Access and privileges

Visitor access and borrowing


General public building access and borrowing

Members of the public may conduct research at Stanford Libraries free-of-charge, up to seven days each year, upon registering for a visitor badge and presenting an acceptable government-issued photo ID to library staff. Visitor badges are currently only issued at select libraries (Art Library, East Asia Library, Green Library, and SAL1&2) though these visitor badges will work at all libraries belonging to SUL. The Green Library is the largest library (Humanities & Social Sciences) with the longest business hours. Visitor badges must be worn at all times while inside any of the libraries and they are non-transferable.

Coordinate libraries (e.g., Business, Hoover, Law, Medical, and SLAC) and department libraries (Classics, Philosophy) have separate access requirements; please contact those libraries for details.

Acceptable IDs for SUL visitor access include:

  • U.S. passport or U.S. passport card
  • Department of Defense military identification card (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
  • Permanent resident card
  • U.S. border crossing card
  • Native American tribal photo ID
  • Foreign government-issued passport, national ID card, or foreign driver's license with English text
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card

IDs must not be expired or reproduced in any form.

After the seventh free visit, or for borrowing privileges for non-Stanford-affiliated individuals, we offer a fee-based library membership. Stanford-affiliated groups may qualify for courtesy access and borrowing privileges. Minors are not eligible to purchase fee-based library membership.

Other pages useful for your planning your visit: Hours (all libraries by day; visit each branch page for location information), Accessibility, Special Policies

NOTE: As a private institution situated on its privately-owned property, Stanford has the legal right to bar anyone from any or all parts of its premises.  Disruptive or inappropriate behavior of any kind may result in suspension of visitor access and borrowing privileges. 

Alumni access

Stanford alumni qualify for reduced fee-based library membership for additional access and borrowing. Stanford Alumni Association members qualify for seven additional free day passes (with proof of membership).

Tour Groups

SUL does not permit building access to tour-groups (of any size) or large groups. No exceptions will be granted.

Field Trips

SUL does not facilitate fieldtrips for grade school students unless the field trip is being facilitated by a Stanford Librarian. 


Minors must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian at all times. The legal guardian must have an acceptable government-issued ID.

Will my visitor day pass work at all campus libraries?

Visitor badges will work at all libraries belonging to SUL. Coordinate libraries (e.g., Business, Hoover, Law, Medical, and SLAC) and department libraries (Classics, Philosophy)  have separate access requirements; contact those libraries for details. Visitor badges must be worn at all times while inside libraries and they are non-transferable. Visits to multiple libraries within SUL on different days will count towards the combined, seven free visits limit.

Are wireless access and public computers available to visitors?

Visitor wireless internet access is available, but does not provide access to licensed resources. Public computers are available at some locations, including at Green Library near the Information Center. SUL reserves the right to limit the amount of time spent using public computers and students, faculty, and staff will be given priority when computers and other library resources are in high demand.

Will I have access to electronic databases?

Licensed electronic resources are available from computers located in the libraries. However, some databases are restricted to Stanford University faculty, staff, students, and other authorized Stanford-affiliated users.  Contact individual libraries if you have questions about a specific online resource. Use your free visits to see if the resources you need are accessible from within the libraries.

Can I use copiers and scanners?

Yes. See Print, Copy, Scan for details.