If you are a faculty member, student, or staff at a CUNY college, that campus library is your home library and you should ask a reference librarian there how to activate your library privileges. Note that faculty members are often entitled to different services and longer borrowing periods than students, so if you are both a faculty member and student at two different or the same CUNY college, you should ask for an account with your faculty ID at the applicable campus library. With library privileges at any CUNY library, you have access to all that library's electronic resources as well as the electronic resources from the Central Office and you can walk into any CUNY campus library and borrow books there.*
If you are a CUNY central office employee with no college affiliation, your home library is CUNY central. You are entitled to access to all of the electronic resources on our resource page and, with your CUNY ID, you can walk into any CUNY campus library. To access any of the electronic resources from home or a non-CUNY location, you will need your CUNY Login credentials. To borrow books at any campus library*, you will need to know your barcode (soon to be made available in CUNYfirst and accessible via the CUNYfirst My Info app).
*Please note that the CUNY School of Law does not allow other CUNY faculty, staff, or students to borrow books.
If you are a CUNY Central Office employee (and/or a student, staff, or faculty member at any one of the CUNY campuses), you already have a library account you may use to borrow physical material. To borrow materials in person, you will need to bring your CUNY ID card to the service desk of the lending library.
If you are accessing one of CUNY Central's Library Electronic Resources from a CUNY location, you should not be prompted for a username or password.
If you are at home or another non-CUNY location, you will be prompted for your CUNY Login credentials, not a user ID and password. If you are prompted for a user ID and password, you have most likely tried to access the resource outside of the CUNY e-resource page or OneSearch. Please use one of these library tools to access library resources to ensure you do not hit a paywall.
With your CUNY ID, you can walk into any* CUNY library and use their print and e-resources on site. (There are a few exceptions—some libraries have licenses to databases that only allow use for their own students; these are a small exception, though, and not the rule.) Once you have a library account, you can also borrow books.
* Please note that the CUNY School of Law does not allow other CUNY faculty, staff, or students to borrow books.
As a resident, student, or employee in New York City, you are eligible for library privileges at New York Public Library (with branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island), Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library!
Unlike public libraries, academic libraries in New York City are not open to the public or to staff or students from other academic institutions. However, if there is a particular source that you've identified and you've located it at another New York academic library, you can ask for a NYC METRO Library card. This is a one-time pass so that you can visit a library. For one of these passes, please contact the CUNY Office of Library Service's Head of Budget and Collections (formerly Electronic Resources Librarian), Nancy Egan.
If you have a long-term research project that you think requires use of the NYU or Columbia libraries, you can learn about Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI). This initiative enables approved New York Public Library cardholders with a demonstrable research need not met by currently available resources, to borrow materials from NYU, Columbia, and NYPL.
Your library privileges are the same as those of Central Office staff members. However, you will first need the following:
You can search for a book in CUNY OneSearch. If you find a book in the results list, you can click on Locations to see where copies of the book are available. If it is not available at the library of your choice, click on Request. Follow the instructions (you will need your CUNY Login credentials). Once you've placed a request for a book, you should receive an email notification within 2 to 7 business days. After receiving the notification, you'll have 10 days to pick up the book. Bring your ID to pick up the book.
The quickest way to get a book is to go right to the library that owns it. However, if the library is too far away or you don't need it that quickly, use the inter-CUNY delivery system (CLICS).
If your home library is one of the CUNY colleges, you should ask at that library about interlibrary loan (ILL). This is an international borrowing and lending system that makes books and other material available all over the world.
If your home library is CUNY Central, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can use the CUNY School of Law library on-site. However, unless you have a CUNY School of Law affiliation, you cannot access their password-protected databases or borrow their books.
If CUNY Central is your home library, you have access to Lexis-Nexis Academic from the list of CUNY Central's Library Electronic Resources. This is not the Lawyer's edition but it does contain a wealth of legal materials, including all state & federal cases and statutes & law reviews. You cannot access Westlaw.
If you have a different home library, you should ask a reference librarian at that library.
Many of our e-books can only be downloaded chapter by chapter in PDF format. However, ebrary, the large CUNY-wide subscription to e-books that contains over 100,000 titles, makes it possible to download entire e-books to your mobile devices.
You can become a deputy borrower for your manager by setting up a proxy borrowing account. The CUNY Libraries can only take the request for a proxy account from the manager, not the person who will borrow for the manager. Your manager must already have an account at the applicable campus library.
It is important that your manager know that they will be responsible for any lost or overdue book fines incurred in their name!
Please contact the applicable campus library for more information on setting up a proxy borrowing account.