve a borrower from responsibility should they receive a bill or fine. Library users are responsible for maintaining accurate address information with the University and its agents (i.e. the Libraries). For normal loans an overdue notice is sent seven days past the due date and again 30 days past the due date.

You may appeal an overdue fine for materials borrowed from Wells Library Media Services (e.g. DVDs, VHS tapes, videogames, etc.) if you wish to dispute the charges. There is no formal fine appeal process for other materials; if you have questions, please contact the Libraries' Access Services Department.

On normal loans the borrower is billed for non-return when the item becomes 50 days overdue.  Generally, non-return charges break down as follows:

  • billing fee - $5.00
  • database adjustment fee - $20
  • unreturned item fee - $100 (can vary with items of greater or lesser value)

In most cases bills are adjusted to the billing fee ($5.00) when billed material is returned within one calendar year of the date of billing. Billing intervals and rates vary for recalls and special loans. Bills and fines amounts are transferred to the Bursar's Office for collection. Borrowers with excessive overdue material, large outstanding bill/fine balances, or who show contempt for Library policies may be blocked from further use of the Libraries or may face legal action. Replacement copies are not accepted for lost or billed items.