With some exceptions, library materials may be used within the library by anyone. You must present a photo ID every time you check out library materials.

CU Boulder students, staff and faculty are automatically registered with the Libraries (detailed CU Boulder affiliate borrower type information). Your Buff OneCard or any photo ID will serve as your library card. Off-campus access to electronic resources varies by CU Boulder affiliate status. Colorado Law affiliates should refer to Law Library policies and procedures.

If you are not currently a CU Boulder student, staff, faculty or retiree and you wish to take items outside the library, you must apply for borrowing privileges. Borrower type definitions, and how to register and/or renew privileges for each are detailed at Borrower Types: Definition and Registration

We participate in reciprocal borrowing programs with other libraries. These programs allow visiting researchers to obtain borrowing privileges with us, and for CU Boulder affiliates to borrow items from other participating universities.

For information on fees and fines, see our Circulation PoliciesLaw Library circulation policies vary from ours. 

Email us at libraries@colorado.edu with any questions.

Learn about borrowing privileges

Library privileges by borrower type

Borrowing privileges vary depending on your campus affiliation and borrower type (see definitions and registration information), and are assigned in three tiers. 

Off-campus access to our databases and online resources is restricted to current students, faculty, emerita faculty and employees (more information about off-campus access). 

Borrower types by tier
  Borrower type
Tier 1 CU Boulder faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students
CU Boulder retirees
CU Boulder POI "External Instructors"
CU Boulder Visiting Scholars
CU Continuing Education students (degree and non-degree)
CU Law School faculty, staff and students
Friends of the Libraries
Tier 2 CU Boulder Alumni
CU Boulder auditors (community and senior)
CU Boulder institute and workshop participants
CU System (Anschutz, Colorado Springs, Denver) faculty, staff and students
Naropa University affiliates (with voucher)
Reciprocal Borrowing Programs (ARL/OCLC, CARL, CLC, GWLA)
Research partners
State-funded Colorado University/College faculty, staff and students
Tier 3 Colorado high school students
CU Boulder faculty and staff spouses/partners
Public patrons
Summary of library privileges by borrower type tiers
  Tier 1  Tier 2  Tier 3 
Fee Friends only Naropa only Public patrons only
Renewals [1]  Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Holds Yes Yes Yes
Total item limit 500 100 50
Prospector Yes No No
Interlibrary Loan Yes [2] No No

[1] For renewable items
[2] Privileges vary by patron type.

Loan periods and renewals

For all borrower types: 

  • Reserves and miscellaneous items have varying loan periods and renewals are not allowed on those items.
  • Circulating reference collection items and popular reading collection items have a 21 day loan period.

Some types of patron accounts may be short term. Loan periods will not exceed an account's expiration date. Some materials may have policies that differ from the below. 

Loan periods and renewals by borrower type tier and format
  Books Journals DVDs, Microfilms, Maps
  Loan Period Renewals Loan Period Renewals Loan Period Renewals
Tier 1 180 days Yes 14 days Yes 28 days Yes
Tier 2  90 days Yes 14 days Yes 14 days No
Tier 3  30 days Yes 7 days No 7 days No


Items may be renewed through any of the following venues:

Items with holds and recalled books may not be renewed.

My Library Account

Through "My Library Account", a feature offered within the Library Catalog, you may renew your own books, place or cancel holds, create preferred searches and use other library catalog services.

If you’re unable to access your My Library Account, email us at libraries@colorado.edu.

You may check the due dates of the items you have checked out through "My Library Account" on the Library Catalog main page. If you have renewal privileges, you may renew your items there. 

Current CU Boulder affiliates should use their IdentiKey information to log in. All others, please email libraries@colorado.edu for assistance with your password following our migration to our new library catalog system.

Last updated April 2024