Circulation Services

General Information

New faculty and staff may register for library privileges online. All other patrons may apply at the circulation desks in Shields Library, the Carlson Health Sciences Library, the Blaisdell Medical Library, or the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library.

Lending Regulations

The lending regulations outlined here govern the lending of library materials. The Academic Senate Library Committee endorses the policies in this document. University of California students, faculty and staff have priority access to the University Library collections. Resources are made available to external users whenever possible. Individual library units may have additional regulations; ask at the circulation desk for unit-specific lending regulations.

Patrons may check out and renew library materials online ( or at a circulation desk. Patrons may also get assistance locating missing materials and placing recalls on materials that are checked out to other borrowers.

Patrons must present their library card when conducting library transactions.

Most University Library units operate on an open stack, self-service basis. University of California faculty, staff and students may have a combined total of 300 items, including interlibrary loan materials, checked out at one time.

Library materials that are on loan may be recalled at any time and must be returned directly to a library circulation desk. Borrowers who will be away from their mailing address for a week or more are advised to return library materials or make arrangements to ensure the prompt return of books if recalled for another borrower.

Responsibilities of Borrowers Granted Library Privileges

Borrowers are responsible for library materials checked out to them until they are returned to the lending library.

Library privileges are not transferable; individuals are prohibited by Library policy from lending their library privileges to others.

Privilege holders are responsible for maintaining current email and postal addresses. This information can be updated at any circulation desk or by using Update Addresses in the My Account ( section of the Library Search. The libraries assume no responsibility for undeliverable or misdirected notices. Non-receipt of notices due to an incorrect address may result in replacement bills and loss of library privileges. The library does not automatically receive updated addresses from other campus units (e.g., Registrar).

Confidentiality of Records

In compliance with California State privacy laws, library staff may not disclose the identities of borrowers who have books checked out.

Abuse of Library Privileges

Abuse of library privileges may result in loss of library privileges in all UC Davis libraries.

Examples of abuse of library privileges include repeatedly not returning materials on time, not paying replacement bills, not responding to recall notices, not returning library materials even after replacement bills have been issued, mutilation or damage of library materials, misuse of library computers, and misuse of the library's electronic resources.

Consequences resulting from non-payment of Library bills:

  • For students, non-payment of library bills will result in individuals being dropped from classes and holds being placed on academic records.
  • For non-students, including faculty & staff, the Campus Cashier's Office refers unpaid bills to a collection agency.
  • Library privileges will be suspended if library replacement bills are not paid within 90 days.
  • CSUS Students will lose privileges at the CSUS library

Any person who steals or mutilates Library material is subject to prosecution under the provisions of the California Education Code.

Checking Out Library Materials

Patrons must present a valid UC Davis library card when checking out library materials.

Proxy cards, which allow borrowing by proxy, may be issued to Davis Campus faculty and disabled staff and students. Please see section on Proxy Cards for more information on proxy card eligibility.

Loan Periods

Loan periods are dependent upon type of material and status of patron. Materials on reserve for courses have shorter loan periods. Patrons should check with the Circulation Desk for additional policies.

All library materials are subject to immediate recall; please read the Recall section for more information.

SMS (Text) Messaging Overview

Library patrons may sign up to receive SMS (text) notifications in addition to email when items arrive, are overdue or are recalled. (excluding items arriving from Interlibrary loan and 2hr loans from Reserves)

SMS messages are sent in addition to standard email messages. You cannot opt to receive SMS messages instead of email. SMS messages may incur carrier charges to patron cellular accounts.

You can sign up for SMS through My Account ( on the Library Search. If you wish to update your SMS contact number or wish to drop the SMS service, you can also do so via My Account.

Current Library Patrons

  1. Log into My Account ( via the Library's homepage.
  2. Click on Address Update Form link
  3. Enter the cell phone number where you want to receive text messages in the SMS number field
  4. Check "Receive SMS" box to enroll and uncheck Receive SMS box to stop receiving text messages
  5. Click on Update to finish the process

New patrons can sign up for SMS during the Library Account creation process

Additional Information

SMS messages come from 530-405-2126 and direct patrons to check their Harvest account.

SMS phone number is the cellular telephone number (no carrier information needed) and can be entered in any format (dashes, spaces, etc) as long as area code is included.

SMS messages are sent out when:

  • Items are recalled
  • Items are overdue
  • Items arrive on hold (ILL and 2 hour loan Reserves items not included).

Renewing Library Materials

Library materials that have loan periods of 1 day, 1 week or 2 weeks, or 4 weeks and are not recalled may be renewed online (, in person, or by telephone (during operating hours). If not renewing online, call the library from which the materials were checked out; refer to the library directory for contact information.

The renewal period is the same as the original loan period. Libraries may have limited renewals for some materials. Materials that cannot be renewed online or by phone must be returned to the library from which they were checked out before they can be checked out again. Recalled materials cannot be renewed.

Graduate Student with Quarterly Renewals:

Materials checked out for the quarter are due on the tenth working day of the next quarter, except for Spring Quarter when they are due the last day of finals. On the first first day of final exams, the graduate due date is changed to the next quarter's due date; if fees for the next quarter have been paid, materials may be borrowed or renewed for the next quarter as of this date. Quarterly materials may be renewed on the web or in person. Renewals must be completed no later than 7 days after the items become due. After materials have been renewed three times, they must be brought into the library for annual inspection.

Faculty and Research Borrowers:

Unlimited renewals allowed on UCD-owned material that is not requested and that is not on Course Reserve.

Recalls and Searches


UC students, faculty and staff may place a recall on any material that is checked out to another borrower. Recalls can be placed online using the Request feature under item Availability in Library Search - or in person at circulation desks. A recall informs the current borrower that the item is needed immediately by another person, and that the current borrower has one week to return the item before fines and fees are assessed. Additionally, a borrower who does not return recalled material by the recall due date will have all library privileges suspended until the material is returned or the replacement bill is paid in full.

All materials are subject to immediate recall if needed by another borrower or by Reserve Services. Recall notices are sent by email (or by US mail only if the borrower has no email address). Rush recalls for Reserve Services have a 5 day recall due date.

Material must be returned by the date given on the recall notice regardless of the original due date.

The Recall Policy applies to all borrowers.

When the requested material is returned, the borrower will be notified by e-mail, and the item placed on the Hold Shelf for six days.


Ask for assistance at a circulation desk for any item that is listed as "Available" in the Harvest Online Catalog, but appears to be missing from the shelves. Library staff will verify the status and shelving location of the item and will initiate a search.

This service is available to UC faculty, staff, and students.

Borrowers will be notified when the item is available or when the item should be requested through interlibrary loan.

Returning Library Materials

Materials borrowed from University Library units may be returned to any UC Davis University Library unit or to campus book return bins located at various locations around campus and at the Blaisdell Medical Library in Sacramento.

Library Drop-off Bins

The University Library currently offers 3 book drop-off locations for the convenience of our patrons who cannot easily access campus libraries. The drop-off bins are found at these locations: [see map (,-121.752505&spn=0.013712,0.01929)]

  1. A Street
  2. La Rue
  3. California Ave

Recalled items and materials from reserve collections must be returned directly to the owning library and not to a book return at another library or a remote book return bin. Materials may also be returned by mail. Refer to the library directory for library mailing addresses.

When returning material by mail, packages should be insured and sent by a mailing service that provides tracking, (e.g., Ups, FedEx). The University Library does not assume any risk for materials returned by mail or returned to another University of California location, such as UC Berkeley. Materials are not considered returned until received and checked in at a unit of the UC Davis University Library.

Overdue Materials, Library Fines, Replacement and Processing Fees

Shields Library, the Carlson Health Science Library, Blaisdell Medical Library, and the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library send out an email courtesy notice 3 days before library materials are due. Overdue notices are sent by email the day after an item was due and again one week later. No paper overdue notices are sent. It is the library cardholder's responsibility to keep the library informed of their current mailing and email addresses. The libraries assume no responsibility for misdirected notices. Not receiving an overdue notice does not negate the borrower's responsibility to return items to the library on time.

Library Fines

Daily fines are assessed on materials that have been recalled.

Daily or hourly fines are assessed on Reserve items that are returned late.

Fees and fines for recalled and reserve materials have been intentionally set to encourage the timely return of these items, because they are in high demand.

Replacement Billing And Processing Fees

Library materials not returned or renewed will be billed for replacement, plus a non-refundable $15.00 processing fee.

Replacement fees are assessed at a minimum standard replacement fee or at current list price.

Minimum Replacement Charges:
Material Type Shields Library HSL/BML PSE
Monographs $75.00 $100.00 $100.00
Unbound Periodicals $80.00 $80.00 $80.00
Bound Periodicals $200.00 $200.00 $200.00
Other Media Minimum $20.00 $250.00 Minimum $25.00

Although standard rates are applied at the time of initial billing, a supplementary bill may be assessed for any item when the replacement cost is determined to be more than the standard replacement fee.

Consequences of not paying library bills:

  • Bills 90 days past due are referred to a collection agency.
  • Students will be dropped from classes
  • Holds will be placed on academic records for unpaid library bills
  • Library privileges will be suspended

Recall Fines

Regular Recall Fines and Rush Recall Fines are assessed at a rate of $5.00/per day to a maximum fine of $100.00.

Overdue Regular Recalled items are billed for replacement on the first day overdue. When billed for replacement, a non-refundable $15.00 processing fee is charged in addition to the daily fines and the replacement fee.

Overdue Rush Recalled items are billed for replacement on the first day overdue. When billed for replacement, a non-refundable $20.00 processing fee is charged in addition to the daily fines and the replacement fee.

Borrowing privileges of patrons who do not return recalled materials are suspended until the materials are returned. The replacement charge will be cancelled when the item is returned, but no part of the processing fee or the accrued fine will be cancelled within 6 months.

The Recall Policy Applies to All Borrowers

Reserve Fines

Reserve fines accrue at different rates, depending upon the material type and loan period. Any reserve item, not returned by the time the maximum fine is assessed, is billed for replacement.

Damaged Materials

Any item returned with damage will be billed either for repairs or for replacement. In addition to the damage/replacement charge, a $15.00 non-refundable processing fee is assessed.

Marking in materials, folding pages, and/or using self-stick labels cause damage and are prohibited.

Payment of Library Bills

Replacement bills are sent electronically to the borrower and to the Campus Cashier's Office. A printed bill is sent by mail only if the borrower does not have a valid email address.

Reserve fines are transmitted automatically to the Cashier's Office; no printed bills are sent.

Instructions for payment are found on replacement and recall bills. No payment is accepted in the libraries.

Materials Stored Off Campus
Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF)

Books and bound volumes of serials stored at the NRLF can be retrieved within 2 days (excluding holidays and weekends). UC faculty, staff and students can place requests for NRLF books using the Request service in the Melvyl Catalog. Unaffiliated borrowers will need to place requests at Circulation/Interlibrary Loan service desks.

Copies of articles and book chapters of 50 pages or less can be obtained from the NRLF within 1 day (excluding weekends and holidays). Requests can be placed using the library's ILL request forms. This service is limited to UC borrowers.

Contact Circulation Services

Shields Library
Phone: (530) 752‑8792
Physical Sciences & Engineering Library
Phone: (530) 752‑5507
Carlson Health Sciences Library
Phone: (530) 752‑8401
Blaisdell Medical Library
Phone: (916) 734‑3529