Fines & Lost Items
Services & Policies Have Changed
Library services and policies on this page have been updated in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
To view your outstanding fines and fees, log into My Library Account and select Fines.
Users are responsible for paying all outstanding fines and other fees.
Paying Fines & Fees
If you need to pay an outstanding balance on your account, please contact the ID & Privileges Office.
Only recalled items, physical reserves, and 7 day loan items are charged overdue fines.
To view a complete list of overdue fine policies, see Due Dates & Loan Periods.
Damaged Item Fee
The fine for damaged items will be determined by library staff up to the full replacement value of the item, depending on the damage.
Fines for damaged Interlibrary Loan items from other institutions are determined by the lending library, not University of Chicago Library staff.
Lost Item Fee
Items that are long overdue will be billed as lost.
Lost item fee: $150 per item minimum
The lost item fee 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 fee; however, any overdue fines incurred for that item will remain.
Paying a lost item fee will remove an item from your account; no overdue fines will be charged.
Providing a Replacement Copy for a Lost Item
In lieu of the lost item fee, the Library will accept a replacement copy of a lost or damaged item.
A $35 processing fee will be assessed per item, to cover the costs associated with adding the replacement copy to the collection.
A replacement copy must be new or used in Very Good condition (clean, unmarked, and untorn with an intact spine and binding) or better. Former library copies are generally not acceptable.
A replacement copy 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 items are eligible for replacement. If you've lost an Interlibrary Loan item and would like to provide a replacement copy, contact Interlibrary Loan.
If you wish to provide a replacement copy for a lost item, please Contact Circulation.
Refunds for Lost Item Fees and Replacement Copies
If you find and return an item within one year of paying the lost item fee, contact Circulation to request a refund of the lost item fee. Any refunds will be applied first to any outstanding fines and other fees 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 fee is non-refundable.
Appealing Fines, Claiming Items Returned, Reporting Loss or Damage
Please reply to the notice you received or contact Circulation to appeal a fine you feel was 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 the item as lost on your account or declare the item missing.
The following will result in the temporary suspension of borrowing and renewing privileges:
- an outstanding balance of $50 or more
- a recalled item overdue by 3 or more days
Restriction at the University Registrar
In addition to the suspension of borrowing privileges, current and former students who owe the Library $100 or more on Monday of the sixth week of the quarter will be restricted with the University Registrar, which will prevent future enrollment and access to other University services (including transcript requests) until these charges are paid.
Current students who owe the Library $100 or more on Monday of the sixth week of the quarter they are scheduled to graduate will not receive a diploma until these charges are paid, although they will be allowed to participate in commencement exercises.
Current students who owe the Library $250 or more on Monday of the sixth week of the quarter they are scheduled to graduate will not receive a diploma or be allowed to participate in commencement exercises until these charges are paid.
University Registrar restrictions caused by library charges will be lifted one business day after library charges are paid; if you need restrictions lifted in less than one business day, please contact the ID & Privileges Office or call 773-702-3344.
Limited Access - UChicago Students, Faculty, & Staff Only
Library buildings are offering on-site services only for UChicago faculty, other academic appointees, postdocs, students, and staff with a current UChicago ID. See Library Hours for details by location.