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Policy 10: Overdue Fines and Replacement Costs

University of Missouri Libraries

General Policy Manual Policy No. 10

Overdue Fines and Replacement Costs

  • Scope of Policy
    • This policy establishes guidelines for handling library materials which are not returned within the specified loan period, or which are lost by borrowers. The policy applies to all University of Missouri Libraries except Law.
  • Overdue notices
    • The Library will generate one overdue notice four days after the due date of each item not returned or renewed. This notice informs the borrower of impending billing if the item is not promptly returned or renewed.
    • Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy. Failure to receive an overdue reminder does not relieve the borrower of the responsibility to return or renew an item by its due date, and is not cause for the cancellation of fines.
    • Overdue notices will be sent via campus mail when appropriate; otherwise, they will be sent via first class mail.
  • Fines for Late Return of Materials
    • All borrowers accrue fines for the following types of Reserve loans:
      • A 2-Hour Reserve Loan item begins incurring a fine with the 2nd hour after the time it was due at a rate of $1.00 per day with a maximum fine of $50.00
      • Other Reserve Loan items begin incurring a fine with the 2nd hour after the time they were due at a rate of $10.00 per day with a maximum fine of $50.00
    • Borrowers who fail to respond to recall notices will have "overdue recall" patron blocks added to their records in the circulation system. In addition, borrowers who keep recalled books past their new due dates will be fined at a rate of $5.00 per day (maximum $50.00).
    • Short-term discretionary loans and current journals which are lent according to the policies of the Current Periodicals Reading Room in Ellis and the policies of the various branch libraries will accrue fines at the same rates as Reserve materials.
    • Fines do not accrue when the lending library is closed.
    • Student fines must be paid at the Cashier's Office, 15 Jesse Hall. Faculty, staff and courtesy borrowers' fines must be paid at the Ellis Library Copy Service between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Replacement Charges
    • All borrowers are billed for unreturned materials approximately one month after their due dates.
    • Each item billed accrues an additional billing service charge of $10.00. This amount is refundable upon return or renewal of materials.
    • Replacement costs generally are refundable upon return or renewal of the materials. However, these charges will not be refunded if the item has already been replaced or withdrawn by the Libraries.
    • Borrowers are billed for unreturned items according to the following schedule:
      • (a) Monographs will be priced at the average cost of materials in each discipline as determined by the current Bowker Annual and/or the March edition of CHOICE. (See attached schedule.) This schedule will be revised annually in April if the prices change significantly in the sources consulted. Higher or lower charges may be assessed if appropriate.
      • (b) Bound journals will be billed at twice the current subscription price.
      • (c) Unbound journals will be billed at twice the cost of an individual issue.
      • (d) Government publications will be billed at the Monthly Catalog price if the item can be replaced; if not, charges from a., b, or c (above) will be assessed.
      • (e) Dissertations will be billed at the current University Microfilms International cost. Theses will be billed at $.50 per page plus the current binding cost.
      • (f) The price of sound recordings will be based upon a current issue of the Schwann Catalog. Those no longer available through normal trade channels will be billed at the cost of a comparable replacement, as determined by the Library; if none can be found, a flat rate of $20 per sound recording will be charged.
      • (g) Items from the Library Services for the Disabled collection will be billed for replacement cost as determined by that department.
      • (h) Microforms will be billed using current replacement price or at a rate determined by the Library, which will include borrowing, duplication, copyright clearance, and any other charges.
      • (i) Maps will be billed according to the price determined by staff in the appropriate subject areas or branch libraries.
      • (j) Any other items from the Library will be billed for replacement cost as determined by the staff.
    • Individuals who choose to replace lost items must consult with the Library owning the material. The Library will determine the acceptability of the replacement materials.
    • Damaged or mutilated items will be billed for replacement or repair as determined by the condition of the material according to the Preservation Department staff.
  • Appeals
    • Questions on fines and/or replacement charges should be directed to the circulation staff at the library from which the items were borrowed.
    • In the case of a disagreement, the Head of Access Services (at Ellis and Health Sciences) or the supervising librarian (in a branch) may be consulted. If the matter is not resolved, the patron may bring a final appeal to the Director of Libraries.

Sponsor: Marsha Stevenson
Approved by Library Council: August 18, 1983
Revised by Library Council: August 10, 1989
Revised by Public Services Committee: December 11, 1991
Approved by Library Council: March 5, 1992