Who May Borrow?

In addition to all Swarthmore College students, faculty and staff, the Libraries are open to the public. Anyone may visit in person to view our collections and exhibits, and access most online resources from public computers.

Community members may borrow materials after applying for a courtesy card at McCabe Library. Current, valid identification and proof of residency will be required.

How long may I keep it?


Renew through your account online, in person at a Circulation Desk, by replying to an emailed notice or by phone:

  • McCabe: 610-328-8477
  • Cornell: 610-328-8262
  • Underhill: 610-328-8232

Request materials from Bryn Mawr and Haverford

Items from Bryn Mawr and Haverford may be requested via Tripod. Delivery is often the next day, and you will be notified when the item has arrived. Alumni may request items by contacting the Circulation Desk.

Requesting a checked out item = a Recall

  • Before recalling try EZ Borrow! You will receive what you want more quickly.
  • If you recall a checked out item, the borrower will have 5 days to make the return.
  • If a recall seems best, you will be notified when the item is ready for pick-up.


Materials may be returned at any Circulation Desk or through the after hours slots outside. Reserves materials must be returned to the library from where they were borrowed.

What happens if I've kept it too long?

You will receive Penalty Points or may be responsible for replacement costs and $10 billing fee.


  • 10 accrued penalty points results in the loss of overnight reserve borrowing privileges (a block) for one week.
  • If you incur three or more blocks in a semester, the Libraries may notify the Academic Dean.

Faculty: The Circulation Department periodically provides the College Librarian with a list of faculty in danger of being blocked. You will be blocked if:

  • A recalled book is overdue and until it is returned
  • Your account reaches $1000 in fines
  • Your account reaches 100 penalty points
  • Your account has more than 999 items checked out