Overdue, Lost or Damaged Items
If an item is overdue, lost or damaged, you may need to pay fees or fines.
The due dates of all checked-out items are listed on Your Account, where they can also be renewed.
On an item's due date, and again one week after its due date, we will email an overview notice as a courtesy. If you are not receiving notices, contact the Circulation desk to verify your email address; you are still liable for fines and fees.
Northwestern does not charge daily overdue fines for most circulating items. Exceptions include:
- Technology and AV equipment will accrue an hourly or daily fine, depending on the loan period.
- Course Reserve items will accrue an hourly fine.
Overdue fines will apply at all times, including over holidays, vacations and intersessions. The item will be billed to the user account as a "lost" item when the loan grace period ends.
Lost status items
Books that are not returned or renewed within the loan grace period are automatically marked with a "lost" status. Loan grace periods are 29 days after the due date for regular loan book, ten days after the due date for Multimedia Center items, seven days after the due date for Course Reserve items, and one day after the due date for a recalled book.
FeesA replacement fee, which is a minimum of $125 per item for most collections, will be charged for each book that exceeds its loan grace period. If the items are returned within a reasonable time frame, the replacement fee will be waived.
Damage can be classified as accidental (liquid, animal damage, etc.) or intentional (including highlighting, underlining in pencil or ink, or use of adhesive notes). Library staff make an effort to note damage before an item is allowed to circulate. Patrons will be responsible for any damage that is determined to have occurred while the item was in their care.
Fees are assessed according to the severity of damage, up to the library's replacement fee of $125 for severe damage.
Blocked borrowing privileges
Borrowing privileges are automatically blocked (unable to check out or renew books) on accounts which:
- have accrued fines of $100 or more;
- have Overdue Recalled items; or
- have very delinquent Interlibrary Loan items.