Information for Visitors

Rutgers University, founded in 1766, is the eighth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. As Rutgers has evolved into a major research university, the library system has also grown into one of the top academic research libraries in the country. Expanding from one library to twenty-six separate libraries, centers and reading rooms located on three campuses, and RU-Online, a digital library, the Rutgers University Libraries serve over two million users each year onsite and many more digitally.


The resources of the Rutgers University Libraries are available to visitors to the university campuses located in Camden, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Newark. Any person may visit the libraries and use, onsite, materials that are needed to fill their information needs. Advance arrangements may be necessary for the use of materials in the Special Collections and University Archives and Library Annex. Access to and services offered by the law libraries may differ from those detailed here.

Visitors may register for a guest account to use our guest computers to access the Internet and restricted resources such as indexes and databases. Please bring a government issued ID and speak with a librarian or staff member at a reference or circulation desk to create a guest account. Guest accounts provide a limited amount of time per day to use these computers.

Reference librarians are available at all the major libraries to provide assistance with research needs that may not have been fulfilled at your local library. Reference desk hours are not the same as Library Hours so see the Rutgers University Libraries' website under Weekly Hours by Library. Non-affiliated users may also submit reference questions concerning the university, the collections, resources, and services of the Libraries, or relating to New Jersey in some way to the "Ask a Librarian" service.

Public photocopiers and networked printing equipment are located in each of the major libraries. The Imaging center, located in Alexander Library, provides additional services for a fee. Visit the Imaging Services web page for more information.


While the primary purpose of the Libraries is to support the instructional and research needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the university, guest borrowing privileges are extended to Rutgers alumni, individuals with community borrower cards, and faculty from other higher education institutions where there are reciprocal borrowing agreements in place. If you are not a member of one of these categories, you may borrow materials from the Rutgers University Libraries through your local library's interlibrary borrowing service. Individuals who cannot satisfy their information requirements through their local public library, organizational library, or interlibrary loan may purchase guest borrowing privileges by submitting an application form and $100 annual fee. See the Alumni and Community Guest Borrowing Privileges web page for a description of guest borrowing privileges.

Government Documents

Alexander Library, the Library of Science and Medicine, Paul Robeson Library (Camden), and Dana Library (Newark) are depositories for U.S. government publications. In general, the Alexander Library collects federal documents that relate to the humanities and social sciences, while federal documents at the Library of Science and Medicine are scientific or technical in nature. Five libraries at Rutgers– Alexander, Dana, the Library of Science and Medicine, Robeson, and the Newark Law Library– are also depositories of New Jersey state publications. As federal and state depositories, each of these libraries assumes a responsibility to make the government information they have on-site available to the public.

Since 1989, the Library of Science and Medicine (LSM) has been a depository library for United States patents and trademarks. All materials related to patents and trademarks are accessible via . We provide training and reference services regarding patents and trademarks. Please see our subject research guide on patents and trademarks for further information.

Hours and Directions

Library hours change during the academic year, depending on whether or not classes are in session. Special Collections and University Archives hours vary from Alexander Library hours. Check hours posted online or in the libraries for exceptions and changes. Maps and directions to the Camden, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Newark campuses and to individual libraries are available at the Rutgers University Libraries website under Hours and Directions.

Library Catalog and Databases

The identifies most of the materials acquired by the Libraries since 1975, as well as older materials that have circulated since 1984. It does not include the holdings of the Rutgers Law School. The Library Catalog is available at guest computers located in all libraries and is also accessible off-site to any member of the public from our homepage.

Licensing agreements between the Rutgers University Libraries and most of our database vendors limit off-site access to databases to current Rutgers students, faculty, and staff. Members of the public are welcome to register for a guest account and access databases on-site from our guest computers. Please bring a government issued ID and speak with a librarian or staff member at a reference or circulation desk to set up an account. Guest accounts provide a limited amount of time per day to use these computers.

Libraries and Collections at Rutgers

Read about the Rutgers libraries and their collections at the Rutgers University Libraries website under Libraries and Centers.

Other Services

Some services such as interlibrary loan, book and article delivery from the Rutgers collections, and remote access to certain database are available only to current Rutgers students, faculty and staff.

Users with Disabilities

The Libraries are committed to providing equal access to services and collections for all library patrons. Special services may be arranged through the circulation or reference department in each library. For additional information see the Services for Persons With Disabilities web page.