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.
Loan Policies for Printed Materials (Books, Printed Music, etc)
Most libraries in the UNC University Libraries system have the same basic policies for book checkout and renewal.
- Faculty: 180 days
- Graduate Students: 90 days
- Undergraduate Students: 30 days
- UNC Staff: 180 days
- Non-affiliated Borrowers: 30 days
Loan Policies Exceptions for Specific Libraries
Physical course reserve materials have varying loan policies dependent on the reserve type or location. The Undergraduate Library’s Media & Design Center
lends materials to all faculty, students, staff, and anyone with a UNC Borrower's Card; Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs are due seven days after check out. Undergraduate Library Popular Reading Collection books circulate for 30 days only to all borrowers, and SILS Juvenile Collection materials circulate for 14 days only. Most books from the Highway Safety Research Center
, North Carolina Collection
, Rare Book Collection
, and Southern Folklife Collection
cannot be checked out. For availability check the catalog
. For specific loan periods see the individual library or collection.
Books that are not on hold for another patron or on course reserves may be renewed online through the My Library
page. All borrowers except UNC faculty and students are limited to six renewals; students are limited to eight renewals. Books which have no renewals remaining may be brought back to the Library in person to be checked in and back out again, which will reset the online or automatic renewal count. Circumstances such as book recalls, outstanding fees, or an expired account may prevent online, automatic, or in-person renewal. Unless renewal is prevented for one of these reasons then renewal will be automatic for regular books checked out to UNC students, faculty, and staff only.
Recalls and Holds
If a book is checked out you may request to have it put on hold or recalled in person or by using the Interlibrary Loan/ Carolina BLU Document Delivery system
. See more information about recalls and hold
Books may be returned to any library on campus.
Specialty items such as media, equipment and course reserves materials should be returned to the library where they were checked out. Media items returned to another location will get delivered back to the correct library, but they will not be checked in and cleared from the borrower’s account until the owning library processes their return. The borrower is responsible for any additional fines that accrue until the item is checked in at the owning library.
These policies go into effect on August 15, 2021
Library patrons are expected to return or renew items by their due dates. Due dates are set at the time of checkout, renewal, or recall. Patrons may confirm due dates at any time and renew items online via My Library
. The library sends courtesy reminders by email but does not recommend relying solely on email reminders to keep track of due dates.
Overdue Book Fines and Fees
The are no daily overdue fines for standard books loans, unless an item is recalled. The maximum charge for materials returned overdue is a $10 per item billing fee for regular books, plus any recall fines, or $25 per item for Reserves and certain other hourly loan materials. Policies may vary for more valuable materials such as AV equipment, etc.
Recalled Book Fines
Additional charges apply to books that have been recalled for another borrower. Overdue recalled items accrue fines of $0.50 per item per day, up to $17.50, not including the $10 billing fee. There is no grace period for recalled items; recall fines may begin accruing as soon as the book is overdue.
Lost Book Charges
Patrons are responsible for books that they have borrowed, and will be billed for lost books. Books are automatically declared lost when 35 days past due. Lost book fees are $75. Books returned after being billed for replacement will instead owe a $10 billing fee, plus any recall fines. A patron who does not return a lost book will be expected to pay the replacement charge of $75. If the actual replacement cost exceeds $75, the fee will be the actual replacement cost.
Damaged Book Charges
Patrons are responsible for books that they have borrowed and will be charged for damage to books. The minimum damaged book charge is $7.50. The maximum charge will be for the replacement fee of the book. Patrons should not dog-ear pages or stick any adhesive materials in library books. Patrons may be charged for highlighting, underlining or writing in library books, or for placing post-it notes or other adhesive markers in books. The library charges a $0.25 removal fee for each post-it or adhesive left in books that are returned.
When books have been damaged beyond repair or are known to be irretrievably lost then patrons may contact the library to discuss replacing the books in lieu of paying the $75 fee. Replacement copies must be new books and must be the same edition as the lost items, or newer. Used copies are not acceptable replacements; please contact the Billing Supervisor if a book is out of print. Hardcover books are preferred but paperbacks are acceptable.
Recently accrued fines for items checked out from the Undergraduate Library, Health Sciences Library, Law Library and the Park Journalism Library should be paid at their respective library.
Recently accrued fines for items checked out from Davis Library, Sloane Art Library, Kenan Science Library, Music Library, SILS Library, and Stone Center Library may be paid at Davis Library.
Typically fines accrued by students are transferred to the Cashier’s Office the next business day (or, within a few days) and should be paid in person at the Cashier's Office
or online (for students)
If you have questions about paying your fines, please contact us
Appealing a Fine
Fine appeal should be submitted to the library which owns the overdue or lost item; the owning library is identified in the email or paper notice sent to inform you of the fine. If you are appealing charges owed on items from multiple libraries, you will need to submit a separate appeal to each of those libraries. To appeal a fine, please use our online appeal form
If you have questions or concerns about a charge on your account please contact the library directly before submitting a fine appeal. If a book you have already returned is still listed as checked out on your account more than one business day after you returned it, please contact the library immediately to request a search, rather than submitting a fine appeal.
Books and journal articles not available at UNC-Chapel Hill may be requested through Interlibrary Loan
Borrower's Card Fees
For information about acquiring a borrower's card, see UNC Borrower's Cards