Library Policies




Media Inquiries

In an effort to provide clear information about library policies, we have listed those relevant to our patrons below.

Circulation Policies for Students

Loan Periods

The loan period for books held in the circulating collection is 4 weeks; however, items can be recalled at any time after a 1-week period and must be returned by the new due date indicated. Books can be renewed online for an 4 additional week period up to 3 times, but renewals must be placed prior to the due date. Students can borrow no more than 50 items at a time, including Interlibrary Loan items.

DVDs and videotapes usually have a loan period of seven days and may also be recalled. There are also some DVDs and videos with a loan period of 5 hours. 

Reserve items usually circulate for three hours at a time; however items borrowed within three hours of closing are due back the next day at 10 a.m., Monday-Friday, and 12:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. In the case of these special overnight loans, you should keep in mind that closed hours WILL count for fines if the loans are returned late.

Fine Policies

  • Regular Loan (Books, Tapes): , $0.50/day for 60 days. $100 replacement fee charged after 60 days overdue 
  • Interlibrary Loan: $1.00/day 
  • 1-Week Loan Media (DVD, VHS, CD): $1.00/day 
  • 5-Hour Loan Media (DVD, VHS): $0.50/hour ($12.00/day)

When a fine reaches $60, the item will be declared “lost”, and a replacement fee of $100 will be billed to your account; but if the item is significantly more expensive to replace, the cost may be higher. When an overdue item is returned within a reasonable period of time, a credit for the replacement cost will be posted to your account, but the fine will remain and must be paid.

  • 3-Hour Reserve Items: $0.50/hour ($12.00/day)
  • Recalled Items: $3.00/day

There is no fine cap for reserve or recalled items. Library borrowing privileges will be suspended until the item is returned. Failure to return overdue reserves or recalls is a serious offense and a violation of the College’s Policy on Academic Integrity; as such, it may be reported to the Dean of Studies Office.

Collection Policy

Collection Development Policy

The primary mission of Sarah Lawrence College's Esther Raushenbush Library is to collect, maintain, and preserve materials needed to meet the research needs of students and faculty, as well as to support the undergraduate and graduate curricula.

Learn more about our Collection Development Policy

General Policies

Library Newsletter & Personal Librarian

The Library Newsletter

The Library Newsletter is sent to all undergraduate students twice per semester - at the beginning of the semester and mid to late semester. The purpose of these emails is to inform and/or remind students about the library services and resources that are available to them including research consultations, library workshops, new or updated databases or tools, changes in library hours, policies, procedures, items of interest in the library collections, and more. Information about how to seek library assistance is also emphasized.

Personal Librarian Program for Graduate Students, International Students, and Transfer Students

The Personal Librarian Program at Sarah Lawrence College aims to help Graduate Students, International Students, and Transfer Students become familiar and comfortable with the library. Personal Librarians contact students via e-mail once per month during the school year with targeted information about relevant and useful databases or tools, library events, changes in library hours, policies, and procedures, and more. Graduate Students receive information about resources specific to their discipline. The participating librarians will also answer general library questions from new students and direct them to the proper parties when they are unable to answer the questions.

Food & Drink Policy

The library’s food and drink policy is intended to preserve library materials, equipment and furnishings, thereby providing a pleasant and comfortable workspace for our patrons. 

  • Drinks in spill-proof containers or sports bottles are allowed throughout the library—open mugs, aluminum cans, paper cups, styrofoam cups, or any container that might spill are not allowed outside the café or vending machine area.
  • Food is allowed in the café and vending machine area only.
  • No food deliveries of any kind are permitted. 
  • Occasionally, events are scheduled in the library at which refreshments are served.  In these cases, eating and drinking is restricted to the event area.

Patrons who fail to comply may be asked to leave the building.

Noise Policy

The Library is committed to providing an environment that is comfortable, inviting, and conducive to study.  In order to accommodate the study preferences of a variety of users, the library is divided into three zones:

The Quiet Zone (Yellow)

  • Intended for Quiet Study
  • Muted conversation and earbuds/headphone use is permitted provided it does not disturb others
  • Cell phones must be on silent; no cell phone conversations allowed

The Silent Zone (Red)

  • Intended for Silent, Individual Study
  • No conversation or ambient noise is permitted
  • Cell phones must be on silent; no cell phone conversations allowed

The Talking Zone (Green)

  • Intended for Group Study, Class Time, or Meetings
  • Conversation, earbuds/headphones, and video watching is permitted at a volume that does not disturb others
  • Cell phone must be on silent; no cell phone conversations allowed

To help people locate the three different zones, there are color-coded maps displayed on the Library bulletin board as well as signage throughout the library.

Privacy Policy

The library is committed to protecting the privacy of its users. Our policies conform to the code of ethics of The American Library Association that states in part, that “we must protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.“

  • Circulation information is confidential; however, records are available to staff over a period of time for normal circulation workflow purposes.
  • A patron’s record with a history of borrowing can only be produced as a special report by the Systems Librarian. There is no way for student or staff to look up a patron record and access this information.
  • A book’s record with a history of circulation can be searched. Presently, access is limited to student supervisors and library access staff.
  • Groups of student records are removed each year. A purge date equal to one year after the annual expiration date is assigned to each student record when it is entered. Expiration dates, and therefore, purge dates, move ahead year by year as students progress through school, and when a student leaves the College or graduates, the record is slated for removal the following year on the purge date.
  • Faculty and staff records are removed manually when notice is received that they are no longer associated with the College.