Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

The Medical Research Library of Brooklyn


Library Information Commons Access

The Library Information Commons (LIC) is accessible 24 hours 7 days a week. To assure your safety when library services are closed the LIC will be accessible only with a personal identification number (PIN). If you have already chosen a PIN that PIN will allow access to the LIC (Users of the Gross Anatomy Labs would use the same PIN for entrance to the LIC). Enter the PIN into the keypad to the right of the Library entrance and then press the pound (#) key. If you have not chosen a PIN, you will be able to by Wednesday in the Library during normal staffed hours.

Access Policy - who can use different Library services  


Library privileges are accorded the following groups of users upon presentation of CURRENT, VALID ID CARDS. Upon request of Public Safety or Library Staff, one additional piece of ID with picture:

  • Faculty, staff and students of SUNY-Downstate.
  • Faculty, staff and students from other SUNY campuses, including Empire State College with appropriate ID.
  • Members of the SUNY Downstate Alumni Associations (Medicine, Nursing, College of Health Related Professions and Graduate School).
  • Members of the Brooklyn Academy of Medicine (Kings County Medical Society).
  • Members of the Second District Dental Society.
  • Members of the Associated Physicians of Long Island.
  • Staff of Kings County Hospital with KCH ID cards. (Reading Privileges Only)
  • Physicians / Residents from hospitals formally affiliated with SUNY-Downstate. See list of current formal Affiliates at SUNY-Downstate Security Desk, 395 Lenox Rd. (Reading Privileges Only)
  • METRO referrals from other libraries (by appointment only).
  • DAHSL (Directors of Area Health Sciences Libraries) letter (Faculty with ID Only).
  • Subscribers to the Medical Research Library of Brooklyn.
  • Library Archives / Special Collections patrons (by appointment only, 718-270-7460).


Library Privileges are not transferable and restrictions apply to several categories of users. Children, infant through high school age, are not permitted access to the Library. For further information, contact or leave voice mail for the Head of Access Services at 718-270-7404.

A special application must be submitted for limited library access for guests of SUNY-Downstate faculty, staff or students, and for individuals or groups sponsored by SUNY-Downstate faculty, departments or programs. A simple form must be filled out for these categories of patrons. The form can be obtained at the Access Services Desk in the Medical Research Library. Forms should be filled out well in advance of need and must be approved by the Administrator's Office (718-270-7412).

Affiliated Hospitals

Currently recognized affiliated hospitals are:

  • Brookdale Medical Center
  • Brooklyn Caledonian Hospital
  • Brooklyn Jewish Hospital (See Interfaith)
  • Coney Island Hospital
  • Interfaith Medical Center (St. John's Hosp. Div.; Brooklyn Jewish Div.)
  • Kings County Hospital
  • Lutheran Medical Center
  • Maimonidies Medical Ctr.
  • Methodist Hospital
  • Queens Hospital Medical Ctr.
  • Staten Island University Hospital
  • St. John's Episcopal Hospital (See Interfaith)
  • St. Vincent's Medical Ctr. (Staten Island)
  • Veterans Administration Hospital

Please note that occasionally faculty from the hospitals, universities and colleges below may have limited access to the Library, for reading only, upon presentation of a valid current ID from their institution and a letter of introduction on their institution's stationery.

  • Albert Einstein University (Gottesman Library)
  • Columbia University (Long Health Science Library)
  • Cornell University (Cornell Medical Library)
  • Mt. Sinai Medical School (Levy Library)
  • New York Medical College (Medical Sciences Library)
  • New York University (Ehrman Medical Library)
  • Albany Medical College (Schaffer Library)

Children are not allowed in the library at any time.


Borrowing Privileges

How to obtain borrowing privileges

Holders of current SUNY-Downstate ID cards:

Register online on the library website or at the Access Services Desk for borrowing privileges during regular Circulation Desk hours. At the Circulation Desk you will be asked to fill out a library registration form and your SUNY-Downstate ID card number will be entered into our computers. A profile will be created for you based on the information provided on the registration form.

Individuals who are not holders of current SUNY-Downstate ID cards:

Library subscriptions are available at a cost of $300 per year or any part of a calendar year where the cost is prorated quarterly. Inquire at the Circulation Desk, Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm.

Holders of current SUNY-Downstate ID cards seeking access to other libraries:

Alternate access to other libraries will be arranged by request and by appointment. Contact the Head of Access Services, Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm at 718-270-7404 or at the Circulation Desk.

Please note that not all SUNY ID cards enable library privileges. Please contact the Head of Access Services or the Assistant Director of Resource Management during regular business hours (Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm) should any questions arise.

Loan Periods

How long you may borrow different materials

Books, Journals, Reserves & Study Rooms

Patrons who are eligible to borrow must present a valid SUNY-Downstate ID at the Access Services Desk. This procedure inputs individual patron records into the library's automated system, which then maintains an accurate accounting of all current borrowing and related transactions between the patron and the library.

  • Books circulate for 3 weeks and may be renewed Only Once for an additional 3 weeks.
  • Journals circulate for 4 hours only (Older than 30 days). Journals less than 30 days old do not circulate.
  • Reserve and Special Reserve Materials circulate for 2 hours. Reserve materials CANNOT be taken out of the library.
  • Study Rooms circulate for 2 hours only. Dry erase markers, erasers and board cleaner are available and can be checked out when study rooms are checked out.


Policy (including fees) for material held past their time due

Books, Journals, Reserves & Study Rooms

  • Books accumulate a fine of 50 cents per day late.
  • Journals accumulate a fine of $5.00 per hour late.
  • Reserve materials accumulate a fine of $2.00 per hour late.
  • Study Rooms accumulate a fine of $5.00 per hour late.

Items not returned to the library will accrue a max fine of $25.00 per item.

If an item is lost, there will be a $20.00 handling charge in addition to the cost to replace the borrowed item.

Fines and fees are payable at the bursar's office, with a payment printout from the Access Services Desk.

Study Rooms

Library policy for using group study rooms

Group Study Rooms

There are three group study rooms available on the second floor of the library. Keys to these rooms may be checked out from the Circulation desk for a period of 2 HOURS. Rooms are issued on a first come first served basis. Renewals are not allowed. Holds cannot be placed for rooms. Food and beverage restrictions apply as in the rest of the library. Keys to these rooms must be returned to the Circulation desk when the 2-hour timeframe expires. Keys not returned will incur a fine of $5.00 per hour.

Collection Guidelines

Criteria used to determine which resources should be added to the Library's collection

The Library is committed to providing those information resources which support the goals of the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Related Professions, the School of Graduate Studies, the clinical and research staff of SUNY Downstate.

Materials are acquired to support the following:

  • Academic requirements of the campus.
  • Clinical applications.
  • Research.
  • Health care administration.
  • Professional development of the library staff.

Selection is made by the Collection Development Manager and input from faculty and staff is always welcome.

Resources may be traditional print or electronic in format.

Food and Drink

Policy regarding the bringing of food and beverages into the Library

The collection of the Medical Research Library of Brooklyn covers more than 200 years of science, medicine and related disciplines. We closely monitor the Library's environment to preserve the materials, and we ask users to help us by not bringing into the Library food and beverages which can damage materials and attract vermin such as roaches, mice and ants.

Please plan a food break outside the Library as part of your routine of study. Food may not be eaten anywhere in the Library.

No food delivery, take-out, cafeteria food on trays, or meal preparation is permitted in the Library.

Staff routinely patrol the Library and may direct users to leave if they observe food being consumed.

Beverages in Library-approved, spill-proof containers are permitted throughout the Library and the Learning Resource Services area.

Cans, soda and juice bottles or paper cups with plastic tops may not be brought into the Library.

Lost and Found

Policy regarding personal materials left behind in the Library

There is currently no lost and found located in the library.

Items such as keys, diskettes and prescription glasses will be held at the Access Services desk for a short period of time. Items of value of $20.00 or more such as wallets, credit cards, jewelry, prescription medication, etc., that are turned over to Library staff are immediately turned over to Public Safety, x2626.

The responding Public Safety Officer will record the following information:

  • How property was obtained i.e. Date, time, name of finder, location found.
  • A complete description of property: make, model, serial number, if any.
  • A "Receipt of Property" form is filled in which specifically lists all items inventoried; the form is signed by the officer and finder. The finder will receive a receipt for property turned in.

In addition to other administrative responsibilities, Public Safety will attempt to notify the owner that his/her property has been recovered.

Vandalized Materials

Policy regarding the deliberate mutilation of Library materials

  1. The Library is charged with insuring access to information for its patrons. The collection of the Medical Research Library of Brooklyn covers more than 200 years of science, medicine and related disciplines. We closely monitor the Library's environment to preserve the materials, and we ask users to help us preserve the collection as well.
  2. When materials are intentionally, mutilated or abused, the information contained therein is no longer, either in whole or in part, in the collection.
  3. In order to preserve the Library's materials, the following policy is in effect:

Individual/s caught mutilating or abusing Library materials are subject to a fine plus a processing fee, based on the current replacement costs, if identifiable. A minimum fine of no less than $150 plus $50 for each item that can be replaced will be imposed.

Further, at the discretion of the University, the offending individual(s) will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 


Policy regarding printing from computers in the Library and Learning Resource Center

Printing is available in the Library and Advanced Learning Resource Center. The print jobs from all computers in the Library and LRC are sent to assigned laser printers where paper and toner are replenished by library staff. There is a fee for all printing in the Library and the LRC. The service uses a Debit card that costs $1.00 and may be purchased at one of the machines available on the first floor of the Library or in the ALRC. The cost for printing is $0.15 per page for black and white and $0.75 per page for color printing. Instructions are available at all workstations and print stations.

The library staff is committed to supporting end-user searching and document processing activities, which are directly related to curricular assignments, school programs, or Downstate-endorsed student writing or graphics projects. Neither staffing nor equipment configuration has been arranged to meet the needs of customized or personalized printing.


Policy for placing materials on reserve and electronic reserve

Monographs that instructors want to be put on special reserve must be brought to the Circulation Desk and a Special Reserve Request form must be filled out. The monograph(s) will be put on special reserve for the time period specified on the special reserve request form. After the reserve date has expired, the item(s) will be removed from special reserve and the instructor will be contacted so that the item(s) can be picked up.

Monographs owned by the library can be placed on special reserve by the class instructor(s). Monographs must be pulled from the shelf by the instructor and brought to the Circulation Desk along with a special request form. After the reserve date has expired the item will be removed from special reserve and placed back on the shelf.

The library DOES NOT place items on electronic reserve. Copies of journal articles, book chapters CANNOT be placed on special reserve to be checked out.

Lost ID Cards

Policy regarding Downstate ID cards left behind in the Library

Downstate Identification Cards that are found in the Library will not be held in the Library, in compliance with SUNY and State privacy regulations.

All Downstate Identification Cards that are found in the Library are immediately placed in an envelope with a notice stating where the card was found and what time it was found. The envelope is sealed and given to University Police. 

« Back to Top