At a glance

Swain Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library

Using Swain Library

The Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library is open to both the Stanford Community and outside visitors. All Stanford University faculty, staff, and students have full access to the library collections and e-resources during the library's regular operating hours.

Visitors are welcome to use the library and are asked to sign in and out on the Visitor’s Register located just inside the entrance. Visitors have full use of the print collection and selected e-resources but may not check out materials unless they purchase a library card. Contact the Privileges Desk at Green Library, (650) 723-1492 or, for information on becoming a registered borrower and obtaining a valid library card. Due to limited staffing, reference assistance is not provided for visitors.

Borrowing privileges

Current Stanford faculty, students, and staff have full privileges according to the library’s circulation policy. Those with purchased privileges may only borrow books and theses. For more details, please see Borrow, renew, return.

Library privileges may be blocked due to fines, fees, lost books, invalid mailing addresses, a registration hold, or expired ID cards. Student privileges are blocked when library fines, fees or bills reach $50, faculty privileges at $300 and institutional privileges at $1.50 or with any overdue book. Purchased privileges do not include off-campus access to digital resources or access to SciFinder and Reaxys.

For access and privileges question contact Green Library Privileges Desk (650-723-1492) or see SUL Access and privileges

Swain Library circulation periods

Books & Series 28 days
Journals and reserves 2 hours (must be returned to the Swain Library circulation desk)
iPads 14 days (must be returned to the Swain Library circulation desk)
Reference and Safety Collection In-house use only


Users who have a current SUNet ID and a University ID may place a request to renew items up two times by using My Account. Items must be returned to the owning library for the third renewal. No email or phone renewals accepted. Institutional fee-based users must renew items at the owning library and also present one borrowing coupon per item when checking out items.

If you plan on leaving the area for an extended period of time, make sure to return your library materials before you leave. Exceptions cannot be made if a book is recalled while you are away. For more information, please refer to the borrower responsibilities page.

Returning materials

Please return all course reserves items, iPads, journals, and theses to the Swain Library. Other library materials may be returned to any Stanford University library. Fines for reserve items are $1.00 per hour, applied in full at 16 minutes after the time due. Stiff fines are also levied for recalled items that are not returned promptly, especially items recalled for course reserves.


All items are subject to recall if requested by another user. All recalled items must be returned by the due date on the notice. If the item is needed by Course Reserves, it must be returned immediately. Renewal of loans is permitted unless another user is waiting. You can view and/or cancel your holds and recalls using MyAccount, or by visiting a circulation desk. For more information, please see SUL Holds and recalls.

Paging items from storage

Use SearchWorks, SU Libraries catalog, to identify and page items in storage. Click on link next to item you want to page from storage. Items paged before noon arrive in 1 business day; afternoon in 2 business days.

Course reserves

Swain Library provides reserve services for the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments. See reserves catalog online or notebook at Swain Library's circulation desk to see reserve lists. Visitors cannot borrow reserve items.

For more information, please refer to course support page.

Reference and instruction

Reference services are limited to Stanford students, faculty and staff. Brief reference help is available on-demand during regular business hours. In-depth reference help is available by appointment or email For course-related instruction and workshops, please see: Swain Library workshops page.

Interlibrary borrowing

Interlibrary services are available without charge to current Stanford students, faculty, staff and visting scholars. Graduate students, faculty, and academic staff can also place requests directly with UC-Berkeley (RLCP). For more details, please see: SUL interlibrary borrowing page.

Users with limited mobility

Swain Library is partially accessible to persons with limited mobility. Please ask at the circulation desk for help in getting materials located in compact shelving or on upper/lower shelves. If you will need staff help, please call the Swain Library (650-725-9237) in advance.

Information about access to the Stanford libraries for persons with limited mobility or other disabilities.

Visitor wireless access

Please visit the IT Services wireless access for Stanford visitors page for information. Library staff are not authorized to approve "Sponsored Guest" accounts.