Library Accounts and Borrowing

COVID-19 Update

Precautions are in place to minimize contact at the Circulation Desk, including:

For more information about library buildings and services during this public health crisis, please see Coronavirus: Library Resources and Services.


A valid UC Davis Library account is required to borrow and renew materials and to place recalls or requests. Faculty or individuals needing assistance using the library may designate a proxy to conduct library business on their behalf.

Users may borrow most UC Davis Library items that aren’t a part of Special Collections, Reference, or another protected collection. Loan periods vary based upon user group, owning library, and material type. Items that are borrowed via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) are subject to the loan rules of the lending library. It’s important to note that all library items are subject to immediate recall.

Faculty and staff are given unlimited renewals of UC Davis-owned material while most others may renew materials up to a maximum loan period of one year. Items cannot be renewed if the item is requested, the user’s library account in suspended or expired, of if the maximum loan period has been reached.

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Library materials may be returned at any library location or remote drop box. Users may also return materials by a mail service that provides tracking (ex., UPS, FedEx). Users not located near the Davis or Sacramento area may email shieldsinterloan@ucdavis.edu and request a postage-paid shipping label in order to return material to the library.

Materials are not considered returned until received and checked in at a UC Davis Library location. Materials returned to a remote drop box or by mail may take several additional days to be received by the library. Materials not received by their due date may be subject to billing; user privileges may be suspended if materials are not returned on time.

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The UC Davis Library collections benefit the research, teaching and learning needs of users across campus. To maximize access to these shared resources, all on-loan materials are subject to immediate recall by Course Reserves, Interlibrary Loan, or another library unit. Recalls by another library user are currently unavailable. Recalled material must be received at the library or postmarked by the recall due date to avoid billing or suspension of library privileges.

Recalled material will be due within one week of the date of the recall, regardless of the original assigned due date. If the due date is already less than one week away, material must be received at the library or postmarked by that date.

For information regarding how to request material for yourself, please refer to our Request Books or Articles webpage.

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Library privileges are automatically active for current UCD faculty, staff, and students, who may immediately begin using all library services. Emeriti and retirees retain the same borrowing privileges as when they were current employees. Remote access to electronic resources, including the HathiTrust, is limited to current UCD faculty, staff, students, and emeriti. Retirees do not have remote access to electronic resources,

UC Davis faculty and students are eligible for library privileges at any UC campus or CSU Sacramento. Users must bring their UC Davis employee or student ID when applying at one of these other campuses. CSUS will also require proof of current registration. UC Davis faculty and graduate students are also eligible for library accounts at Stanford (excluding Lane Medical Library) but must first apply for these privileges at a UC Davis Library location.

Library privileges are not transferable. Only the individual named on the library card can use the card. Authorization cards, which allow borrowing by proxy, may be issued to UCD faculty and disabled staff and students.

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Proxy cards may be issued to UCD students and staff who are doing research on behalf of a UCD faculty member. Disabled staff members and students are also eligible to have a proxy. The faculty member or disabled user is the “Sponsor” while the individual acting on their behalf is the “Proxy.”

A signed Proxy application is required for all new Proxy accounts. The Sponsor is responsible for all materials checked out by a Proxy and for responding to all notices and bills.

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A variety of different courtesy and fee-based library cards are available for individuals who are not currently registered UCD students, faculty or staff. These individuals may apply for library privileges in-person at any UC Davis Library location (excluding the Mabie Law Library). Individuals must present a current government-issued photo ID and verification of status or payment when registering. Payments must be by check (payable to “UC Regents”) or exact-cash only.

Renewal of library privileges may be requested in person, by email or by phone. If this is a fee-based library account, payment is due at the time of renewal.

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Main Circulation shieldscirc@ucdavis.edu (530) 752‑8792
Billing librarybilling@ucdavis.edu (530) 752‑1204
Main Campus ILL shieldsinterloan@ucdavis.edu (530) 752‑2251
Health Sciences ILL hslill@ucdavis.edu (530) 752‑6379