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Fines & Fees Policy
Most library services are provided free of charge, but we do charge for a few things. If there are fines or fees on your account, you can pay them at the main desk. In order to check out materials, the fines on your account must not exceed $1. Fines may be paid by cash or personal check.
Overdue Fines
Overdue items are fined at a rate of $1 per item per day for videos, 10¢ per item per day for other materials. Days that the library is not open (e.g., Sundays) do not count toward the number of days for your fines. Fines are charged when the overdue items are renewed, returned, or charged. (Charging of items is explained below.) Items returned in the book drop overnight will count as having been returned the previous evening, even if they are returned after midnight, but once we open in the morning and empty the drop it is a new day. Overdue fines are non-refundable.
Damage Fees
When an item is returned in poor condition, damage fees may be assessed, depending on circumstances. Damage is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Fees are not normally charged for ordinary wear (e.g., book bindings that come apart after repeated circulation) or for conditions that can be easily repaired (e.g., a tape that just needs a short section spliced out). However, the library reserves the right to charge for damage that goes beyond what is ordinary or beyond what can be repaired. If the item has been completely destroyed, the full price of the item may be charged, along with a processing fee (see below). Damage fees are generally not refundable.
Lost Items
If an item cannot be returned because it is lost or cannot be retrieved, the price of the item will be charged as a lost item fee, along with a processing fee (see below). If the item is later found and returned, the lost item fee (i.e., the cost of the item) is refundable. If you believe you may be able to find the item, we prefer that you renew the item if possible and look for it, rather than declare it lost. We would rather have the book (or other item) than your money.
Charged Items:
If a long-overdue item is not returned after a long time, the cost of the item may be charged to your account, along with a processing fee (see below). The cost of the item is refundable, if you bring the item back. The processing fee and overdue fines are non-refundable, however.
Processing Fees:
If an item is lost, damaged beyond use, or charged to your account, a processing fee may be charged in addition to the cost of the item. Processing fees are $1 per item and are non-refundable. Processing fees help cover the incidental costs (such as for barcodes, jackets or cases, labels, bibliographic records, etc.) that the library incurs when replacing an item, either with a new copy of the same item or with a different item.
Printing Charges
The library reserves the right to charge for printing hard copies using the computers and printers, microfilm readers, or photocopiers. For prices, refer to the Copies & Faxes price list.
Bounced Checks
If you pay fines or fees by personal check, and the check bounces, the bank will typically charge us a fee. We pass this fee along to you, in addition to the original fines or fees, which still need to be paid. Please don't write bad checks.
Collection Fees
Accounts with large outstanding balances of fines, fees, and charged items may be submitted to a collection agency. In such cases a collection fee will be assessed, in addition to the other charges. This fee is non-refundable. (As of 2007, we are not currently doing this; but past collection fees remain non-refundable, and we still reserve the right to use a collection agency in the future if it is deemed expedient to do so.)