Circulation Policy

Borrowing Periods*

Type of material Borrowing period Number of renewals
Audiobooks 30 days 2
Books 30 days 3
CDs 30 days 3
DVDs 30 days 3
Music scores 30 days 2
VHS tapes 30 days 3
Headphones 1 day 0

*Elon faculty borrowing periods may differ.

There are no library late fines on any type of library material.

Borrowers with overdue items will receive one email courtesy notice, two email overdue notices, and then a final billing notice. At this point, an item is considered lost and borrowers will be charged $60 per item ($50 replacement cost, and a $10 non-refundable billing fee). If the item is returned within one semester, the borrower will receive a $50 credit on their Bursar account.


Books and other items on reserve may be borrowed 2 hours, 4 hours, 1 day or 3 days, as determined by the professor.

Community Borrowers

Community Borrowing Privileges

Who can borrow?

Community Borrowers and participants in the Triad Academic Library Association (TALA) reciprocal agreement. If your card has expired, you must renew your membership and pay any outstanding fees in order to borrow materials.

How can I become a Community Borrower?

Simply ask to become a Community Borrower at the Service Desk, and a staff member will assist you with the process. The membership fee is $25 per year.

What can be borrowed?

  • Circulating books
  • DVDs
  • Music CDs
  • VHS tapes
  • Audiobooks
  • Scores

How long are they loaned?

Most items may be checked out for thirty (30) days and may be renewed three times if not needed by another patron. The exception is Audiobooks which may be checked out for 30 days and renewed once. Borrowers are responsible for all library materials checked out on their account. See our circulation policy for more details.

What cannot be borrowed?

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Reference Books
  • Items on Course Reserve

Is there a limit to how many items may be checked out?

While there is a formal limit of 5 items at one time (except for Audiobooks, which are limited to a maximum of two (2) at one time), we ask that all patrons be considerate of the needs of others. Library staff reserves the right to limit the number of items at any time if demand warrants.

What happens if materials are overdue?

Patrons will receive an emailed courtesy notice and at least one overdue notice before receiving a bill for lost items. Charges per lost item are a $50.00 replacement fee plus a non-refundable $10.00 billing fee.  All borrowing privileges are suspended until overdue materials are returned and fees paid. Community borrowers who have excessive outstanding obligations will not be eligible to renew their privileges. Serious incidents of delinquency may be referred to Campus Police for resolution.


Dependent Borrowers

Belk Library Policy regarding borrowing privileges for dependent children, spouses or partners of Elon University faculty or staff members.

Spouses, partners or dependent children of current Elon University faculty or staff members may be granted borrowing privileges with the permission of the sponsoring employee. A copy of the form must be on file for the dependent borrower to have library borrowing privileges. Dependent borrower privileges expire on 12/31 two years from the date of issue, and may be renewed for the term of the sponsoring employee’s employment at Elon University.

Library General Guidelines:

  • The borrower agrees to observe any rules established by the library and will be responsible for all materials borrowed on this card, with or without their permission.
  • The borrower agrees to pay any charges imposed for late return, loss, or damage of library materials.
  • Lost item charge: $50.00 plus a nonrefundable $10.00 billing fee ($60.00), or in lieu of $60.00 an exact, unused/new replacement copy will be accepted.
  • If a sponsored child/spouse/partner borrower fails to resolve any library charges, those charges will be the responsibility of the sponsoring Elon employee.  (Only borrowing information relating to fines and charges will be released to the sponsoring Elon employee.  Any other borrowing information will be treated with the same confidentiality as all other library patron records.)

Parent/Guardian AGREEMENT for MINORS:

  • Parents will NOT have access to the circulation record of their child.
  • If they want access to the child’s circulation record, they may authorize him/her to use their library card instead of authorizing their own.

Computer Use

Belk Library provides public use computers in support of the academic missions of Elon University and as a service to members of the surrounding community. In the spirit of free and open inquiry, no restrictions are placed on Internet access.  Library patrons are expected to use computer resources responsibly, ethically, and in compliance with relevant laws and any contractual agreements the Library has entered into to provide such resources.

The Library’s computing resources are shared by many. To insure the consistency of available software and hardware, Library users are expected to:

  • Library patrons should show consideration to all around them. Behavior disruptive to others may result in Library staff asking the offender to cease the behavior in question. If the disruptive behavior continues, staff have the right to ask the offender to leave.
  • Respect the priority use of public computers as follows: 1) Elon students and staff and 2) members of the general public. In times of peak demand (e.g., exams), educational use takes priority over recreational use and patrons may be asked to yield a machine to students who wish to do course-related work.
  • The computing resources available in Belk Library encompass a vast network of resources provided by the University and by outside service providers. Due to the complexity and interdependency of the systems in operation, the Library cannot guarantee all resources will be available at all times.

Alumni Resources

Belk Library is pleased to partner with Elon University’s Office of Alumni Engagement to support the lifelong learning needs of our alumni. This page highlights a variety of resources and services available.

Off-Campus Access to Library Resources

Study Abroad and Study USA
  • Access to Belk Library’s electronic databases, e-journals, and other electronic materials is available when you are away from campus. The first time you click on a link for one of our databases, online journals or eBooks, you will be asked to log in with your Elon username and password. This is the same login information you use for email and Moodle.
  • Articles and book chapters from the library’s collections will be scanned and emailed to you upon request.
  • Belk Library will provide interlibrary loan services for articles and book chapters not owned by Elon. Physical items borrowed from other institutions cannot be shipped to your location.
  • Belk Library reserves the right to deny requests for materials based on condition, demand, or other restrictions.
  • This library service is available for current Elon students, faculty, and staff.

Interlibrary Loan Textbook Policy

As of January 2013, Belk Library will no longer request textbooks through Interlibrary Loan and reserves the right to decline an ILL request for a textbook.

Belk Library will not knowingly order any edition of a required textbook through Interlibrary Loan for the following reasons:

  • Materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan Services are intended to supplement required course content by providing access to scholarly materials not owned by Belk Library. These services are not intended for ordering required textbooks.
  • Purchasing textbooks is considered the responsibility of the student.
  • Interlibrary Loan services do not meet student needs for ordering textbooks.
  • The process of borrowing a textbook can take up to several weeks, leaving the requester without a text for an extended period of time.
  • Loan periods are set by lending libraries and do not allow students to keep a textbook for an entire course.

Use of Belk Library by Minors

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied to the library by an adult. To use Belk Library computers, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian who remains seated with the child at the computer.

  • Library patrons should show consideration to all around them. Behavior disruptive to others may result in Library staff asking the patron to cease the behavior in question. If the disruptive behavior continues, staff have the right to ask the patron to leave.
  • Computer users must follow University guidelines. Any patron found violating these policies will be asked to leave.
  • Respect the priority use of library computers as follows: 1) Elon students, faculty and staff and 2) members of the general public. In times of peak demand (e.g., exams), educational use takes priority over recreational use and patrons may be asked to yield a machine to students who wish to do course-related work.
  • To learn about borrowing privileges for dependent children of current Elon University faculty or staff members, please see our dependent borrower policy (redirect link:

Belk Library Intellectual Freedom Policy

Belk Library’s Commitment to Intellectual Freedom:

The mission of Belk Library is to support the endeavors of our students, faculty, staff, and community borrowers in an atmosphere of open and honest inquiry. We are committed to Elon University’s mission statement, which “encourages freedom of thought and liberty of conscience.” We also follow the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, which states:

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

Thus, Belk Library collects materials from many points of view on all subjects of potential use or interest to our patrons. Neither physical materials nor access to electronic information is excluded from the collection because of frankness of language or controversial content, or because of the political, moral, religious, sexual, social, economic, or scientific views expressed, or because of the race, national origin, gender, sexual identity, religion, or political affiliations of the author. The Library understands that authors may, intentionally or inadvertently, misstate facts, reach erroneous conclusions, or make claims that may, in fact or in perception, be hurtful to individuals, or lead future researchers astray. It is not the task of the Library to verify or validate the contents of what it acquires, but it is to make research available for review, rebuttal, substantiation, support, or further inquiry.

Procedure to Challenge a Resource of Belk Library:

Those persons wishing to challenge a resource are asked to print and complete a Request for Reconsideration form and submit the form at the Library Service Desk. The completed form will be reviewed by the Dean of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library. The Dean may consult with librarians, faculty, or outside experts, but will make the final decision. Possible decisions include: (1) to remove the resource, (2) to retain the resource, (3) to retain the resource but reclassify it by location or call number, or (4) to balance the collection by adding materials that express alternative views of the issue.

Some text adapted, with permission, from the policies of Clemson University, Drake University, and Northwestern University.

Elon University Library Privacy Policy

Carol Grotnes Belk Library of Elon University recognizes and honors the right to privacy of all library patrons. The Library maintains the confidentiality of library user records in accordance with the laws of North Carolina as stated in the North Carolina General Statutes, Volume 17, Article 3, Sections 125-18 and 125-19. This includes personal data in the library database as well as information concerning materials and /or information which the user has requested, borrowed, obtained, copied, or used in print, audiovisual, electronic or other formats. The library adheres to the University’s appropriate use policies.

Disclosure of library records may be permitted in the exceptions allowed by Section 125-19, part (b), that permits disclosure (1) “When necessary for the reasonable operation of the library;” (2) “Upon written consent of the user;” or (3) “Pursuant to subpoena, court order, or where otherwise required by law.” The legal counsel to Elon University must first review a subpoena or court order for library records before any records can be released or revealed.

The Library generally intends to impose a narrow interpretation of the scope of exceptions permitted for “reasonable operation of the library.” Exceptions include access by appropriate library personnel and notification of the Bursar’s office and the Phoenix Card office of unpaid debts. Monies owed to the library are monies owed to the University. In the case of lost or damaged materials, library fines or other fees, the Library will therefore notify the Business Office and/or the Registrar of unpaid debts so that the appropriate action may be taken to collect amounts owed.

Any person who believes that personal or “library use” information has been improperly released to another party may provide a full written report to the Dean and University Librarian who will initiate an appropriate investigation. The Dean and University Librarian will provide a full and timely report, including recommendations if appropriate, to the aggrieved party and to the Dean and University Librarian’s supervisor.

Updated 11/19/2019