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Visiting the Libraries

All visitors to the Brown Library must comply with rules and regulations of Brown University and the Brown University Library. Library facilities are academic buildings intended to support the educational and research purposes of Brown University and are primarily for the use of those holding Brown IDs. Every person should be prepared to present a valid picture ID to gain access to the library.

After 10pm, access to the Rockefeller and Sciences libraries is reserved exclusively for Brown University picture ID holders. We reserve the right to deny access at any time to those not holding Brown IDs. Please note that library facilities may not be used for commercial or paid services.
Information for staff issuing cards

Brown University community

  • Alumni The Brown University Library recognizes all Brown degree holders as alumni. The Alumni Library Card is available to Brown alumni who wish to borrow library materials. There is a one-time $15 processing fee for the card. The card may be used for borrowing Brown material only.  Other restrictions may apply.  Brown alumni who do not need borrowing privileges may request an access card at the Rockefeller Library service desk.
  • Family of current Brown students, faculty, and staff: Brown ID holders may apply for a library card for their spouse/partner and dependent children of at least high school age. The card may be used for borrowing Brown material only.  Other restrictions may apply.
  • Deputy Borrowers A Brown faculty member may appoint a deputy borrower. The deputy borrower must be a Brown ID holder. Medical faculty who are based off-campus may appoint a non-Brown ID holder as their deputy borrower.
  • Brown ID holder guest Brown ID holders may sign in a guest. The Brown ID holder must accompany and leave with the guest. The Brown ID holder is responsible for the behavior of his or her guests.

Reciprocal arrangements

  • RISD Most holders of current IDs will be accorded access and borrowing privileges at the Brown Library.
  • HELIN Most holders of current IDs from member institutions will be accorded access and borrowing privileges at the Brown Library.
  • SHARES Holders of IDs from member institutions will be accorded library access privileges.
  • CRIARL Holders of current cards may obtain borrowing privileges.
  • Federal Depository Library Program The library’s US Government Documents collection is available to all US citizens.

Other arrangements

  • AMS staff At the request of the Director of the American Mathematical Society, the library will grant borrowing privileges to select AMS employees. The card may be used for borrowing Brown material only.  Other restrictions may apply.
  • RIMS members Current members of the RI Medical Society may request library borrowing privileges. RIMS membership is annual. The card may be used for borrowing Brown material only.  Other restrictions may apply.
  • Corporate borrowing card Companies may purchase a corporate borrowing card that can be used by anyone they designate. The fee is $600 per year. The library requires the name of a contact person who will be chiefly responsible for the card and the account. The card may be used for borrowing Brown material only.  Other restrictions may apply.

Brown University library card

  • Anyone with a research need may purchase building access cards for specified periods at the following rates : Building access card, one year $75.00. Building access card, six months $50.00. Borrowing cards may be purchased for $400.00 and are good for one full year. These cards may be used for borrowing Brown material only.   Other restrictions may apply.  

Courtesy short-term access for others

  • University guest Short-term library access privileges will be accorded to those who are being hosted by a Brown program, department or faculty member.
    Information for staff issuing cards
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  • Traveling scholars Faculty and graduate students from out-of-state that do not fall under under agreements mentioned above may request an access card for up to a two-week period once per calendar year. A current institutional ID is required. For longer or more frequent visits, see above under "Brown University Library card."
  • Undergraduate students from other institutions Undergraduates from institutions not covered by agreements mentioned above must present a letter of referral issued from their home library. A current ID from the home institution is required.
  • Referrals from RI libraries The Brown Library serves the State of Rhode Island as a special research center. An individual with a short-term research need should first consult a librarian at a Rhode Island public library or at the Dept. of State Library Services. Library letters of referral should be title-specific and will be honored for a one-week period.

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