Return Books

If at all possible, return library materials in person. The book return slot to the left of Olin Library's entrance is open and so are the drop boxes at the Africana Library, the Library Annex, Catherwood Library, Mann Library, and the Veterinary Library. Please allow up to a week for returned items to clear your account. Email the Library Public Services office for special arrangements if you have a large number of items to return. If you are not returning to campus, please contact the Library Public Services office to discuss options for mailing the items back to us.

Most borrowed materials may be returned to almost any Cornell library* on the Ithaca, Geneva or Weill Cornell Medical College (New York City) campuses. If you are returning Ithaca/Geneva books to WCMC, please speak with the WCMC staff to let them know you are returning offsite materials.


The following materials must be returned directly to the libraries from which they were issued:

  • Reserve books (hourly loans, 1- or 2-day loans)
  • Laptops and other equipment
  • Interlibrary loans
  • Fragile items
  • Any special loan materials, as indicated by the issuing library (may include journal issues, videos, DVDs, CDs, manual loans, etc.)

*The Nestle Library (Hotel) cannot accept books from other libraries

How to Return Books

To bookdrops and at a circulation desk:

  • Items may be placed in the book returns located outside of the libraries (after closing) or may be returned at the library circulation desks during open hours.  There is also a North Campus book drop located at the Robert Purcell Community Center (west side, across from Jameson Hall). Note that this bookdrop is available during the academic year only (late August through mid-May).  See campus map with library locations and individual library maps for location of book returns, or contact the libraries for location information.  Please note: If the outside book return is full, please do not force books into the box or leave them outside the box - return them to the circulation desk the next business day.  You will not be fined for the additional time required to return books in person.

By US mail or delivery service:

  • Books returned through US mail, FedEx, DHL, UPS or other delivery service should be insured for a minimum value of $100 per item.  Please address packages to:

    Library Public Services Office
    116 Olin Library
    161 Ho Plaza
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY  14853

Please be sure to include your name and contact information.

Drive-up Locations

Locations of libraries or book drops that are accessible by car (on-site parking or nearby 15-minute parking):

Receipts for Return

Upon request, receipts for returned items can be issued in person at the circulation desk at the time of return.  Please check your My Account page to view items on loan to you, and notify the library as soon as possible if you think there is an error.

Campus Mail

Please note that books cannot be returned through the Campus Mail delivery system.

Questions about returns?

Please contact the Library Public Services Office, (607) 255-5069, Monday through Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm, Friday 8:30am - 3:30pm.  Email: