Who may borrow materials from the Library?

  • UVA students
  • UVA faculty
  • UVA staff
  • UVA alumni
  • UVA research projects
  • Individuals associated with UVA agencies by specific arrangement
  • Virginia residents (at least 16 years of age)
  • Faculty and students at other Virginia higher education institutions
  • Independent researchers (upon presentation of a picture ID)
  • Faculty from OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program institutions

Individuals who have an active trespass order against them restricting access to University property may not borrow books from the Libraries.   They should arrange with the UVA Police to return any materials previously checked out.

How do I obtain borrowing privileges?

Present current, valid identification at any Library circulation desk. Valid forms of identification:

  • UVA student, faculty, or staff ID card
  • Virginia driver's license or ID card
  • Valid driver's license or ID card (for one year researcher access)
  • Passport (for one year researcher access)
  • ID card from a Virginia higher education institution (one year researcher access)

UVA IDs double as library cards. Community patrons will be issued library cards at registration.

May I renew materials? How do I renew materials?

The Library allows unlimited renewals of most materials.

  • Login to VIRGO and renew online
  • Call any of our libraries to renew over the phone
  • Email
  • Request at any Library service desk.

Materials that may not be renewed:

  • items that have been recalled from you (i.e. requested by someone else)
  • reserves
  • equipment

Some Interlibrary Loan materials may be renewed: you can do this through the Interlibrary Services/LEO website or by phone, (434) 924-3875.

How do holds work? 

Holds are requests by patrons to reserve an item for check out. Holds should be placed through Virgo. For more information, read about making a request in Virgo.   

If a hold is activated, only the patron with the hold may checkout the item. Holds are generally kept behind the service & information desk. Patrons must visit the library to pick up their hold items. Holds are available for 10 days. When a hold comes available, the patron is notified that their item is available for pickup and at which library location. If the item is not picked up after eight days, a reminder notice is sent. If a patron fails to pick up a hold, they are notified that the hold has expired. A patron will have to place a new hold on the item if they wish to reserve the item again. If a patron wishes to cancel a hold, they may cancel the hold through Virgo, reply to the hold pickup email notice, call the library location with the hold, or visit the library in person to request the hold be canceled. 

Who may place holds and on what? 

The item and patron type determine if a patron may place a hold.

All patrons may place holds on items in closed stacks libraries. The item will be sent to the pickup location of the patron's choosing.

The two closed stacks libraries are Ivy Stacks and the JAG Library. These library locations may not be visited by patrons so a hold must be made to have the book sent to an open stacks location. (With renovations and other major projects, open stacks spaces may close partially or fully for extended periods. When this happens, their materials will shift to a closed stacks status. Status alerts will display in Virgo when these situations arise.)

For books available on the shelf in an open stacks location, the patron type determines if they may place a hold on the item.

Undergrads, community borrowers, and alumni may not place holds on items that are available in open stacks. For example, if a book is available in Clemons Library, these patron types may not place a hold on it. We ask these patrons to visit Clemons Library to retrieve the book. 

Faculty, employees, and graduate students may place holds on items from any open stacks to have the item delivered to them or placed on hold at the location of their choosing. For more information about delivery options, read about LEO delivery.  

If Virgo shows multiple copies of an item and one copy is available at an open stacks location, undergrads, community borrowers, and alumni may not place a hold. 

As an example, if there are two copies of a book and one copy is in Ivy Stacks and the other copy is at the Law Library, undergrads, community borrowers, and alumni will have to visit the Law Library to retrieve the book from stacks to check it out.

Some exceptions...

Items such as reference books, reserve books, and equipment do not allow holds. RMC equipment has a separate reservation system. Read more about RMC equipment.

The Special Collections Library has a separate system to request materials. All Special Collections materials must be viewed in the Special Collections reading room and requested through their system. Read more about using Special Collections.

Items listed in Blandy, the Kluge-Ruhe Study Center, or Mountain Lake may not be requested by anyone. 

Distance education students and SCPS students should follow instructions here:

If you are having difficulty placing a hold for an item and you do not understand why, please contact us. You may Ask a Librarian over chat or email

What's a recall?

A recall is a type of hold. Recalls are only placed on checked-out items. If an item is checked out, a patron may place a recall on the item to have it returned. All patrons may place recalls, but only if all copies of an item are checked out or unavailable. If one copy of an item is available, a recall will not be placed. Depending on the patron's account type, a hold may or may not be placed on the available item. 

If a patron's item is recalled, the Library will send a notification requesting the patron return the recalled item within 10 days. Failure to return a recalled item will result in a recall overdue fine of $1 per day up to $20. If the item is not returned within 20 days of the recall due date, the patron is billed for the replacement cost of the item, the patron account is suspended, and a $20 recall fee is applied. If the item is returned, the replacement fee will be forgiven and the account reinstated if there are no other issues. The $20 recall fee will remain.


Where do I return materials?

Most materials can be returned to any UVA library. Many locations have outside book returns. There is also a drive-up book return at the Ivy Stacks facility at 2450 Old Ivy Road. Equipment should be returned to the library from which it was checked out.

Mailing Address:

UVA Shannon Library
ATTN: Circulation P.O. Box 400113
160 McCormick Road
Charlottesville, VA 22904

What are the loan periods?

Books and Printed Music Unlimited, but subject to recall All materials due at the end of the spring semester, overall limit on items - 500 30 days, overall limit on items - 500 30 days - 25 item limit unless faculty at other VA colleges
Bound Journals Unlimited, but subject to recall All materials due at the end of the Spring semester 30 days 30 days
Audio Books - CDs & Cassettes 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Current Periodicals (Science & Engineering, Fine Arts) 7 days, 1 renewal 7 days, 1 renewal 7 days, 1 renewal 7 days, 1 renewal
Reserves, 3 Hour (Some items are in-library use only. ) 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
Note: Some reserve 3 hour items may be checked out overnight shortly before closing
Reserves, 2 Day 2 days 2 days 2 days 2 days
Equipment (Return to library checked out from.) varied, read more varied, read more varied, read more varied, read more
Music Sound Recordings Unlimited, but subject to recalls, unlimited renewals All materials due at the end of the Spring semester, unlimited renewals. Grad students - no item limit; staff - 25 item limit 1 month, unlimited renewals 1 week, 25 item limit, 1 renewal
Microfilm & Microfiche Unlimited, but subject to recalls & staff confirm once/semester All materials due at the end of the Spring semester 30 days 30 days (25 item limit except faculty at other Virginia colleges / universities)
Software, from Scholars' Lab 3 days 3 days 3 days Not available
Videos/DVDs 7 days,  1 renewal, 5 DVD (VHS, LD) limit 7 days, 1 renewal, 5 DVD (VHS, LD) limit 7 days,  1 renewal, 2 DVD (VHS, LD) limit 7 days, 1 renewal, 2 DVD limit

Maps, CD-ROMS, and certain other materials in some libraries may have other loan periods. Materials in some collections, such as Reference and Special Collections, do not normally circulate.

What are the charges for lost or damaged materials?

Books, bound journals, microforms, DVDs, Laserdiscs, CDs, VHS tapes, and cassettes: $40 per item minimum.

Equipment: Original cost or actual cost of comparable item.

Interlibrary Loan: Replacement charges are set by the lending institution.

Other materials: Original cost or actual cost of comparable item.


What are the fines for overdue materials?

Books, bound journals, microforms, DVDs, Laserdiscs, CDs, VHS tapes, cassettes: No overdue fines

RMC Equipment: $25 per day per item; $2000 maximum per item

Periodicals and recalled items: $1 per day per item; $20 maximum per item

In-library and overnight reserve: $1 per hour per item; $20 maximum per item

Two day reserve: $1 per day per item; $20 maximum per item

When materials are returned late and fines have accrued, the user will receive notification of the amount and reason for the fines. When materials are not returned and become long overdue, the user is billed for replacement cost and Library privileges are suspended. This includes use of Special Collections, Interlibrary Services and LEO book delivery. Payment for materials found and returned within 90 days of payment will be refunded.

Student fines will be referred to the University Student Financial Services for collection as part of the University’s centralized billing system. Non-student patrons must pay their fines at Shannon Library. If a patron has been billed for a lost item, they can return the item for the bill to be removed unless the item is damaged or the bill was paid over 90 days earlier.

What do I do if I try to log into Virgo and see an "Access Denied" message?

If you are unable to log in to Virgo to renew your books or recall an item, please contact or Ask a Librarian for more information.

May I borrow materials from the UVA Library for exhibition or display?

For information on loans from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, visit their Materials Loans Policy.

To borrow materials from the general collections (Clemons, Ivy, Fine Arts, Brown Science/Engineering Library, or Music Library) for exhibition, display, or other outreach purposes, contact at least 90 days prior to the opening date of the exhibition or display. Loans of up to six months will be considered; the object’s condition and local need to support research are factors in considering loans from our collections.

What if I lose or destroy my Library card?

If you lose or destroy your UVA ID, please follow instructions from the UVA ID Office:

If you are a non-UVA community patron and lose or destroy your library card, please visit any UVA Library location with a government picture ID to have a new Library card issued. Please be prepared to answer questions about your identity to have a new card issued.