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.
Learn more about library resources available to community and guest users.
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 the Library Annex (off-site storage). 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.
Printing and scanning are available in every library. Services offered differ by location. Visit the Print / Scan / Copy pages 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.
Alexander Library (in conjunction with the Library of Science and Medicine), Paul Robeson Library, Dana Library, and the law libraries at Camden and Newark are depositories for U.S. government publications. The largest federal depository collection at Rutgers is divided between Alexander Library and the Library of Science and Medicine. In general, the former collects documents that relate to the humanities and social sciences, while the latter collects documents that are scientific or technical in nature.
Three libraries at Rutgers– Alexander (in conjunction with the Library of Science and Medicine), Robeson, and the Rutgers Law Library in Newark– are also depositories of New Jersey state publications.
The Library of Science and Medicine (LSM) is a Patent and Trademark Resource Center, and has been a depository library for United States patents and trademarks since 1989. Although all materials related to patents and trademarks are accessible via www.uspto.gov, the library provides training and reference services. For further information consult the patents and trademarks research guides.
As depositories, each of the libraries assumes a responsibility to make the government information they have on-site available to the public. Additional government publications, outside the scope of the depository programs, are also collected.
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. Please consult the hours page for current opening times.
Library Catalog (QuickSearch) and Databases
QuickSearch searches our local catalog (most of the materials acquired by the Libraries since 1975), as well as most of our databases, from a single interface. It also includes the holdings of the Rutgers Law School. While QuickSearch is accessible on- or off-site to any member of the public, 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. Off-site access to individual subject databases is also limited 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.
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.