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Borrow & request

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Borrow & request MIT materials

  • Your MIT ID is your library card; either physical or Mobile ID are acceptable.
  • MIT faculty, students, staff, and retirees* automatically receive borrowing privileges. See special user types for information about borrowing privileges for other groups. *Retirees may need to verify eligibility with the Retiree Association.
  • Our stacks are open for browsing during business hours. Access is restricted to MIT community members only when business hours fall outside MIT building access hours.
    • Anyone with a borrowing account can also place requests via Search Our Collections and track them through Your Account to pick up at the library location of your choice.
    • Library Storage Annex items can be requested for on-site use without a borrowing account via the Annex request form.
  • Office delivery is available for MIT faculty,  academic/research staff, and some postdocs. Accommodations for students can be requested by contacting Student Support Services or the Office of Graduate Education.
  • Faculty and Lecturers are eligible to request a designated borrower, who may check out materials reserved for the faculty/lecturer. Exceptions may be made for Deans, directors of programs, and students or staff with a disability or injury.
  • All of our e-books, online journals, databases, and other streaming/electronic materials are available to anyone with an MIT Kerberos account – find what you need using Search Our Collections. See more information about how to authenticate to online resources. If you’re unable to access an e-resource, Ask Us for assistance.
  • MIT faculty, students, and staff can request PDFs of 50 pages or less from print books, journals, and serials through our Scan and Deliver service.
  • Anyone with an MIT Kerberos account can suggest a purchase for digital or physical formats.
  • For Distinctive Collections (Institute Archives, Manuscripts, etc.) materials, visit their requesting materials page for complete information.

Borrow & request materials from non-MIT libraries

Get materials for course reserves

  • The Libraries offer a full course reserves service.
  • Article and chapter scans to place on your course management website can be requested through our Scan & Deliver service.
  • E-books and databases can also be linked in your course management website.
  • Print reserves for required textbooks will be available at the start of the term. Faculty and instructors can submit textbooks for courses via the MIT Coop AIP.

Return physical materials

On campus

  • Indoor book drops are available at all library locations and the Stata Center. If you don’t have an MIT ID, you can only access these during MIT’s public entrance hours.
  • Outdoor book drop is located outside building 9 – Samuel Tak Lee Building, along the Mass Ave side.
  • Course reserves should be returned directly to staff at the owning library’s service desk. That library’s book drop can also be used if the library is closed. Do not use the Stata or building 9 book drops for Course Reserves.
  • Please note that items returned after closing will be backdated when checked in the next business day.

Off campus

If you are off-campus and have items you wish to return, they may be sent to the following address:

MIT Libraries Book Return
MIT Libraries
350 Brookline St.
Cambridge, MA 02139


Loan periods

Loan period Collection
60 days Books, DVDs, Display Collections, Microfiche/microfilm – exceptions listed below
1 week Journals
3 hours Course reserves
In-library use only Atlas, LP records, Folio (Rotch), Reference
DDC reading room use only Limited Access Collection (Rotch DDC)
Variable Equipment, Interlibrary Borrowing (printed on book band), Service Desk collection
120 days BorrowDirect


  • Items needed for course reserves may be recalled after a 1-week loan.
  • Otherwise, a minimum 60-day loan period is guaranteed.

Renewals allowed for MIT-owned materials

  • MIT faculty, students, and staff – 5
  • All others – 3


  • We do not charge daily overdue fines for MIT materials.
  • We do charge fines for:
    • Overdue course reserves – $2/hour (maximum $30 total)
    • Materials borrowed from other libraries (BorrowDirect and ILB) – $0.50/day (maximum $30 total)
    • Lost materials (30+ days past the due date) – $135 lost item replacement fee.
      • The Libraries reserve the right to charge a higher replacement fee when the actual replacement cost is above $135.
      • All replacement fines and fees are credited when the item is returned.
    • Damaged and lost MIT materials are eligible for replacement by users within 1 year. A $15 processing fee will be applied.

For questions about your borrowed materials contact If you have any other questions, please Ask Us.