Borrowing Policies

To borrow materials from the Rensselaer Libraries, all borrowers must:

  1. Provide one of the following as an acceptable form of identification:
    • Rensselaer ID card: Issued to current faculty, staff, and students, their dependents and spouses, guests of the Institute, and Rensselaer retirees. More information regarding Rensselaer ID cards is available from Human Resources (faculty, staff) or the Campus Card Office (students).
    • Picture ID: Current New York state driver’s license or other comparable picture ID or a Courtesy Card issued by the Libraries.
  2. Regularly check their Rensselaer email account. Because the Libraries use Rensselaer email addresses to send out notifications regarding overdue materials, recalls, and billing, all Library users must regularly check their Rensselaer email account and maintain their campus directory information. The Libraries will mail notifications to unaffiliated borrowers who do not have Rensselaer email addresses.

Lending and Usage Policies

  • Books:
    • 16-week loan, guaranteed three weeks, except if needed for class reserves
    • 75-book maximum with renewals
  • Reading Room Books: Two-week loan, one renewal, two-book limit
  • CDs, LPs: Ten-day loan, one renewal, six-item limit
  • DVDs: Three-day loan, one renewal, six-item limit

Includes Architecture and Folsom Libraries, the Institute Archives, and any Special Collections

You must present a picture ID, driver’s license, passport, etc.

Available for checkout and a one-time renewal are the following material types, up to a combined three-item limit:

  • Books: Three-week loan
  • CDs, LPs: Ten-day loan
  • DVDs: Three-day loan
  • Reading Room/Popular Reading Books: Two-week loan (two-book limit)

Includes Architecture and Folsom Libraries, the Institute Archives, and any Special Collections

Please note: Borrowing privileges do not include offsite access to licensed electronic material (i.e., databases and e-journals) or onsite access to licensed resources that require RPI authentication.

As a general policy, we do not issue DAP cards as we can meet RPI users' needs through interlibrary loan services. However, if you are an RPI faculty, staff, or student who cannot access materials through ILL, and believes that a DAP card would provide access to those materials, please let us know. We will consider issuing DAP cards on a case-by-case basis.

DAP cardholders from other institutions should contact the library issuing their DAP card before visiting RPI Libraries in person to ensure they can check out our materials. DAP lending is available on Mondays - Fridays, until 5 pm, and applies to the following definition of an eligible user, provided by CDLC's Direct Access Program guidelines: Eligible users need extensive use of RPI Libraries' materials only after the home library’s resources have been fully utilized. The DAP program is not designed for use when interlibrary loan would suffice. If a DAP cardholder can access interlibrary loan services through their issuing library, we will direct them to request our materials through ILL instead whenever possible.

DAP cardholders must abide by the lending policies of RPI Libraries.

  • First-time borrowers must present a government-issued photo ID with their current mailing address and prepare for additional time needed for library staff to create a local borrower record.
  • All borrowers must be prepared to present a driver's license, passport, or other government-issued photo ID alongside their DAP card when they visit the library.
  • Renew loans or return materials within specified time periods.
  • Return materials on or before the due date. (Vacations or extended absences do not exempt borrowers from this condition.)
  • Accept responsibility for payment of fines for overdue materials or replacement costs for materials lost or damaged while on loan.
  • Books: Three-week loan, three-book limit

The Rensselaer Libraries offer limited services to employees of companies located in the Rensselaer Technology Park or the Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE) in the Rice Building.

Rensselaer affiliates may request a Courtesy Card at the Folsom or Architecture Library Service Desk for book loans. Borrowers with these "courtesy" privileges may check out up to three books and/or technical reports for a three-week loan period.

If you still have questions, please get in touch with the Library staff.


ConnectNY materials typically arrive at the Folsom Library within four to five of being requested and will be forwarded to the shipping address the Hartford affiliate supplied in their request form.

Interlibrary Loan

Hartford affiliates new to Interlibrary Loan should log in to ILLiad using their RCS user ID and password to create their personal record, including their shipping address.

Shipping Information and Policies

All requested physical materials will be sent via UPS to the Hartford affiliate’s specified shipping address. Each package contains a pre-paid return shipping label, so all affiliates should take care opening the shipping container and save it in case it is needed for return shipping.

If return shipping is required, UPS Ground service from the Hartford area to Troy takes approximately two to three days. The Libraries on the Troy campus must receive any returned items by their due date to avoid any overdue billing.

  • A borrowed library item becomes overdue ten days after it is due or has been recalled. Borrowers may be billed for the full replacement cost plus a $20.00 processing fee for each unreturned item.
  • Replacement costs are obtained from library acquisition data and other professional sources and may include an additional $150.00 search fee for out-of-print materials.
  • Borrowers will be billed for the repair or replacement costs of any library materials that are returned damaged.

Payment and Billing

  • Unsettled Rensselaer student library fines are considered delinquent 30 days after the issue. These fines will be billed to the student’s Bursar account and may be paid at the Bursar’s Office.
  • Bills to all other borrowers must be paid by check and made payable to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. This may be done at the Libraries' Service Desks or by mail. Bills may also be charged to a departmental account.

Folsom Library
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th St, Troy, NY 12180

  • Ownership of billed library material resides with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Payment of replacement costs and/or other charges does not transfer ownership.
  • Borrowing privileges may remain suspended until billed materials are returned to the Library, regardless of the payment status of bills.
  • Billing inquiries should be directed to the Folsom Service Desk Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM or to the Architecture Service Desk Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM.
  • Any borrowers who believe a billing or a record-keeping error has occurred should contact the Service Desk at Folsom Library.

Loss of Borrowing Privileges

  • General borrowing privileges will be suspended for individuals who owe fines or have overdue ConnectNY or Interlibrary Loan books.
  • Borrowing privileges may remain suspended until billed materials are returned to the Libraries, regardless of any bill's payment status.


  • Loans are for four weeks from the date of shipment.
  • Loan renewals must be requested in advance of loan expiration.
  • Libraries failing to return items after loan expiration will be subject to billing procedures and loss of borrowing privileges.
  • Electronic materials, journals, and reference books are not available for loan.


  • Reciprocal libraries (including Connect NY, the RapidILL group, Libraries Very Interested In Sharing "LVIS," the Capital District Library Council, and users of the Empire State Library Network ELD statewide delivery service): No charge for standard surface delivery
  • Other libraries: $15.00 for libraries using IFM; $25.00 per loan for any library needing an invoice.
  • Requests for articles and brief publications (1-30 pages) are charged $15.00.
  • All libraries: Additional fees may apply for non-IFM billing

Services Available to Unaffiliated Users

  • Email requests for books and articles.
  • Journal article-scanning. PDFs will be emailed to the requester with an attached invoice.
  • Book shipment. Books will be sent via the United Parcel Service with an enclosed invoice.

Unaffiliated library users may supply the required shipping account information for all service requests.


You may renew your loan in one of the following ways:

  • With your library account, if the item is not overdue.
  • In person at the Service Desk
  • By email
  • By telephone: Folsom Library: (518) 276-8310; Architecture Library: (518) 276-6465

Renewal loans will be extended if the following conditions are met:

  • The items are not needed for Course Reserve or by another borrower.
  • It has been less than ten days since the loan expired.
  • The borrower does not have other delinquent loans, unsettled fines, or suspended borrowing privileges.


  • All loans are subject to recall by the Libraries at any time for Course Reserve or three weeks after the date of loan when needed by another borrower.
  • Replacement costs, plus a processing fee, will be charged for recalled items not returned within the specified period.
  • When a recalled item has been returned, the requester will receive an email notification, and the Service Desk will hold the item for ten days pending pick-up.


  • You may place a hold on a physical library item and pick it up from the library when you receive an email notifying you that the item is available.
  • Find the physical item you want in the Catalog or Quick Search and select "Place Hold." Then, log in with your RCS ID and follow the prompts to place a hold on the item.
  • If the item is available, library staff will retrieve the item within 24 hours (Monday - Friday), and you will receive an email when the item is available at the service desk.
  • Bring your RPI ID card with you to pick up the item.

You may return your borrowed Library materials by the following methods:

  • Drop them off in person at the Library Service Desks.
  • Use the book drop located outside the main entrance of Folsom Library.
  • Send them via campus mail or the US mail to:

Folsom Library
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th St, Troy, NY 180-3590


Architecture Library
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th St, Troy, NY 180-3590

Receipts for the return of Rensselaer Libraries' materials are supplied upon request. In addition, materials borrowed directly from other area libraries with a CDLC Direct Access Card, Interlibrary Loan, or ConnectNY may also be returned to the Folsom Library.

The Service Desk staff will check the shelves for items thought to have been returned. However, fines and replacement costs will not be automatically waived.

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