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Borrow, renew, return

These pages explain circulation services and policies at the Stanford University Libraries, including borrowing periods, renewals, and return policies. While policies vary by library and user privilege level (faculty, staff, undergraduate, alumni, etc.), books typically have longer lending periods than other materials, such as DVDs and media. Still have questions after reading these pages? Contact

Scan-to-PDF service

This is a pilot service for circulating items at SAL3.

Scan-to-PDF is a document delivery service for circulating items at SAL3, our off-site storage facility. This service is available to current Stanford faculty, staff, students, postdocs, and University visiting scholars.

It is easy to request a PDF: find the item in Searchworks, submit the citation to be scanned, you'll then receive an email from us with a link to download the article/book chapter.

Service limitations

  • Requests are limited to one chapter per book or one article per journal volume, up to 50 pages maximum. This is due to copyright restrictions.
  • Eligible items will have a Scan-to-PDF request option in Searchworks. You can request PDFs from circulating print volumes held at SAL3 (off-site storage) but non-paper media and non-circulating items are currently not available. (See service expansion plans below).
  • All requests for Scan-to-PDF must be submitted through Searchworks. 
  • The service is limited to Stanford faculty, students, staff, postdocs, and University visiting scholars. You will need to log in with WebAuth to request items.
  • We aim to fill requests within 2-4 business days, depending on demand. We will improve delivery time through the pilot period.
  • We will not scan: required course materials, items held in Course Reserves collections, or items that are too fragile for the scanner.

Plans for service expansion

After we establish workflows and technical demands, we plan to expand the Scan-to-PDF service to non-circulating print collections in SAL3, the book and journal collections in SAL 1&2, and, eventually, journals from all campus locations.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Stanford Information Delivery reserves the right to not fill a request, if in its judgement, it would involve violation of copyright law.

Contact us with questions and feedback

Information Delivery Department
Office: (650) 725-9448 | 8am-4:30pm Monday through Friday