Please note the following policies regarding usage of Fleet Library resources.


Library materials circulate to all members of the RISD/Providence Athenaeum community upon presentation of proper identification. A limited privilege membership may be granted to those outside the RISD/Providence Athenaeum community for a fee. The standard loan period is four weeks, with exceptions for some types of materials; many items in the collections cannot be circulated and are designated for on-site use only.
Borrowers are encouraged to return or renew materials promptly in order to avoid fines and billing charges. Failure to return library materials or to pay excessive fines in a timely fashion will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges. A reminder regarding unreturned items will be sent when they are one week overdue and again at three weeks. Four weeks after the due date, unreturned materials will be considered "lost" and you will be billed for replacement costs.
Bills for unreturned materials will include the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee of $40 for in-print materials. For out-of-print materials, a $50 processing fee will be added to the replacement cost. Please keep in mind that many items cost between $50 and $100 to replace, with some titles considerably exceeding this amount. Unreturned clippings are billed at a rate of $2 each and mounted reproductions at $5 each. If you return an item after a bill has been sent, you will only owe the overdue fines. If a lost item is found within a six-month period, you will receive a refund of the replacement cost but not of overdue fines and bill processing fees.
A fee is charged for materials damaged while on loan. Disciplinary action will be taken against any student who intentionally damages library materials.
The consequence of library debts, including unpaid fines totaling more than $10 or any unpaid bill, is the suspension of borrowing privileges. Unpaid bills and fines are sent to the Business Office for collection at the close of each academic year.


The Library is open to holders of the following cards:
  • RISD Student, Faculty, Staff IDs
  • RISD Alumni card
  • Fleet Library at RISD membership card
  • Athenaeum Membership card
  • Brown University ID
  • CRIARL card (Consortium of RI Academic & Research Libraries)
  • Current student IDs from other RI + MA academic institutions (will need to sign in at both the security and circulation desks)
  • Current RISD Continuing Education students with proof of registration may also use the library.

Others needing access to RISD's specialized resources will need to make an appointment with one of the librarians, See Ask A Librarian.

Due to the security requirements of the building, between 5:00 PM and 8:00 AM the building entrance will be RISD card access only. Until an hour before closing, library visitors will be buzzed into the building.

Visitors under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent, teacher or guardian.

Subscription Services

The Library's subscription resources are available to members of the RISD community in accordance with the respective publishers' license terms and conditions. Users have an obligation to read, be aware of, and observe the terms and conditions of use for each licensed electronic resource that they use. While the specific terms applicable to a particular resource always govern license terms, they often stipulate the following:

PERMITTED USES: Authorized users generally may display, download, print, and copy a reasonable portion of licensed electronic resources.

RESTRICTIONS: Among other things, authorized users typically are not permitted to modify or create a derivative work from licensed resources; remove, obscure, or modify any copyright or other notices; or use licensed resources for commercial purposes. Systematic downloading, distributing, or retaining substantial portions of information or using software such as scripts, agents, or robots, to retrieve information, generally is prohibited.

OFF-CAMPUS ACCESS: Off-campus is permitted to most licensed resources but RISD users must login and authenticate to access them. More about off-campus access. If you would like instruction or assistance in using electronic resources, please ask a librarian.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: The Library's electronic resources contain copyrighted material. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions and other uses of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."