Borrow Library Materials

Setup and Use My Account

A step-by-step guide to setting up your library account so you can submit and manage requests, renew materials, or check for fines and fees.

Library Cards

  • Library Cards

    • Library access Information for University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, University Laboratory High School students, and users from I-Share member libraries
  • Courtesy Cards

    • Information on how to acquire library access if you are a community member, visiting scholar, or guest of the University or an academic department.
  • Proxy Authorization

    • University of Illinois faculty members, graduate students, and other library borrowers with extenuating circumstances may authorize another library borrower to check out library materials for them.

Borrowing Privileges

Main Stacks Access

  • Entry Policies

    • Faculty, staff, and students currently employed by or enrolled in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can enter the Main Stacks with a valid i-card.
    • Faculty from I-Share schools, as well as graduate students from the U of I Chicago and Springfield campuses, can enter the Main Stacks with valid ID from those schools.
    • LH courtesy card holders can enter the Main Stacks with a valid LH card.
    • University Laboratory High School students with a valid school ID card and prior approval from the University High School librarian can be granted Main Stacks access.
    • Unaffiliated users with research needs may request a temporary exception to this policy. Written requests for Main Stacks access should be made in advance through the Main Stacks Access webform.
  • Entering the Main Stacks

    • If you have access to the Main Stacks:
      • Present your ID card to the staff member at the circulation desk.
      • For the security of the collection, no food or beverages, backpacks, bags, parcels, or purses are allowed in the Main Stacks. Lockers are available to store your belongings while you are in the Main Stacks.
      • Please check out the items you wish to borrow at the circulation desk before exiting. If the security gate alarm sounds, please return to the desk.
      • If you need assistance, please ask. We’re here to help!
    • Please note: Lockers are only available for patrons while using the Main Stacks. The lockers are emptied daily.
  • Reasons for Limited Access

    Safety and usability

    Built in 1924, the Main Stacks were designed as closed stacks. Lighting is limited, ceilings are low in several locations, and there are few study areas. It is a large area, spanning 15 decks. Limited assistance from staff is available to patrons within the Main Stacks.

    Preservation is key

    Many of the materials are early editions and fragile. Preserving these materials and collections for future generations of users is a fundamental mission of the University Library.

    Security of the collections

    Theft has claimed various valuable resources. Restricted access and monitored entry are key to the protection of material within.


  • Items currently checked out can be renewed within the limits allowed for your type of library card.


  • Library materials can be returned at multiple locations across campus with some limitations.


  • Recalls can be issued on materials currently checked out by Library staff. Learn more about the recalls process.

Fines and Fees

  • Failure to renew library materials can result in overdue fines.

Request and Delivery