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Circulation: Borrowing


Contact us at the Van Pelt Library Circulation Desk:

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How do I get a Penn Library Card?

Your PennCard is your library card and entitles you to borrow books from all the Penn libraries. Most PennCard holders are automatically registered for borrowing and database searching. If you are unable to access library resources using your current PennCard, please come to any Penn Library circulation desk (except Biddle or Annenberg) to register. You will need your PennCard to enter libraries, check out books, print or photocopy, and to log on to many library resources. If your PennCard is lost, stolen or damaged, immediately inform the PennCard Center (2nd floor of the Penn Book Store, 3601 Walnut St. 215-417-CARD) and replace it as soon as possible.

How long are you allowed to borrow books?

Loan periods vary depending on the library and your University status. Note: Other types of materials, including reserves, videos, and laptop computers, circulate for short periods: Generally, 2 - 6 hours for reserve materials and laptops, and 6 weeks with one renewal for circulating videos. Please call the library at which you would like to borrow any of these materials to confirm. 

Materials published prior to 1850 or held in specially designated locations, such as reference areas and seminar rooms, are available for in-library use only. Please see our borrowing groups chart below to learn more about loan periods for your user group.

What are the limits on borrowing?

Penn faculty, staff, students and associates may check out as many books as they need. We ask that you return books when you are finished, and that you return recalled books by the new due date. Courtesy borrowers are limited to 20 books at a time.

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