Borrow, renew, request

The Kennedy Library building is closed for a two-year transformation project. View updated information about services and service locations on this guide: Library Services During Building Transformation Project.

If you’re looking for library resources, online and print, use OneSearch.

To find electronic textbooks and course materials, use Course Reserves.

For technology borrowing options, consult ITS Tech Rentals.

Paying Overdue Fines and Lost Material Fees

How to pay a fine

  • Students only may pay their fines online using CASHNet through the Cal Poly portal. Print or view the online payment instructions.
  • Fines may be paid by check made payable to ‘Cal Poly University’ at the  circulation desk in Crandall Gym (bldg. 60) or mailed to:
    • Cal Poly University
    • Attn: Library, Jia-Xun Wong
    • One Grand Ave.
    • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
  • Fines may be paid by cash or check at the State Cashier (Administration Building, Room 131E). To remove your academic hold immediately, show your paid receipt at the library’s circulation desk or email ude.yloplacnull@noitalucric.

Fine amounts

Material Fine
Equipment/hourly loans $1.00 per hour per item ($50.00 per item maximum)
Recalled items $1.00 per day per item (no maximum limit)

Overdue fine policies

    • When library materials are checked out, a Loan Receipt email is sent indicating due date.
    • Most main collection library materials will renew automatically one (1) time. If materials cannot be renewed, a notice to return will be emailed.
    • Charges and fines are cumulative. They are not erased at the end of a quarter or academic year. Once your account shows charges of $10.00 or more, you will be required to pay the entire amount before you may renew or check out any materials.
    • Fines may result in an academic hold placed on students’ accounts. All charges must be paid in order to release this hold. Failure to pay these charges may suspend borrowing privileges and delay registration.
    • Login to your library account to check due dates and view fines.

Lost or damaged materials, and materials returned with missing components

    • Patrons are responsible for the return of materials they have checked out. Items must be returned in the condition they were received and include all components.
    • Patrons will be billed for lost or damaged library materials, and for items returned with missing components. A notice is emailed and library privileges are suspended until library charges are cleared. In addition, an academic hold may be placed on the records of current and former Cal Poly students. The suspension and/or hold remain in effect until all library charges are cleared.
    • A patron billed for a lost or damaged item or item with missing components has several choices to clear their record.
      1. Return the item or the missing components. (Let staff know that you are returning materials that have been marked lost or missing so any academic holds can be removed.)
      2. Pay the replacement fee as billed.
      3. Go to the circulation desk and request to purchase a replacement. If approved, when you purchase the replacement and pay a $15 processing fee, the hold will be cleared from your account.

Note: Under the California Education Code, it is a misdemeanor to tear, cut, deface, or willfully detain any library materials.


All circulation and interlibrary loan notifications will be handled via email. Make sure that your email information is current in the Cal Poly Portal.

For questions, call the library circulation desk at 805-756-5760.

Circulation Policies

Cal Poly/CSU users


Group Book/DVD/Video Good Reads/Bound Journal Loan Limit Equipment (Limit 3 items) Interlibrary Loan
Faculty, Staff, Emeritus 90 days/unlimited renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 999 items Hourly/no renewals Loan period varies/no renewals
Undergraduate Students 6 weeks/1 renewal 3 weeks/3 renewals 200 items Hourly/no renewals Loan period varies/no renewals
Graduate Students 90 days/1 renewal 3 weeks/3 renewals 200 items Hourly/no renewals Loan period varies/no renewals
Other CSU Student/Faculty/Staff 6 weeks/1 renewal 3 weeks/3 renewals 200 items Hourly/no renewals N/A
  • Cal Poly users must have PolyCard to borrow materials.
  • Other CSU faculty, staff and students present current CSU school ID card. Alumni of other CSUs may purchase a community membership (see below).
  • Kennedy Library materials renew automatically if eligible (this does not include interlibrary loan materials). See Renewals and Recalls for more information.
  • Graduating students’ privileges expire three months after the graduation day of that current quarter.

Proxy Borrowers

  • Faculty and staff may authorize a student, staff or faculty member to act as a proxy to borrow and return materials on their behalf.
  • To appoint a proxy, send an email requesting the proxy to ude.yloplacnull@noitalucric.
  • At library, proxy informs circulation desk staff when borrowing as proxy and who they are borrowing for.
  • Proxy borrowers use their own PolyCard to check out materials, but the materials will be recorded on the account they are the proxy for.

Affiliated users

Cal Poly Alumni; Cal Poly Users’ (Faculty/Staff/Students) significant others and children; Sponsored Users/Research Scholars/Cuesta and Allan Hancock Students and Faculty; Mustang Parent; Library Volunteers; State Agencies

Group Membership Cost Book/DVD/Video Good Reads/Bound Journal Loan Limits
Cal Poly Alumni Free 3 weeks/3 renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
Cal Poly Spouse/Child Free 3 weeks/3 renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
Sponsored User/Research Scholar Free 6 weeks/1 renewal 3 weeks/3 renewals  200 items
Cuesta and Allan Hancock Faculty/Student Free 3 weeks/3 renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
Mustang Parent Partner/Patron Free 3 weeks/3 renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
Library Volunteer Free 3 weeks/3 renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
State Agency Employee Free 3 weeks/3 renewals 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
  • Materials renew automatically if eligible.
  • With the exception of Alumni, Interlibrary Loan Options for Affiliates have been suspended until further notice.
  • Course reserves and equipment loans are restricted to current Cal Poly students, faculty, and staff.

Cal Poly Alumni

    • We’re happy to extend borrowing privileges to Cal Poly alums in the San Luis Obispo area.  To get started, email the Cal Poly Alumni Association to request and receive an alumni ID number.  That email is:  ude.yloplacnull@inmula   The next step is to come in person to the library service point in Crandall (building 60) during open hours to fill out an application and establish a password, at which time a library card will be issued.If you have a card, present your Cal Poly Alumni Card.

Cal Poly Spouse/Family

  • Cal Poly employee must be present to register and present Cal Poly id.

Sponsored User/Research Scholar

  • Present proof of attachment to a department at Cal Poly.

Cuesta and Allan Hancock Student/Faculty

  • Present current Cuesta or Allan Hancock ID or proof of enrollment/employment.

Mustang Parent

  • Present current membership card with donor level of “partner” or “patron.”

State Agency Employee

  • Present proof of employment at California State agency.


General public

Community Membership

Group Annual Membership Costs Book/DVD/Video/Good Reads/Bound Journal Loan Limits
Community Membership $60/account holder

$30/Senior (60+) account holder

$10/additional family member cards

3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
SLO County Teacher $30 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
SLO County High School Student $10 3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items
Corporate Card $250/corporation

$10/corporation member

3 weeks/3 renewals 10 items

Community Membership

  • Membership is open to all individuals and/or corporate entities.
  • Provide picture ID and proof of San Luis Obispo County residency.
  • SLO County teachers/students show school ID.
  • Materials renew automatically if eligible.
  • Interlibrary Loan options for Community Membership have been suspended until further notice.
  • Course reserves and small equipment loans are restricted to current Cal Poly students, faculty, and staff.

General Public

  • The public is welcome to the library during open hours.  Please note that library hours and occupancy are limited in the temporary services location in  Crandall Gym.
  • Visitors without a Cal Poly username and password may bring their own device and sign onto guest wireless.  Most databases provide full access to guests working on a device while in the library.  Here are further details on Guest Wifi.
Returns, Renewals and Recalls

How to return materials

  • Print Course Reserves should be returned to Crandall Gym (bldg. 60) during open hours.
  • All other library materials and interlibrary loan items may be returned in the H10 parking lot across the street from the Kennedy building, or on Dexter Plaza (near Subway), or at the Crandall Gym Library Service Point during open hours.
  • If you are unable to bring materials to campus, they can be returned to any California State University library or mailed to:
    • Cal Poly University
    • Attn: Library, Access Services
    • One Grand Ave.
    • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Note: Off Campus Delivery materials can be returned to any CSU campus bookdrop or shipped using the prepaid return label provided with the order.

How to renew materials

  • Library materials will renew automatically as long as they are eligible for renewal. If materials cannot be renewed, a notice to return will be issued, at which time materials must be returned to the library.
  • Items will not be renewed for patrons with fines, recalled books, or if the item(s) have been requested by another patron.
  • Items cannot be renewed by phone.
  • Interlibrary Loan items are not renewable. Questions? Contact ude.yloplacnull@sli


  • All library materials are subject to recall by the library.
  • If an item is needed for Course Reserves or requested by another user, it will be recalled.
  • If the book is not returned by the recall due date listed on the notice, library privileges may be suspended and recall charges of $1.00/day will accrue. There is no maximum limit to recall charges.
Suggest Materials

Suggest items for electronic Course Reserves

Faculty wishing to suggest items for electronic Course Reserves may learn more at Course Reserves.

Suggest materials for the library collection

To make a recommendation, use the Materials Request form which will go to our Collection Strategies, Access & Systems team.

How materials are selected

Staff members research suggestions and consult with the relevant college librarian before placing orders. Information Resources and Resource Sharing also determines whether suggested materials conform to existing collecting policies and guidelines for that discipline.

Want more information?

If you have questions, you can contact your College Librarian.

Request in OneSearch

When you are signed into OneSearch your request options for Kennedy and elsewhere will appear.  These may include physical books/media, digital articles, digital book chapters, and more.

If no request option appears you may always fill out a request for Interlibrary Loan.

You can view and track all your requests from “My Account

Online Database and Resource Access
  • Off campus access to database and online resources are available to faculty, staff, emeritus, and current Cal Poly students. Sign in with your Cal Poly username and password.
  • Affiliates/Sponsored Users who have Cal Poly portal access can access databases and online resources off campus.  VPN may be required in some instances.
  • For details or troubleshooting visit  Using OneSearch and Off Campus Access to Resources. 

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