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Overdue, Lost or Damaged Items

If an item is overdue, lost or damaged, you may need to pay fees or fines. 

Overdue items

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:

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 on the 30th day it is overdue (see below). 

Lost status items

Books that are not returned or renewed within 29 days after their due date are automatically marked with a “lost” status. Items from the Multimedia Center are considered "lost" after 10 days, and items from Core and Reserve are considered "lost" after 7 days.


The following fees will be charged for each book that is overdue more than 29 days:

 If the items are returned within a reasonable timeframe, the replacement fee will be waived.

Damaged items

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:

Log on to Your Account to find out why your account is blocked. Patrons unable to log in should contact the Circulation Desk.