Borrow, Renew, and Return

Current SMU students, staff and faculty, and SMU alumni with an identification badge are welcome to use the library at any of the SMU campuses. SMU libraries have access to thousands of titles in our libraries and via subscription services and interlibrary loans. We also offer access to a library of DVDs and streaming videos.


Most reserve items have a two-hour loan period; most non-reserve items have a two-week loan period.

In order to assure maximum availability to all patrons, journals, and reference books may be used only in the library and cannot be checked out.

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  • Return slot at the library’s circulation desk

  • Dropbox outside the Health Education Center

  • Dropbox outside the Peralta Pavilion

Items placed in the drop boxes will be backdated to the previous day. To avoid overdue fines, course reserve items should be returned within the library. 

Sacramento and San Francisco Peninsula:

To return materials to the Sacramento and San Francisco Peninsula campuses, please return items to library circulation desks. For more information, see the Sacramento Libguides and SF Peninsula Libguides.  


  • Patrons can log in to their library account to renew any one-week or two-week book or call the circulation desk at 510.879.9290

  • One-week and two-week items can be renewed once

  • Items cannot be renewed if they are placed on hold by another patron.

  • Course reserve items cannot be placed on hold


  • Patrons can log into their library account to place a hold on any one-week or two-week book in the Oakland, Sacramento, or San Francisco Peninsula libraries

  • Course reserve items cannot be placed on hold

  • If the item is available at your library, library staff will retrieve the item. The patron will receive an email notice when the item is ready for pick up. If the item is checked out, you’ll receive a notice when the item is returned

  • If the item is at another campus library, library staff will send it to your campus library. The patron will receive an email notice when the item is available to pick up at the circulation desk or holds area

Overdue Fines

Patrons are responsible for returning library materials on time. As a courtesy, the library sends email reminders to SMU borrowers with overdue books. The library is not responsible for non-receipt of overdue reminders, and fines will not be waived due to non-receipt of overdue notices.

  • Two-week loan items: $0.10 per day

  • Seven-day loan items: $1 per day

  • Three-day loan items: $1 per day

  • Two-day loan items: $1 per day

  • One-day loan items: $1 per day

  • Two-hour loan items: $5 per day

At the Oakland library, fines are paid by cash or check at the circulation desk. Checks can be made out to the "Samuel Merritt University" and mailed to: John A. Graziano Library, attn: Circulation, 400 Hawthorne Ave. Oakland, CA 94609 

Circulation privileges will be blocked with fines of over $20. The Samuel Merritt University Registrar will block registration and withhold student records if there are unpaid fines.

Lost or Damaged Books

For lost or damaged items, patrons are charged the current market rate for the replacement item plus a $20 processing fee.

Alternatively, a replacement copy in new condition may be accepted. The $20 processing fee still applies.

Note: Student privileges are concurrent with registration and terminate at graduation. Staff privileges terminate upon separation of employment.