Circulation for Visitors

We welcome visitors to our libraries and will be happy to assist you in using our collections while you are in the buildings. All of our book and periodical stacks are open for browsing. Our electronic subscriptions are generally available for your use while you are in the building. Our online catalog is freely available on the Web wherever you have internet access. You will know that you have landed on a restricted resource when you are prompted for a username and password.

We do not circulate materials to visitors who are not residents of the local area. If there is something you would like to check out from our collections, please go through your local public library and take advantage of its interlibrary loan program.

For Local Area Residents

We encourage local residents to obtain borrowing privileges at the Grinnell College Libraries. Eligibility:

  • age 18 or older (*high school age and participating in a collaborative school project with Grinnell College Libraries)
  • live within 60 miles of Grinnell College
  • have a valid email address
  • have a valid Iowa public library card
  • one of the following as proof of address:  
    • valid driver’s license
    • valid high school student ID card
    • valid military ID
    • valid state-issued ID card
    • a lease, mortgage, or deed of trust
    • voter or vehicle registration card
    • home or vehicle insurance policy
    • utility bill (PO Boxes Excluded)
    • Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record

Please bring your Iowa library card to the Burling Library circulation desk to set up a patron account. A Grinnell College Libraries barcode will be affixed to your library card. All checked-out materials are subject to immediate recall if needed for course reserves. An overdue recalled item has a $1.00 per hour fine.


Books circulate for two weeks. If your book has not been requested by a member of the campus community, you may renew it online or by phone, 641-269-3350.

Videos and CDs

Media items circulate for two weeks. If your media item has not been requested by a member of the campus community, you may renew it online or by phone (641-269-3350).

Periodicals (Magazines and Journals)

You may use periodicals while in Burling or the Science Library. They may not be checked out.


The library uses email to send notices. Please check your email account frequently.

Courtesy/Overdue Notice

One courtesy notice will be sent just before the due date and one overdue notice will be sent after the item is due.  Please contact staff at the library if you have any questions or concerns about the notice.

Fines and Book Charges

Overdue recalls – $1.00 per hour fine; maximum fine $100.00

Lost item - $90.00


Local area residents may check out up to 10 items at one time.

Library cards are issued only to individuals, not to groups or businesses.  The individual named on the account takes full financial responsibility for each item checked out on the card.

Borrowing privileges may be revoked if a holder demonstrates poor borrowing habits (e.g., repeatedly returning materials overdue, failure to respond immediately to recall notices, failure to return items/pay fines/fees.)

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