Borrowing and Circulation

Library Registration

Users with a valid Museum-issued Identification Badge may register to use the Library. To register, users must submit a completed Library Privileges form that must be signed by the relevant department or division head.

The category of user will determine the level of privileges that the user has:

Borrowing (Full) Privileges: patron is allowed access to Main Stacks, Current Literature Room, photocopiers and the scanner. Patron may borrow materials and request interlibrary loans.

  • Museum staff on payroll
  • Graduate Students sponsored through Gilder School, Dept. of Grants and Fellowships or NYCEP
  • AMNH Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Resident Research Associates
  • Resident Emeriti

Reading (Partial) Privileges: patron is allowed access to Main Stacks, Current Literature Room, photocopiers and the scanner. No borrowing or interlibrary loan.

  • Temporary or contract AMNH staff
  • Volunteers
  • Interns
  • Non-resident Research Associates
  • Non-resident Emeriti
  • Visiting Scientists
  • Students and Post-docs without formal Museum affiliation

Upon submission of the form, users must arrange for an orientation tour of the Library; privileges will be activated only after completion of an orientation session and tour.

Deputy Borrowers

Museum staff with Borrowing Privileges may authorize up to three other users with Borrowing Privileges to pick up materials from the Library and charge them to their account, acting as their deputy. As all borrowers will be alerted via email of any items charged to their account, authorizers will be alerted to any borrowing activity under their name (but we need to verify that this will be possible). Authorizers must complete a separate “Deputy” form for each person they select as deputy.

Circulation of Materials

Only users with Borrowing Privileges may borrow materials from the Library. ALL MATERIALS MUST BE CHARGED OUT AT THE CIRCULATION/REFERENCE DESK BEFORE BEING REMOVED FROM THE LIBRARY AND ALL LIBRARY MATERIALS MUST BE USED IN THE MUSEUM ONLY. NO MATERIAL MAY BE REMOVED FROM MUSEUM PREMISES. Materials from the Rare Book Collections are non-circulating, as are materials in the Special Collections (excluding moving images that are in DVD or VHS format). Reference staff may also restrict the circulation of especially fragile materials. Reference staff will make every effort to accommodate users’ needs for access to and reproduction of fragile items. Reference Staff must approve any exceptions to circulation rules for Library materials.

Losses and Replacement Fines

Library users will be charged a replacement fee for materials that are lost, not returned when recalled, or not returned when the users terminate their association with the Museum (in this last case the Department will be invoiced directly). Library users (or Departments) have the option of paying the standard fine or providing a like-new replacement copy for any lost item and paying a $25 processing fee. The standard fine is the replacement cost plus a $25 processing fee.

Privacy Policy

In accordance with AMNH Library policy, information collected by the Library that identifies the intellectual pursuits of a patron (e.g. library circulation records, interlibrary loan requests, reference questions) will not be disclosed to others, including AMNH staff, except as necessary for enforcement of Library rules (e.g. collection of overdue materials, tracing missing volumes, fulfilling interlibrary loan borrowing requests).

Loan Periods
  • reference books - two weeks
  • current literature - two weeks
  • books and journals from main collection - one year
  • moving images (DVD or VHS format) - two weeks

Recalls are sent when a user requests to see an item that is already charged to someone else. Recall notices are sent by email. If the Library does not receive the item after a follow-up phone call to an initial email, the Library will call the department to investigate whether the original borrower is out-of-town so that we can contact another staff member in his/her department to find and return the item.