Policies and Procedures


  • Individuals with valid Harvard or SAO ID or Official Visitor credentials may borrow materials from the Library's circulating collections. 
  • Special collections and the following materials do not circulate and may not be removed from the Library: unbound journals, rare or brittle materials, reference works, microfiche and microfilm.
  • Borrowing privileges for physical material may be temporarily revoked if a member of the community fails to return, renew, or acknowledge materials as lost for a protracted period of time. Library staff will attempt to contact patrons at risk of losing borrowing privileges for four weeks prior to enacting any changes to borrower privileges. We suggest that borrowers return materials to the Library before any extended absence.
  • Recalling: If another patron requests the recall of a borrowed item, the current borrower will be notified, and must return the recalled item within seven days. 
  • Renewing: Library materials can be renewed up to five times directly through HOLLIS, by calling 617-496-5769, or in-person at the Library during business hours.
  • Returning Books
    • Library books may be returned at the Circulation Desk during business hours.
    • After-hours, Library books may be returned using the book drop outside the front entrance to the Perkin building lobby at 60 Garden Street.
    • Library books may also be returned at other Harvard Libraries
    • Library books may be returned by mail to: John G. Wolbach Library, Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St. MS-56, Cambridge, MA 02138.
  • Returning Devices - for more information see Wolbach Library's Device Liability Policy
    • Device(s) should be returned to Wolbach Library by 5pm on the day that the item due
      • Return devices to the Library Circulation Desk
      • Do not leave devices in Library book drops
    • Devices can be renewed remotely once

Building Access

Harvard ID holders and members of the general public may access the Library during our normal business hours. Members of the CfA who have a current entry in the CfA Staff Database (SDF) have 24-hour access to the Wolbach Library. Library staff make every effort possible to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Please contact us in advance to make arrangements (email library@cfa.harvard.edu, or call 617-496-5769).

Code of Conduct

Wolbach Library supports the principle that all people encountered in one’s life should be treated with respect. At no time is abusive or desctructive behavior acceptable in Wolbach’s physical or online spaces. See our full Code of Conduct and Events Policy for more information.


Interlibrary Loan: Lending for Non-Harvard Libraries

Wolbach is a supplying member of OCLC, represented by the symbol SQD. See our OCLC profile for detailed policy information. Requests by other libraries may also be submitted to library@cfa.harvard.edu - use "I.L.L. REQUEST" in subject line 

Wolbach Library's collection is represented in the HOLLIS Catalog. Records include circulation status for monographs and specific holdings information for journal titles.