University Library


Privacy Notice

The State of California Information Practices Act of 1977 (effective July 1, 1978) requires the University to provide the following information to individuals who are asked to supply information about themselves.

The University Library requests your information for the principal purpose of processing your application for library privileges. The California Public Records Act and the California Information Practices Act both recognize the need of the University to gather information to conduct business necessary to the administration of the University.

Furnishing specifically designated information is mandatory in order to obtain library privileges - failure to provide such information will delay or may even prevent completion of the action for which the library card application form is being filled out. The information on the application form may be shared with campus, University, State, and/or Federal agencies in accordance with applicable regulations, laws, or business needs.

Individuals have the right to review their own records in accordance with University personnel policy, collective bargaining agreements, and the California Information Practices Act.

Information on applicable policies and agreements can be obtained from the Chancellor’s Office, Academic Human Resources, or University of California Office of the President.

State Privacy Policy

The State of California Information Practices Act of 1977 requires that the University notify borrowers about the Library's privacy policy.

The Library requests the following information from its borrowers:

  • address
  • email address
  • phone number

This information is required to obtain library privileges. The Library keeps this information confidential.

The Library notifies borrowers of this policy during the Library Card registration process.

UCOP Policy on Access to UC Library Collections by External Users

Access to the Collections and Services

  • The material in the general collections is available to the public for in-library use. Only UCSC affiliates, courtesy borrowers and/or Friends of the Library may check material out from the general collections.

  • Some collections housed in the library are unavailable for loan to anyone, regardless of affiliation, may only be used under certain conditions and/or may only be accessed during specific unit operational hours.

  • Only patrons who are directly affiliated with UCSC (current faculty, staff and students) may access the full complement of licensed databases remotely. Access to the licensed databases is available to all visitors within the Library.

  • There is no limit to the number of items that may be borrowed from the library by faculty, staff and students.

  • Courtesy and Special borrowers may borrow up to 25 items at any one time.

  • Community Users who elect not to purchase a Friends of the Library Card may request UCSC owned library materials housed in the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) through Interlibrary Loan. Assistance with the ordering process is provided at the Public Service Desks. The materials may not be checked out of the Library but are available for in-library use.

Library Borrower Responsibilities

  • The borrower is responsible for all material checked out to his or her account until the material is returned to the appropriate circulation unit.

  • It is the responsibility of the borrower to keep the University Library informed of his or her current contact information.

  • The Library strongly encourages patrons who know they will be outside of the UCSC campus area for more than two weeks to return all library material. Being away from the UCSC area is not considered a legitimate reason for canceling late fees.

  • Borrowers are expected to follow the University Library's Rules of Conduct.

  • Each borrower must have a valid UCSC ID card or University Library card. Library accounts may be obtained by completing a patron application at the McHenry Library or Science & Engineering Library Circulation Desk.

  • Each borrower must present his or her library card each time material is checked out.

  • Borrowers who do not have a photo on their library card must show a photo ID in conjunction with their library card (faculty, staff, friends, community users) in order to check items out from the University Library.

  • Privileges are valid until the expiration date on the card has passed or affiliation with the University ends.

  • Borrowers are strongly encouraged to report lost or stolen library cards within 48 hours. The Library holds borrowers responsible for all material checked out on their card if they do not report the loss within 48 hours.

  • Library privileges are non-transferable.

  • Students registered during the Spring Quarter may continue to borrow books during the summer if their ID card has a spring validation sticker.

Overdue Policy

Overdue Information:

  • All borrowers are responsible for returning items checked out on their account to the library by the specified due date.
  • Borrowers are responsible for knowing when their books are due.
  • A book is considered overdue if it is not returned by the due date.
  • Patrons who fail to return or renew books by the due date may have their accounts blocked.
  • Any items not returned or renewed by the specified due date or corresponding grace period(s) will be billed for replacement.
  • If you believe you returned an item and it is still on your library account you can place a claims returned search on it and the library will search for it in the stacks. More information about claims returned items can be found here.

The Library provides the following services to all patrons:

  • Patrons can request receipts for books checked out/in at the Circulation Desks.
  • Courtesy notices are emailed  three days before the due date for Undergrads, Friends, and Courtesy borrowers.
  • Courtesy notices are emailed two weeks before the due date for Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students.
  • Exceptions: Courtesy notices are not generated for items with shorter loan periods, including Reserves, Reference, and Journals.
  • Courtesy overdue reminders are emailed/mailed one week after the items are due.
  • Recall notices are emailed/mailed the day after an item has been recalled by another borrower.
  • Borrowers can access their patron accounts online to view the status of and renew checked-out items.
  • Circulation staff will renew items and check records for any patron who calls and requests assistance with their account.
  • Patrons are expected to keep the Library informed of current mailing and email addresses. The Library provides an online address form for updating contact information.

Failure to receive a courtesy or overdue notice does not stop the billing process.


The University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz, serves the instruction and research objectives of University faculty, students, and staff. Our Borrowing Policies define the access level, privileges, and responsibilities of individuals who borrow or make use of the University Library collections and resources.

As a state-supported public institution, the University Library strives to make the materials in its collections as available as possible to the users in the community and state, while simultaneously fulfilling its primary obligation to the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus and the University of California (UC) system.

The borrowing area served by the University Library is defined as the state of California. With the exception of UC faculty, staff, students, and UCSC Summer Conference participants, individuals must be at least 18 years of age and present proof of California residency (ID or driver's license) to receive a library card.

Borrowing Books

Books, annuals, yearbooks, and non-serial government publications have varying loan rules for different patrons. Please refer to the "Loan Periods At-A-Glance" page.

Borrowing Books with Unique Loan Restrictions

  • Journals both bound and unbound circulate for one week with a 1 week grace period.  QD journals (at the S&E Library) do not circulate. Journals (or "serials") are defined as any publication that is published in a series and does not fall into any "book" category.
  • Reference books and journals and Library Use Only books do not generally circulate. Reference librarians may, under special conditions, make exceptions to the policy for these books. If an exception is approved the items are circulated for a borrowing period determined by the librarian.
  • Protected Collection items have a loan period ranging from 2 hours to 2 weeks and are available to all categories of library card holders. Patrons without a library card may use Protected items for two hours within the library.
  • Microformats circulate for 1 week with a 1 week grace period.
  • Mulitcultural Curriculum Collection books circulate like regular books. Please refer to the "Loan Periods At-A-Glance" page

Borrowing Reserves

Reserve items circulate to UCSC students, faculty, staff and concurrent students only.

Patrons who are not eligible for borrowing Reserve items, but who are auditing a UCSC class may check out Reserve items for that class if they have a letter from the instructor who put the material on reserve and they have obtained a "courtesy" card.

Reserve Item Loan Period

The loan period for items designated as reserves is determined by the instructor who placed the material on reserve. Reserve items may be loaned for one of the following time periods:

  • 2 hours
  • 24 hours
  • 72 hours

Reserve items are due on the hour, and must be returned to the Reserve Desk from which they were borrowed.

Instructors and teaching assistants who placed an item on reserve may request to borrow that item for a longer time period.

Reserve Item Renewals

Reserve items must be renewed in person at the Reserve Desk from which they were borrowed. Reserve items may not be renewed by phone or online.

Reserve Item Bookings (Holds)

  • If a Reserve item is currently checked out, or you would like to pick an item up at a later time, you can place a booking on the material.
  • Bookings must be done in-person.
  • Bookings can be placed in-person at either library, regardless of where the desired material is held.
  • Bookings cannot be placed more than one business day in advance, except when placing bookings on 72-hour items that are currently checked out.
  • Bookings may not be placed on multiple copies of the same item, or on an item that you currently have checked out.
  • Bookings expire 15 minutes after the specified pick-up time.

End of the quarter holds may be placed in person at the Public Service Desk.

Reserve holds are not accepted by telephone or via the online library system.

For further information, please refer to the webpage: Course Reserves

Laptops and Other Equipment

Current UCSC students, faculty, and staff may borrow laptops, and Chromebooks from the Science & Engineering Library Circulation Desk and the McHenry Library Circulation Desk. The S&E Library has one gaming iPad to check out. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They may be reserved one day in advance. One laptop per person may be checked out.

Check Availability

Loan Period

  • The normal loan period is for approximately 4 hours (rounded to nearest hour).
  • Renewals are allowed when there is no one waiting. Renewals must be done in person.
  • Failure to return the equipment on time will result in an hourly fine.

Loan Enforcement

  • The University Library reserves the right to deny checkout privileges based on past abuses.
  • The borrower agrees to return the equipment in the same order and condition as when received and if such equipment is damaged or lost while on loan, agrees to reimburse the university for the costs of repair or replacement with new equipment of the same type.

Overdue Charges

  • Overdue charges of $5.00 for the first hour or partial hour and $2.00 for each hour or partial hour thereafter until a maximum of $75.00 are assessed if the equipment is not returned on time.
  • Please report loss, damage, or defect to the Circulation Desk immediately.

Printing Your Work

  • Printing is currently unavailable on laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads.


  • Please, do not leave the library equipment unattended. You are responsible for the equipment checked out to you. The Library is not responsible for loss while checked out to you.
  • Personal software may not be loaded onto the laptop. No user files will be retained on the hard disk.
  • Flash Drive is recommended (to save your work and take it away with you)


  • For technical questions about operation of the library laptops, please go to the IT Help Desk.
  • Please report any hardware or software problems to Circulation staff when returning the laptop.

Other Equipment
The library also offers other equipment for checkout, including calculators, power adapters, audiovisual adapters, and bicycle locks. For more information and availability, please inquire at the circulation desks.

Protect Collection Materials

Protect Collection materials circulate to any patron with a valid UCSC library card . Patrons who do not have a UCSC library card  may have on-site access to material in the Protect Collection if they provide staff with a valid picture ID.

The loan periods vary, and are as follows:

  • 2 hours
  • 1 day
  • 3 days
  • 21 days

Items designated as part of the Protect Collection must be returned to the library desk from which they were borrowed.

Protect Collection Renewals

Material that circulates for 2 hours, 1 day and 3 days may be renewed in person at the Protect Collection unit from which it was borrowed.

Material that circulates for 21 days may be renewed via the online library system, by telephone, or in person at the library desk at the Protect Collection unit from which it was borrowed.

Protect Collection Holds

A hold may be placed at any time for Protect items that are checked out.

Video Game Collection

The video game collection, which is housed in the Science & Engineering Library, has over 700 games available for check-out, as well as approximately 40 consoles. The materials circulate to UCSC Faculty, Staff, and Students.

  • Video Games and Game Consoles circulate for 2 weeks and have a 3 day grace period.
  • The gaming iPad circulates for 4 hours. It is renewable in person and can go out overnight. It is subject to standard reserves fines.
  • Holds can be placed on any games or consoles checked out. This can be done in person or over the phone. 
  • All Games and Game Consoles must be brought back to the library to be renewed.
  • A small archival collection of games are located in the Protect collection and circulate to faculty and graduate students for longer loan periods.

The library has a Video Gaming Lab with a selection of both new and old school consoles to play.  The keys to use the game lab can be checked out at the Circulation Desk. You can find a list of games and consoles in Cruzcat.  Items listed as "S&E GAME ROOM" are library use only.

PLEASE NOTE: checking consoles in and out takes some time; please be aware that the circulation desk closes 15 minutes before the building closes. Leave plenty of time for this transaction.

Games & consoles are subject to fines at full replacement costs plus administrative costs. 

For more information, please refer to the Video Games Collection page.

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and archival material do not circulate but are available for research in the Special Collections unit to all categories of borrowers. Special conditions for use and handling of material, which are posted in the Special Collections unit, must be followed. All researchers must register and show a picture ID to have access to any special collection or archival item.

Researchers are encouraged to call in advance concerning the material they wish to see. Advance notice is required for use of some material in the Special Collections unit so that it can be retrieved from storage.

For more information, refer to the webpage: Special Collections & Archives

Visual Resource Collection

All categories of borrowers are eligible to view slides in the Visual Resource Collection (VRC) by appointment.

Slides only circulate to UCSC faculty and students for instructional presentations on the UCSC campus.

Visual Resource Collection Loan Period

The loan period for slides is one week for faculty and their proxies. Students may borrow slides on the day of their class presentation and must return items to the VRC the same day.

Visual Resource Collection Renewals

Faculty may renew slides in person or by phone if no holds have been placed on the items. Students may not renew materials, however, if an instructor reschedules a student's class presentation, VRC staff can place slides on hold for up to one week.

Visual Resource Collection Recalls

Slides that are checked out to another patron may be recalled and held for a requesting user. Patrons should contact the VRC staff to recall specific items. Staff will handle all recall notifications and holds.

For more information, please refer to the webpage: Visual Resource Collection

Media Center Collection

All UCSC Library borrowers are eligible to borrow material located in the Media Center Collection for viewing in the Media Center. Items may not be removed from the library.

Faculty, faculty proxies and graduate students may borrow items for viewing outside the library. The loan period is 7 days, except when the item is on Reserve for a class. The loan period for items on Reserve is 1 day.

Undergraduate students and UCSC staff may borrow one item at a time for a 24 hour loan period, as part of a new pilot project. The items are not renewable.

Music graduate students may borrow sound recordings for listening outside the library. The loan period is three days. Items on reserve for a class may not be borrowed.

Media Center Renewals

Media Center materials may be renewed online, in person, or by phone. Items checked out as part of our Circulating Collection pilot program (running Winter 2014-Winter 2015) may not be renewed.

Media Center Bookings

Faculty and their proxies may book Media Center items to be checked out on a certain date. Bookings may also be done for items on reserve for students to view in the Media Center. Bookings are accepted by email, phone, or in person. Please request bookings as far in advance as possible--this will help ensure that items are ready for you when you need them.

For more information, please refer to the webpage: Media Center