UL Borrowing & Loan Policies

These updated policies went into effect on August 15, 2021. Changes to fine policy do not apply to charges incurred before this date.

By borrowing library materials you are agreeing to pay any fine or fee that is charged for materials that are returned late, damaged, or lost.

Collections of the Library are open and available to all. Some restrictions may apply. Borrowers can use MyLibrary to keep track of items they have checked out, due dates, fines incurred, and to renew items.

Faculty, students, and staff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may borrow circulating materials with their campus identification card (UNC One Card). For information about the UNC One Card, see onecard.unc.edu.

Non-affiliated persons, students and faculty from other universities, residents of North Carolina, members of the General Alumni Association, and Friends of the Library may borrow materials by registering at Davis Library (or the Law or Health Sciences Libraries). See Library-wide Borrowing and Loan Policies for information about fees and borrowing privileges for non-affiliated persons.

Loan Periods

For most book and bound serial loans:

  • Faculty and Staff: 180 days
  • Graduate Students: 90 days
  • Undergraduate Students: 30 days
  • Non-affiliated Borrowers: 30 days
  • Note: Popular Reading Collection items circulate for 30 days only to all borrowers, with a maximum of 6 renewals.

Media & Design Center Collection: Videos, other media, and MDC equipment vary by format. See MDC Policies for loan periods.

Equipment and accessories:  Most equipment can be checked out for 3 hours and are restricted to use in the Undergraduate Library.  See the complete equipment list for more details.

Magazines and Newspapers (Serials/Periodicals): Current and bound periodicals must remain in the library and cannot be checked out. However, scanners and copiers are available for duplication of materials.

Borrowing Limits

General and Popular Reading Collection Books: no limits.
Videos and DVDs: 3 DVDs and a total of 3 of any other Media & Design Center items. See MDC Policies for specific information.


Books may be renewed in-person or online for three additional loan periods, with some exceptions.

  • Online renewal is not available between 2 am and 6 am
  • Items not renewed on or before their due dates may lead to overdue fines, which could restrict further renewals on the account until the fines are paid.
  • Renewals may be denied due to outstanding fines, expired borrower’s card, or book recalls (request by another patron or for course reserves).
  • Books may be renewed in person by presenting the book and your valid One Card at the circulation desk of any UNC campus library. In person book renewals will be transacted as a new loan and restart the online renewal options.
  • Only Screenplays can be renewed in person at the Media & Design Center. See MDC Policies.


There are no daily overdue fines for standard books loans, unless an item is recalled. The maximum charge for regular books returned overdue is a $10 per item billing fee, plus any recall fines.

  • Recalled items: Additional $0.50 per day each day past the recall adjusted due date.
  • Equipment: $1 per hour or partial hour per item; up to $50 maximum per item.
  • Media & Design Center materials: $1 a day per item; up to $25 maximum per item.
  • Media & Design Center equipment: $30 per hour, with no maximum overdue charge.
  • Lost or damaged books. See the libraries’ lost or damaged book policy.
  • Lost or damaged media charges vary by item type. See MDC Policies.
  • Appeal of Library Charges form
  • If you have any questions about fines and billing, please email ulfines@unc.edu.


Books currently checked out to another patron may be recalled online via the catalog using Carolina BLU (registration required) or in person by completing a Hold card at the Service Desk.  Recalled books may have adjusted due dates, reducing the original loan period.  Recalled items returned overdue will incur additional recall fines of $0.50 per day each day past the adjusted due date without a grace period.

Material Return

Books may be returned to any UNC campus library checkout desk or return bin. Books will be returned to the owning library, or Interlibrary Services Office, by library courier within three business days. Materials deposited into an exterior return bin will be checked-in the next library business day, and applicable fine days will apply.

Media & Design Center materials: Please do not return media materials in the exterior bin. Please return media materials to the Media & Design Center when the Undergraduate Library is open. All Media & Design Center materials should be returned to the Media Services Desk during its business hours to ensure same-day discharge. When the department is closed, Media & Design Center materials may be deposited in the return bin located near the department’s entrance. Items returned in the bin will be discharged on the Media & Design Center’s next business day and applicable fine days will apply.

Undergraduate Library books may also be returned by mail. Applicable fines will be charged. Packages and letters sent via USPS should be sent to:

(can include name of person who should receive it)
P.O. Box 8890
CHAPEL HILL, NC 27515-8890

Packages sent via FEDEX/UPS or other private carriers should be sent to:

(should include recipient, name or department)
CHAPEL HILL, NC 27599-3942

What if a book or periodical isn’t on the shelf?

The item may still be available. Ask for assistance at the entry level Service Desk.

Loan Policy Questions

Contact the UL Head, by phone at (919) 843-3335 or by email at smohanty@email.unc.edu.