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Learn about borrowing, renewing, and requesting materials. 
Library shelf with students sitting at desks in the background


You can find most books on the first and second floors of the library. Special items such as course reserves, anatomical items, and technology items will be behind the Public Services Desk on the 3rd floor. Check out materials from the staff at the Public Services Desk or at the self-checkout scanner near the 3rd floor library entrance.

NKU students, faculty, and staff can borrow Steely materials with an ALL Card or a photo ID.

NKU alumni can borrow items with an Alumni Card. Request a card through NKU's Alumni Association.

Community members with library cards from Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton Public Libraries can also borrow materials.

Steely has reciprocal borrowing agreements with the University of Cincinnati, Thomas More University, and with SAALCK member libraries. For more information, contact the Public Services Desk or see our  Circulation Policy.


You can renew materials through your library account, in person, over the phone at (859) 572-5457, or by email. If another person has requested the item, you will not be able to renew. After two renewals, the item will need to be brought back to the library before being checked back out. 


You can return library materials to: 

  • Book drop at the Public Services Desk on the 3rd floor. 
  • There are two library book drops outside the building. One is located near the library on Nunn Drive, and the other is outside the 3rd floor entrance.  


If you need an item that is checked out or you would like to have us hold an item for you to pick up, you can request it through the library catalog.  

You will receive an email when the item is ready for you at the 3rd floor Public Services Desk. We will hold it for 10 days. 

Overdue Materials

While the Steely Library does not charge overdue fines, we ask you to return library materials on time and in the condition in which they were borrowed. 

To help you manage your library materials, e-mails about upcoming due dates and overdue items are sent to your school email account if you are an NKU student, faculty, or staff. If you are an NKU alumni or community user, notices are sent to the email address you provided at the time of library registration. Failure to receive a notice for whatever reason does not absolve your responsibility to return or renew materials on time. 

You can renew library materials online, by email, by phone, or at the Public Services Desk.

Items that have been overdue for 30 days will be declared lost and billed to the borrower.

Billed Items

It is the responsibility of the borrower to replace or pay replacement charges for items that are lost or damaged. Contact to discuss the replacement of lost or damaged items. Items that can’t be replaced are subject to the market value replacement cost plus a $10 processing fee.

Item replacement or payment of replacement charges must be made prior to the removal of a library hold. Students with overdue library items in the amount of $100 or more will have a hold placed on registration, transcripts, and diploma. NKU alumni and community users will have their borrowing privileges suspended until overdue items are returned or the overdue account balance is paid. 

Paying Replacement Charges 

Payments are made at the Public Services Desk by credit card or All Card. User accounts are cleared upon full payment of charges


Requests for refunds are handled on a case-by-case basis. However, refunds for payments older than six months will not be considered. Please contact with questions.