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Policies on Borrowing Library Materials

Circulating collections

Most books can be borrowed for 4 weeks and can be renewed using our self checkout machines. You can also renew books online using the My Account feature in the online catalog or by contacting me. You can return books in the bookdrop (located in the front vestibule), or send them back through interoffice mail. Please mail books back to the Library if you’re off campus or have left CSHL.

Please contact Paula (, extension 8479, room 108) if you have any questions, experience any problems, or if you’d like me to send you any books.

Books and collections that must be used in the library

Archives and Special Collections materials may only be used in the library and only by appointment. For more information, please contact or call 516-367-8414.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library provides electronic resources (e.g., Journals, Books, or Abstracting databases) to support the instructional, research and service activities of CSHL staff and students. These resources are purchased or leased by the Library either directly or through consortia and are governed by license and contract agreements. Each license or contract, whether purchased individually or as a group, contains strict guidelines on the use of the resource.


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory does not permit the illegal downloading and/or sharing of copyrighted material in any form or manner. Electronic resources are copyrighted and are subject to all applicable copyright and database protection rights under the laws of the United States and other countries. All utilizations of these products including downloading, printing or creating copies of content from these resources must be consistent with existing “fair use” law as defined by the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code).

License Agreements and Contracts

Each electronic resource subscribed to or purchased includes a license agreement or contract that details permissions and restrictions on use. Common restrictions include, but are not limited to:

  • Materials may be used for scholarly, educational and/or scientific research purposes; any selling, distributing, licensing, or renting of materials for commercial uses is prohibited.
  • Materials may be used by authorized users only. Authorized users include Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers, staff and students and those who have been allowed access to the Library’s computer workstations.
  • Authorized users may download, store on a PC (or other storage device), or print single copies of documents from the resource for his/her own non-commercial use, provided user maintains all copyright and other notices contained in such material.
  • Systematic and/or substantial downloading or reproduction of materials is prohibited. Only a reasonable number of records, articles or chapters may be downloaded for personal use. Use of Web crawlers, robots, or any other software packages or systematic searching tools or programs is forbidden.
  • Any proprietary and/or copyright notices, author attribution or disclaimers on the materials may not be deleted or modified.

Access Privileges

Individuals who do not comply with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library’s electronic resource licensing agreements/contracts will have their library access suspended.

Inappropriate use of materials may result in blocked access to the resources for all CSHL users.