Borrowing Policies

Current University of Chicago faculty, students, and benefits eligible staff all have borrowing privileges at the University of Chicago Library. The Library also offers borrowing privileges to other users, such as University of Chicago alumni and researchers from other institutions.

To determine whether you are eligible for borrowing privileges, see the Access and Privileges page

 


Borrowing, Renewing, and Returning

Borrowing Items

To borrow most library items, bring them to the circulation desk in each library and present your UChicago Card or other library card. For detailed due date information, see Due Dates and Loan Periods on this page.

Renewing Items

To renew your items online, log in to My Account and select Items Out. Items can also be renewed at any Circulation desk. 

Most Library users may renew regular loan items online three times. Once you reach that limit, you must bring the items back to a Circulation desk to be renewed. 

Why a renewal limit?

Our renewals policy is intended to encourage users to return items they are no longer actively using.  This makes more books immediately available for browsing and research by other Library users and also protects the library's collection from damage and loss.

Returning Items

Suspension of Borrowing Privileges

Any of the following infractions will result in the temporary suspension of borrowing and renewing privileges:

Restriction at the University Registrar

In addition to the suspension of borrowing privileges, users who owe $100 or more in overdue fines and other charges by the 6th week of a quarter will be restricted at the University Registrar, preventing enrollment and access to other University services.

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Due Dates and Loan Periods

Regular Items

Upcoming quarterly due date: Friday, June 27, 2014.

Quarterly loans due June 27, 2014 can be renewed starting: Monday, June 16, 2014.

Items on quarterly loan borrowed or renewed after June 16, 2014 will be due: Friday, October 3, 2014.

To see the current due dates for all your items, log in to My Account and select Items Out.  

Borrower TypeLoan Period (Unless Recalled)Online Renewal LimitDue Date
Faculty Indefinite n/a n/a, unless recalled
Ph.D and J.S.D. Students Quarterly none Friday, First week of every quarter
Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Staff Quarterly 3 Friday, First week of every quarter
Alumni with purchased borrowing privileges Quarterly 3 Friday, First week of every quarter
Northwestern Users 12 weeks 3 Check My Account
UIC Faculty Crerar - 28 days / All other libraries - 16 weeks 3 Check My Account

If you are a borrower not listed above, please visit our Access and Privileges page for more information.

Recalled Items

You must return recalled items 7 days after the library sends notice.  If an item has been recalled from you, please return it by the date given in the recall notice to avoid fines or suspension of borrowing privileges, regardless of the original loan period or due date.

Please note that regular items may be recalled from you at any time.  This policy applies to all Library users, including faculty with indefinite borrowing privileges. It also applies year-round; holidays and interim periods are not excepted. If you are going to be away from the Chicago area for more than 7 days, you may wish to return items before departing or arrange a means of returning recalled items while you are away.

Interlibrary Loan, UBorrow, and Borrow Direct Items

Loan periods for Interlibrary Loan items vary by owning library.

Print books from UBorrow and Borrow Direct have an initial loan period of 12 weeks. Loan periods for other formats vary by owning library.

To see the current due date for Interlibrary Loan and UBorrow items, login to your Interlibrary Loan account.

To see the current due date for Borrow Direct items, log in to My Account and select Items Out.

Reserves Items, Short Term Loans, and Special Borrowing Policies

Items on reserve typically circulate for a short period of time, such as 2, 4, or 24 hours, and therefore have specific due times as well as due dates. If you do not return these items by the exact due time, fines accrue the minute the item is overdue, at the rate listed below. Circulation staff will inform you of an item's due time upon check out, or you can log in to My Account to see when your items are due.

Users may only borrow 2 reserves items at a time. This policy does not apply to D'Angelo Law Library reserves.

Users must wait 20 minutes after returning a reserves item to borrow it again, unless an identical copy is currently available. Reserves items may not be renewed.

Other Short Term Loans

Other short term loans include 14 day loans for DVDs at D'Angelo Law Library, and 7 day loans for bound Mathematics journals in Crerar. Items on short term loan may not be renewed.

Video Games

Video games may be borrowed for the same length of time as regular items. Users may borrow up to 3 video game items at a time. The Library does not provide equipment on which to play video games; users may borrow consoles from the Digital Media Center's equipment cage, located in the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

Recordings Collection

Users may borrow up to 6 Recordings Collection items at a time, as long as the total number of pieces (discs, cassettes, etc.) does not exceed 14 pieces.

General recordings items circulate for 28 days. Recordings Collection items on permanent reserve circulate for 7 days; users may borrow only one permanent reserve item from the Recordings Collection at a time.

Further policies and procedures apply for borrowing items from the Regenstein Recordings Collection.

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Recalling Items

To recall an item that is currently checked out, click the "Recall Item" link next to the item status in the Library Catalog or Lens. The current borrower will be required to return it within 7 days.You will receive an email notice when it is available.

Items that cannot be recalled:

To view the status of your recall requests, log in to My Account and select Requests.

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Fines and Lost Items

To view your outstanding fines, log into My Account and select Blocks. You will receive a quarterly reminder of all outstanding fines via email.

Users are responsible for paying all outstanding fines and other charges; an outstanding balance of $50 or more will result in the temporary suspension of borrowing privileges. 

Fine Type Rate MaximumComments
Regular Loan n/a No fine until item is declared lost Declared lost 3 weeks after first overdue notice, at which point a lost item charge applies. See Overdue Notices Schedule.
Recalled Items, Interlibrary Loan, UBorrow & Borrow Direct $5 per day $100 Recalled items, Interlibrary Loan items, UBorrow items, and Borrow Direct items are due before midnight on the specified due date. Items returned after midnight will be assessed overdue fines.

Declared lost 2 weeks after first overdue notice, at which point a lost item charge applies.
Reserves and
Short Term Loans
$3 per hour $100 Reserves and other short term loans are due at the specified due time. Fines begin accruing immediately after the specified due time and increase for each additional late hour.  

Declared lost 2 weeks after first overdue notice, at which point a lost item charge applies.
Damaged Items varies Replacement value of item  The fine will be determined by library staff up to the full replacement value of the item, depending on the damage.
Fines for damaged Interlibrary Loan and UBorrow items are determined by the lending library, not University of Chicago Library staff.
Lost Item Charge $150 per item minimum Replacement value of item The lost item charge may be increased at the discretion of Library staff for an item whose value exceeds $150.
Returning a lost item will result in a waiver of the lost item charge, however any recall or reserves fines incurred for that item will remain.
Replacement Copy Processing Charge $35 per item n/a In lieu of the lost item charge, the Library will accept a replacement copy of a lost or damaged item.
A $35 processing charge will be assessed per item, to cover the costs associated with adding the replacement copy to the collection.

Replacement copies must be new or used in Very Good condition (clean, unmarked, and untorn with an intact spine and binding) or better. It must also match the lost item to the satisfaction of the subject librarian, based on the following criteria: title; author; editor; translator; edition; pagination; ISBN or ISSN

Not all lost Interlibrary Loan or UBorrow items are eligible for replacement. If you've lost an Interlibrary Loan or UBorrow item and would like to provide a replacement copy, contact Interlibrary Loan at interlibrary-loan@lib.uchicago.edu.

Replacement copies should be brought to a Circulation supervisor or sent to our address at the bottom of this page.

Paying Fines

You may pay with a Visa Card or MasterCard in person or by telephone at the Circulation desks at Regenstein, Crerar, and D'Angelo libraries or at the ID & Privileges Office.

You may also pay fines in person by cash or check at the Circulation desks at Regenstein, Crerar, D'Angelo, and SSA libraries or at the ID & Privileges Office

For telephone numbers and hours of operation, see Contact Us below. To pay by mail, send a check to our address at the bottom of this page.

Fines cannot be accepted at Eckhart or Mansueto libraries at this time.

Check Information

Checks should be made payable to "The University of Chicago Library." If a payment by check does not clear due to insufficient funds or a stop payment request, the original fee will be reinstated and a $50 returned check fee will be added to your account.

Appealing Fines, Claiming Items Returned, Reporting Loss or Damage

Please use the Fine Appeal and Claim Form to appeal any fines you feel were assessed in error, to claim that you've already returned, or never borrowed, an item checked out to your account, or to report a lost or damaged item.  Library staff will review your appeal/claim and grant or deny it based on surrounding circumstances, including your overall library record. Items claimed returned will be searched for by library staff twice over a 4-6 week period; if not found, library staff will bill you for replacement or declare the item missing.

Refunds for Lost Item Charges and Replacement Copies

If you find and return an item within one year of paying for its replacement, contact Circulation to request a refund of the lost item charge. Any refunds will be applied first to any outstanding fines and other charges owed to the Library before the remaining balance is issued.

If you find and return an item after providing a replacement copy or after the Library has purchased a replacement, the Library will return either the replacement copy or the original Library item. It will be at the Library's discretion which copy is retained by the Library. The replacement copy processing charge is non-refundable.

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Notices from the Library

The library uses the most current email address on file to contact you about recalls, due dates, fines, and other notices, and library users are responsible for keeping their contact information up to date. To verify or update your email address, log into My Account and choose Profile.  You can also manage your contact information by visiting a Circulation Desk supervisor at any of the libraries or the ID and Privileges Office in the lobby of the Regenstein Library.

Overdue Notices Schedule

Users with quarterly loan periods receive the following notices at the end of each loan period.

DateNotice
Monday, week before quarter Pre-overdue notice; items with quarterly due dates can be renewed online
Friday, 1st week of quarter Quarterly due date
Monday, 2nd week of quarter First overdue notice; three weeks to renew/return before billing
Monday, 3rd week of quarter Second overdue notice; two weeks to renew/return before billing
Monday, 4th week of quarter Third and final notice; one week to return/renew before billing
Monday, 5th week of quarter Overdue items declared lost, billed for replacement; borrowing and renewing privileges are suspended
Thursday, 5th week of quarter Summary notice listing all lost items and other charges owed
Monday, 6th week of quarter Library Charges Due; users who owe the library $100 or more will be restricted at the University Registrar, preventing enrollment and access to other University services

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Library Policy on the Disclosure of Borrower Records

In accordance with the University of Chicago Library Privacy Statement, borrower records are treated as confidential information. Library staff  will not disclose a Library user's borrowing record or personal information to others without the user's explicit permission, unless required to do so by law or by University policies.

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Contact Us

Please contact Circulation using our online form if you have a question or comment about your account or Circulation policies and procedures. We will attempt to reply to all inquiries within one business day.

We can also be reached by phone at the following numbers:

John Crerar Library

773-702-7409

D'Angelo Law Library

773-702-0213

Eckhart Library

773-702-8778

Joseph Regenstein Library

773-702-8781

Social Service Administration (SSA) Library

773-702-1199

Library hours vary; see our detailed library hours for more information.

Mailing/Shipping Address

For correspondence via mail or to ship library items, please use the address:

ATTN Circulation
Regenstein Library
1100 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637-1502

When mailing a library item or replacement copy, we strongly suggest selecting a shipping method that allows you to track and confirm package delivery. You may also want to consider insuring your package, as you are responsible for any items lost during shipping.

When returning an item with a due date, take into account shipping time when selecting a shipping method.

When mailing a replacement copy to the library, please include your name and contact information, as well as something that identifies the item as a replacement, so we can process the book correctly and credit your account.

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