During operating hours, building access is available to GW students, faculty, and staff who have completed all of the steps outlined on GW's Onward website. No one will be allowed to sign in without a physical GWorld card or enter the library if their GWorld card tap is denied. Library access is not available for alumni or visitors. Masks are required inside all library buildings.

GW Alumni

Alumni do not have access to the library buildings during the fall 2021 semester. Please use the Book Retrieval and Contact-Free Pick Up process to borrow physical materials. 

Requirement for Checking Out Books

GW Alumni must obtain an Alumni GWorld Card for building access. The fee is $10 and can be paid at the GWorld Card Office located in the University Service Center. GW Alumni must also pay a $50 annual library borrowing fee, payable at the Check Out Desk. Alumni members who are auditing courses at GW are not required to pay the library fee if all they need is to access reserve materials. The fee is applicable, however, if a GW alumnus wants to be able to charge out books from the general circulating collection.

Types of Material That Can Be Borrowed

  • General GW Circulating Collection and Reserves
  • Materials at Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) Off-Site Storage Facility

Periodicals may be used in the library only.

Book Limit

No Limit (GW items only).

Loan Period

28 days from day of check-out/renewal.


If a book you have checked out is needed for Reserves, it may be recalled. All books are subject to recall at any time. You will be notified by e-mail and will have a new due date assigned to the item. The book needs to be returned on or before the new due date to prevent recall fines of $5 per day from being assessed. 

Renewing Books

GW books may be renewed at any time, and they will be assigned a new due date 28 days from the day you renew. Each book is limited to 3 renewals. All books may be renewed a variety of ways, including online, email, and phone. Review renewal policies, options, and limits for details.

If you reach the renewal limit of 3, you must bring the books in person to the Check Out Desk to return or renew; if you still need the books, we will start the process again for you, allowing up to 3 more automatic renewals.

Overdue Fines and Other Fees

We do not charge daily fines for general collection books that are overdue less than 40 days. After 40 days, overdue items are considered lost and you will be charged $120 for each book. See details about lost books.

NOTE: Use My Library Account to manage and review your due dates, overdue notices, and available requests. Failure to receive notices does not excuse you from paying fines.

Other Alumni Library Privileges