For the Caltech Community

The Lending Code defines the privileges and responsibilities of all who borrow materials from the Caltech Library. The purpose of the code and the regulations outlined in it is to provide optimum use of the collection for students, faculty, staff, and other scholars. The Caltech library maintains up-to-date borrowers’ records based upon documentation provided by borrowers and issues library cards/barcodes as evidence that borrowing privileges have been granted.  For more information on who is eligible to borrow materials, consult the library borrowing privileges.

Responsibility
A patron who has been granted borrowing privileges is responsible for all materials borrowed against their record. It is the borrower’s responsibility to:

  • Know when materials are due to be returned
  • Return or renew materials on or before the due date
  • Return recalled materials immediately
  • Report address changes promptly to the library
  • Exercise care in handling all library materials

Library privileges may not be transferred to another individual. Proxy or faculty authorization cards are available for staff using the library on behalf of a faculty member (see below). Immediate family members of current Caltech faculty, graduate students, and staff may apply for their own borrower’s card if they are the age of fifteen or older.

Faculty, students, and staff are expected to uphold those provisions of the Caltech Honor code regarding library regulations. Students involved in abuse of privileges will be reported to the professor whose course reserves may have been involved and/or to the respective Board of Control as per the Caltech Honor Code.

Obtaining Borrowing Privileges
Borrowing privileges may be obtained at any circulation desk in the Caltech Library upon presentation of a valid Caltech picture ID and confirmation of a current address.

Renewal of privileges may be denied if there are:

  • Bills for replacement
  • Blocks on a borrower’s record
  • Blocks on a family member record

Lost Library ID
If a library ID is lost or stolen, the borrower must notify the library immediately. The borrower to whom borrowing privilege has been granted will be held responsible for any material checked out with their library ID before its loss is reported.

Borrowing Materials
A valid Caltech identification card with a UID number or library barcode is required to check out materials. For faculty, postdocs and graduate students, the loan period for most material is through the end of the current term. The loan period for undergraduates, Caltech and JPL staff is four weeks. Exceptions are:

  • Recalls
    Material may be recalled for another reader at any time. The borrower is assured of having the material for seven days from check-out.
  • Reserve Recalls
    Material needed for Course Reserves will be recalled and must be returned immediately.
  • Short Term Loan Materials
    Some materials, including Course Reserves and some journals, have shorter loan periods.
  • Non-circulating Materials
    Some journals, reference materials, and certain other high-use materials must be used in the library.
  • Electronic Devices
    For Caltech faculty and students, eDevices (Kindles, Nooks, iPads, Laptops, Projectors, Cameras, etc.) are available for check out. Upon checkout, patrons must agree to the Laptop/eDevice Policy as follows:
    1. Assume full responsibility for the laptop/eDevice while it is checked out to me.
    2. Assume full financial liability for the laptop/eDevice while it is in my possession.
    3. Will not leave the laptop/eDevice unattended. The Library is not responsible for anything stolen.
    4. Will not tamper with the hardware or software, or attempt to load software on the laptop.
    5. Agree to pay all costs associated with damage to or loss of device the while it is checked out to me.
    6. Agree the Library may use any appropriate means to collect amount owed for fines, damage, or loss.
    An electronic device's due date will be monitored closely and will be strictly enforced. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in a fine, account block, or denial of future electronic devices. Please refer to Overdue Materials section for late and/or lost charge information.

Loan policies may vary among the libraries for unique types of materials. Most loan policies are the same at all CL locations.

Requesting Caltech Library Materials
Caltech Library material is available to be requested at any time. If a title is available on the shelf, a borrower can look it up in the catalog and request it be sent to any of the Caltech Library locations for pick up/check out. If a title is checked out to another borrower, it can be recalled. The due date for the recalled item will be reset to a shorter loan period. The original borrower is assured of having the book for seven days from checkout unless the book is needed for Course Reserve, in which case it must be returned immediately. Notice will be sent informing the borrower of the new due date. For this reason, borrowers need to keep their email and address current with the library. When a recalled item is available, it will be placed on a hold shelf in the library. The requestor will be notified by email to pick up the material within a week. If there are multiple requests for a single item, they will be honored in the order received.

Returning and Renewing Library Materials
Library material must be returned or renewed on or before the due date. Most materials may be renewed three times in person or by phone at the circulation desk (x3405) as long as the loan conditions continue to be met. After three renewals, the books must be returned to the library for renewal. Materials may also be self-renewed online at the library website. Reserve materials are non-renewable.

Overdue Materials
Failure to return material after notices have been sent will result in a late fee. If the electronic device is still not returned, the patron will be charged replaced fees for the device and all components installed on it.

Lost or Damaged Materials
Borrowers are responsible for replacing or paying for lost or damaged materials. A borrower may replace a lost or damaged item with a duplicate copy acceptable to the library. In either case, a $20 processing fee will be charged.

Paying Bills
All borrowers will be billed for lost or damaged materials. Faculty and students may remit by returning an account number to be charged. Others will be sent a bill payable at the SFL Circulation desk from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Library accounts will be blocked until a fine is rectified.

DocuServe (Interlibrary Loan)
Caltech Library provides a service to borrow books or deliver photocopies of materials from other libraries to support the research, teaching, and professional activities of Caltech’s faculty, postdocs, students, and staff. A charge is assessed for this service. Please refer to DocuServe webpage at https://docuserve.library.caltech.edu/ for more information.

Proxy or Faculty Authorization Cards
Proxy borrower cards are provided for those members of the faculty who find it convenient to have an assistant conduct business on their behalf. While library borrowing privileges are not transferable, Caltech faculty may request that a joint “proxy” borrower’s card be issued to permit a designated second party to charge out library materials for the faculty member’s use. A separate proxy borrower card must be requested for each individual authorized to borrow library materials in the faculty member’s name. The faculty member assumes full responsibility for all library loans made on each proxy borrower card. Lack of responses to recall and overdue notices for library materials charged against a proxy borrower card may result in the suspension of delegated proxy-borrowing privileges.

Faculty may obtain proxy borrower cards by filling out a “Request for Proxy Privileges” form available from the SFL circulation desk. The faculty member’s and the proxy’s own borrowing records must be in good standing. Proxy borrower cards are valid for one academic year (October-September). It is the faculty member’s responsibility to notify the library if proxy-borrowing privileges should be terminated.

Family Member Cards
Immediate family members (at least 15 years of age) of Caltech faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff may apply for a library card at the SFL library circulation desk. The Caltech person is responsible for insuring that the family member observes the Lending Code. The family member’s card will be linked to the Caltech person’s card so the Latter is notified of any charges or action that is required or being taken.

Confidentiality
It is the policy of the Caltech Library not to release or otherwise disclose any personal information or contents of any records, including borrowing information, which is prepared or maintained by the Caltech Library to any person other that the individual who is the subject of the record without the consent of that individual.

For Other Borrowers

The Lending Code defines the privileges and responsibilities of all who borrow materials from the Caltech Libraries. The purpose of the code and the regulations outlined in it is to provide optimum use of the collection for students, faculty, staff, and other scholars. The library maintains up-to-date borrowers’ records based upon documentation provided by the borrowers, and issues library cards to them as evidence that borrowing privileges have been granted.

Responsibility
A person issued a library card is responsible for all materials borrowed on it. It is the borrower’s responsibility to:

  • Know when materials are due to be returned
  • Return or renew materials on or before the due date
  • Return recalled materials immediately
  • Report address changes promptly to the library
  • Exercise care in handling all library materials

Library card privileges may not be transferred to another individual.

Borrowers who abuse provisions of the Lending Code may have their library privileges revoked.

Obtaining a Library Card
Borrowing privileges for validated library patrons may be obtained at the circulation desk of the Sherman Fairchild Library. The categories of users to which the Caltech Library extends borrowing privileges are documented in the Borrowing Privileges brochure available at the Sherman Fairchild Library or on the Caltech Library homepage.

Renewal of privileges may be denied if there are:

  • Bills for replacement
  • Stops on the Borrower’s record

Lost Library Card
If a library card is lost or stolen, the Borrower must notify the Library immediately. The Borrower to whom the card is issued will be held responsible for any material checked out with that card before its loss is reported.

Borrowing Materials
A valid borrower’s card with library barcode is required to check out materials. The loan period for most materials is four weeks. Exceptions are:

  • RECALLS – Material may be recalled for another reader at any time. The Borrower is assured of having the material for 7 days from check out.
  • RESERVE RECALLS – Material needed for Reserves will be recalled and must be returned immediately.
  • SHORT TERM LOAN MATERIALS – Some materials, including Reserves and some journals, have shorter loan periods.
  • NON-CIRCULATING MATERIALS – Most journals, reference materials and certain other high-use materials must be used in the library.

Loan policies may vary among the libraries for selected types of materials; most loan policies are the same in the Caltech Library.

Recalls
Material requested by another borrower or needed by the Library may be recalled at any time. The due date for the recalled item will be reset to a shorter loan period. The original borrower is assured of having the book for 7 days from checkout unless the book is needed for Reserve, in which case it must be returned immediately. Notice will be sent informing the Borrower of the new due date. Therefore, Borrowers need to keep their addresses current with the library. Privileges will be suspended if recalled materials are not promptly returned

Returning and Renewing Library Materials
Library material must be returned or renewed on or before the due date.  Most materials may be renewed three times in person or by phone at the circulation desk (x3405) as long as the loan conditions continue to be met.  After three renewals, the books must be returned to the library for renewal.  Materials may also be self-renewed online at the library website.  Reserve materials are non-renewable. 

Overdue, Lost, Damaged Materials
Failure to return material after notices have been sent will result in a late fee.  Borrowers are responsible for replacing or paying for materials lost or damaged and no longer usable.  A borrower may replace a lost or damaged item with a duplicate copy acceptable to the library.  In either case, a $20 processing fee will be charged.

Paying Bills
Non-Caltech library patrons should pay for books or other lost materials at the SFL circulation desk during regular hours, Monday thru Friday, 8am-5pm.

Confidentiality
It is the policy of the Caltech Library not to release or otherwise disclose any personal information or the contents of any records, including borrowing information, which is prepared or maintained by the Caltech Library to any person other than the individual who is the subject of the record.