Borrowing Policies

Borrowing/Returning   Renewals
Qualified Borrowers   Recall Policy
Materials Available for Borrowing   Reserve Materials
Loan Periods   DVD/Video Booking (for faculty)
Late Fees   Lost or Damaged Library Materials



Library materials may be checked out or returned anytime the libraries are open (see Library Hours). You may access the Catalyst catalog to view your personal borrowing record for item due dates and to renew items from any computer.

Materials Available for Borrowing

  • All books and music scores, except those marked as Reference or Genealogy.
  • All periodicals except the most recent issues in Rolvaag Library.
  • All government documents except those in reference or marked as non-circulating.
  • Videos and DVDs.
  • Sound recordings.

Qualified Borrowers

St. Olaf/Carleton Students, Staff, and Faculty
All registered students, faculty, and staff at St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges are allowed user privileges. To borrow material, affiliates of either college must present their St. Olaf or Carleton College ID at the Circulation Desk.

Local Area Residents
Those who are not affiliated with either college, but are residents of the below townships, may apply for a Borrower's Card at the Circulation Desk. Please bring a valid Driver's License or other proof of permanent residence. For more information about using the libraries, please review our Guest Access Policy.

Cannon Falls
Castle Rock
New Market

St. Olaf College Alumni
All college alumni who are residents of Minnesota qualify for an Alumni Borrower's Card.

Loan Periods

Loan Periods:

Books, Government Documents, & Scores Students: 7 weeks
Faculty/Staff/Emeriti: 1 year
Local Area Residents: 2 weeks
M1-M3 Scores (Collected Works) 2 weeks
Videos/DVDs 1 week
Periodicals & Microforms 2 weeks (Rolvaag's latest issue is In Library Use Only)
Sound Recordings 1 week
Reference Materials & Newspapers In Library Use Only

Late Fees

Overdue materials are subject to replacement charges. Fees and charges are as follows.

Processing Fee $20
Replacement Charge $60


An item may be renewed, provided no one else is waiting for it. Renewals may be made through Catalyst, or requested via the Rolvaag Circulation e-mail account: (Please note that this e-mail account is checked only on weekdays during regular business hours.)

Number of times renewals may be made on library materials:

Books, Government Documents, Music Scores Periodicals 2 Hour Reserves & Videos/DVDs
St. Olaf & Carleton Students 4 1 0
St. Olaf & Carleton Faculty, Staff, & Emeriti 1 1 2
Northfield Community Users 1 1 0

Recall Policy

The St. Olaf Libraries' Recall Policy exists to ensure equitable access to the collection for all students, faculty, and staff. Any patron may place a recall on an item that is checked out to another patron. Placement of a recall request will prompt the item to fall due in four days. The library will immediately inform the individual who has the item checked out of the new due date. Short-term loans, such as Reserve materials, cannot be recalled.

Notification of Recall: Patrons will be notified by e-mail if an item in their possession has been recalled. Recall notices must be complied with immediately or the borrower will be subject to a $5.00/day per item late fee. The recall policy applies all year long: summer session, interim, vacations, etc.

Minimum Use: All borrowers are guaranteed exclusive use of library materials for seven days after the time of check-out.

Reserve Materials

Information concerning reserve materials is available through Catalyst. Reserve materials at the three libraries are available from the reserve area at the circulation desk. They circulate for loan periods ranging from 2 hours to 3 days. Rolvaag Library reserve materials may be checked out overnight during the last 2 hours before closing and are due back within one hour after opening the next day. All overdue reserve materials are subject to late fees of $2 per hour, up to a maximum fine of $15.

Lost or Damaged Library Materials

Purpose of Policy

St. Olaf College Libraries provides our users with access to vast array of resources, including books, journals, scores, CDs, DVDs and more. This policy has been established to ensure that these materials are maintained in a condition suitable for lending and use.


The patron is responsible for returning library materials in the condition that they were borrowed. If a patron returns library materials that have been damaged due to abuse or misuse and are in such condition that the library determines the item must be replaced, the patron will be charged for the cost of replacing the material, plus the cost of processing the replacement copy. Writing (pencil or ink), rips, stains, and scratches (on CDs and DVDs) all constitute damage to library materials.


The patron is responsible for all pieces of borrowed material and is responsible for the condition of the material on its return. If a piece of an item is lost or damaged, the patron will be charged for the repair or replacement cost of the piece. If the lost piece cannot be replaced, the patron will be charged for the cost of replacing the entire item.


Patrons are encouraged to notify the library if they find items with damage or missing pieces.

Fees and Fines

The library reserves the right to assess and declare the condition of all returned library materials. Items that are damaged, but not destroyed while in a patron's possession may result in fines consistent with the degree of damage.

The replacement fee of any lost or damaged material is $60.00, plus a processing fee of $20.00, bringing the total fee to $80.00. Alternatively, a patron may seek the approval of library staff to purchase an unused replacement copy of the material. The new copy must be identical to the original copy and have the same ISBN number or other standard identifying number as determined by library staff (in the case of audiovisual materials). The replacement fee will be waived if the borrower replaces the material, but the processing fee will still be assessed.

If extenuating circumstances contribute to the loss or damage of library material, the patron may appeal to have the fees waived. The library considers all legitimate concerns about fees. The following reasons do not constitute basis for an appeal:

  • ignorance of library policy
  • disagreement with fees
  • inability to pay fees
  • unwillingness to take responsibility for material loaned to a third party

DVD/Video Booking

DVD/Video Booking is a service available to faculty who wish to arrange for DVD/video availability on a specific date for in-class screening. To book a film, fill out the online booking form. The items(s) you request will be available for you to pick up at the Rolvaag Library Circulation Desk on the "need by" date you provide. To ensure that the item you need is available on the requested date, please submit the booking request at least 10 days in advance. This lead time is essential so that we can guarantee the item's availability.