Schaffner Fines and Fees

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Daily Fines

NU library does not charge daily overdue fines for most circulating items with the exception of overdue recalled items and short term loan items, including:

  • Items which have been recalled: $1.00 per day
  • Items from the Main Library's Core Collection: $5.00 per day
  • Items from the Mitchell Multimedia Center: $2.00 per day
  • Items on Reserve for a class:
    • 2-hour items:     $1.00 per hour
    • 1-day items:      $5.00 per day
    • 3-day items:      $1.50 per day

Overdue fines will apply at all times, including over holidays, vacations, and intersessions. Patrons are responsible for keeping track of their due dates, which can be viewed by logging in to “My Account” on NUsearch.

Lost Status Items

Books that are not returned or renewed within 29 days* after their due date are automatically marked with “Lost” status by the library system. A replacement fee and a non-refundable $10.00 processing fee will be automatically assessed for every book overdue by more than 30 days. Replacement fees will be waived for “Lost” books returned within a reasonable timeframe.

Replacement fees are a minimum of $50.00 per book from most collections, with the exception of items from the following collections, which have a minimum replacement fee of $125 per book:

  • Art Collection
  • Science and Engineering Library
  • Math Library

*Prior to September 8, 2007, the “Lost” status was applied on normal loan after 50 days. Currently, items from the Multimedia Center are considered "Lost" after 10 days, and items on Reserve are considered "Lost" after 7 days.

Damaged Items

Patrons who return items damaged by intentional misuse (including highlighting, underlining in pencil or ink, or use of adhesive notes) may be assessed fees on those items according to the severity of the damage.

Blocked Borrowing Privileges

Borrowing privileges are automatically blocked on accounts which:

  • have accrued fines of $100* or more; or
  • have Overdue Recalled items.

Patrons with blocked accounts are unable to:

  • check out new books;
  • renew books currently checked out; and/or
  • log into NUsearch "My Account."

*Evanston Resident borrowers are automatically blocked when accrued fines reach $50.


Fines and fees are payable by cash, check, or money order at the Schaffner Circulation Desk.

In Person: Pay your fines by cash, check, or money order at the Schaffner Circulation Desk, or by cash, check, money order, credit card, or WildCARD at the Main Library Circulation Desk.

By Mail: Fines may also be paid by mail with a check made payable to NU Library, and mailed to:

Joseph Schaffner Library
Circulation Department
339 E. Chicago Ave, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60611-3071

Unpaid fines will accrue additional fees and will ultimately be referred to the Office of Student Accounts.


Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy, but patrons are responsible for keeping track of their own due dates.* Library notices are sent to members of the NU community by e-mail. Non-NU patrons who qualify for borrowing privileges may also request to have their notices sent by e-mail.

Statements of Fines/Fees

Three times a year, the Northwestern University Library system sends out Statements of Fines and Fees to our patrons detailing all currently outstanding unpaid fines and fees. If you have received one of these Statements and have further questions about it, please visit our Fine/Fee Statements FAQ to help answer your questions.


For details relating specifically to fines and fees at the Main Library, please see the Main circulation fines and fees page.