Main menu


Library Use Policies

  • The library is a place intended for quiet study. All patrons are asked to be courteous to others and keep all conversation at a low level.
  • Cell phone use is not permitted in the library. Patrons are asked to turn off cell phone ringers before entering.
  • Please keep food to a minimum, and always clean up after yourself.  Beverages must be in closed containers.
  • If the security alarm sounds while leaving or entering the library, please report to the circulation desk immediately.
  • The library is not responsible for lost or stolen personal property. Patrons are urged to look after their belongings at all times. Any found items will be held behind the circulation desk or turned in to the Security Desk at the library’s discretion.
  • The library provides a small array of school supplies near the photocopiers. These materials are for in-library use only.  Library pencils should also be kept inside the library.
  • Please be mindful of copyright law: “The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this photocopying equipment is liable for any infringement.” As such, it is not permissible to copy recordings of The Boston Conservatory’s performances to laptops or any other device. All performances are property of the school and carry copyright restrictions.
  • The library’s main objective is to serve members of The Boston Conservatory community. In general, the Albert Alphin Library is not open to the public. Those not associated with the Conservatory who would like to use the library collection must first request an appointment with a librarian. Students, faculty and staff must have personal guests sign in at the security desk and are expected to accompany guests at all times.
  • Please be aware of closing times. We close promptly with no exceptions and ask that patrons be attentive to our closing announcements.

Circulation Policies

All students and alumni must have a patron record and school ID card showing proof of affiliation with The Boston Conservatory. No one is permitted to check out library items on anyone else’s patron record. All sign-outs are subject to call-back by the library staff.

Loan Period

  • Circulating materials are lent out for 3 weeks, plus a 3-day grace period.

Fines Schedule

  • $0.25 for each day an item is overdue, up to $15.00 per item. 
  • Borrowing privileges are suspended when total fines reach $15.00 or more. 
  • Please pay all fines directly to a library staff member unless otherwise instructed. 
  • If an item becomes overdue by 2 months or more, a replacement charge and a$15 non-refundable surcharge will be added to your library account, and an academic hold will be added to your school account. If you return the book or pay replacement charges the academic hold will be removed.
  • In order to graduate or withdraw from The Boston Conservatory in good standing, all fines must be paid and loans returned. Diplomas and transcripts will be held until all accounts are settled. (Please see below for our full Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy.)
  • Library fines and unreturned library materials may keep a student from participating (walking) in the commencement ceremony.

Overdue Notices

  • You will receive an overdue notice when your loan becomes overdue. Overdue notices are sent exclusively to your Boston Conservatory email.
  • Overdue notices are only a courtesy. Ultimately, it is the patron’s responsibility to keep track of his or her due dates and return or renew books on time. If a patron does not receive a notice for any reason, he or she is still responsible for fines accrued. Any patrons who feel they have received a notice in error are encouraged to speak with a librarian immediately.


Loans may be renewed for a maximum of 5 times. Renewals will not be allowed if you have reached your fines maximum or if materials have been requested by another patron.

The library reserves the right to reject your renewal request.

There are 3 ways to renew your loan:

  • Self renewal online: login to your library account on Koha and renew your items. 
  • In Person: Stop by the circulation desk and ask to renew your loans. You do not have to bring the materials with you. 
  • By Phone: Call (617) 912-9131 during our hours of operation.

Replacement Charge Policy

  • Once your loans become overdue by two months or more, a replacement charge is added to your library account.
  • This is the estimated amount the library will spend to replace the overdue material. If you return the material we will reverse the replacement charge. The library does not offer reimbursement if the material is returned after you pay replacement charges.
  • The late fees associated with the item are not reversible. These are permanent charges. As a courtesy, we stop these overdue charges once they reach $15.00. Therefore, when you receive a replacement charge notice, you will be charged $15.00 for each overdue item.
  • Please be aware that you may have other library fees on your record not associated with replacement charges.
  • Your Boston Conservatory student account will be placed on academic hold until the material is returned or replacement charges are paid, as well as associated overdue fines.
  • This hold will prevent you from making changes to your class schedule or accessing your school transcripts and diploma.
  • If the overdue material is ordered by the library before you have returned it, you must then pay replacement charges and lose the option to return the materials. Replacement of two-month overdue materials occurs at the library’s discretion. In most cases materials will be re-ordered one month after replacement charges are assigned. The library does not offer reimbursement if the material is returned after it is replaced by the library. Conservatory alumni: If the library replaces these materials, the library will forward all charges to the Bursar’s office. The Bursar’s office will continue to pursue these charges until they are paid in full.
  • All payments must be made directly to a librarian (unless otherwise instructed). Our student workers are not permitted to accept fine payments. Please see the website for our current hours of operation. We accept cash and checks; checks should be made out to “The Boston Conservatory.”

Leave of Absence / Withdrawal Library Policy

  • If a student files for a leave of absence or withdraws from school he or she is expected to return all loans and pay all fines to the library. Using an LOA/Withdrawal Form provided by the Registrar’s office, students must get a librarian’s signature verifying that all library obligations have been met. Once withdrawn from school, or on a leave of absence, loan privileges are suspended.
  • In certain extenuating circumstances, a student may not be able to obtain these signatures in person and may notify the Registrar of his or her intent to leave remotely. In this scenario, if a student has outstanding fines at the time of notification, the total will automatically be added to the student’s school account in the Bursar’s office. If the student has loans at this time, his or her school account will be placed on hold, restricting access to transcripts. The student then has 30 days from the day the library is notified to return all materials. If loans have not been returned within 30 days, a non-refundable replacement charge, along with any other fines accrued, will be added to the student’s school account. To be clear, the charges will not be refunded, even if the book is returned at a later date.

Chamber Music

  • Chamber Reserves consist of music that has been assigned for a chamber class through the Chamber Music Program Coordinators. Each part is checked out to each individual player for the entire semester. Chamber reserves are lent out for the semester. The exact due date changes each year, but it will always be close to the end of the semester before the winter and summer recesses. You will be contacted by the library with the exact due date.
  • If you do not return a part on time a replacement charge for the entire set will be added to your library account. At this time an academic hold will be placed on your school account. Once the part is returned the charge will be reversed and the hold will be removed. If you have lost the part, the replacement charge must be paid to remove the hold. If the library orders a replacement before your part is returned, the charges will not be reversed and the hold will remain on your school account until replacement charges are paid. This usually occurs after the part is overdue for one month but may happen sooner if deemed necessary by the library. The library does not reimburse you for parts that were previously lost and paid for. We strongly encourage you to keep track of your part and be aware of our due dates.

Closed-Stack Policies

Audio-Visual Equipment and Materials

Audio-visual equipment is available for student use in the Main Reading Room and includes cassette tape decks, a turntable, compact disc players, and a digital audio tape deck. Video viewing stations are also located in the Main Reading Room. The sound recording collection includes DVDs, LPs, CDs, DATs and VHS tapes. All of these materials are for use in the library only and do not circulate except to faculty for class preparation and demonstration purposes.

Boston Conservatory Recordings

The library collects recordings of most Boston Conservatory group performances. The library does not collect individual student recitals and some performances are not included due to copyright issues. These materials are for in-house use only. Patrons are not permitted to copy recordings of Boston Conservatory performances to laptops or any other devices. All performances are property of the school and carry copyright restrictions. If you are caught copying Boston Conservatory recordings to another device, your name will be forwarded to the Conservatory’s Judicial Offices.

Course Reserves

Course reserve materials may be checked out for no longer than three hours. These materials may be requested at the Circulation Desk and are to be returned there as well. Course reserve items may not leave the library. Some faculty may allow their course reserve items to be checked out overnight. Prompt return is requested as the purpose of course reserves is to ensure that all students have access to these materials in a timely manner. A current list of all items on course reserve is available on our website

Collected Editions, Monuments of Music, Rare Book Collection

Materials in this collection are for study purposes in the library only, and do not circulate. Most items are accessible in the Main Reading Room of the library, but some will need to be requested at the Circulation Desk. 


A listing of the library’s current print and electronic periodical holdings is found on our Periodicals page. Current issues are located in the Main Reading Room. To request a back issue, ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk. Several periodical indexes are available on the library web page under “Electronic Resources.”

Library Website

Please see the library website to access the following information:

Back to top