Fines and Lost Items

Borrowers are responsible for library materials until they are checked in by library staff at an appropriate location. Materials returned after the circulation desk closes may not be checked in until the next day that the circulation desk is open. Most circulation and reserve desks close 15 minutes before the library closes. Recalled materials are considered overdue if they are not checked in before the circulation desk closes on the recall due date.

The library is not responsible for notifying borrowers that materials are overdue. Reminders and overdue notices are sent as a courtesy. Notices are sent by email, and it is the borrower’s responsibility to keep their library email address up to date. Failure to receive reminders or overdue notices does not excuse borrowers from the responsibility of returning or renewing items on time to avoid penalties.

Charges for Damaged Materials

Borrowers are not charged for normal wear and tear on library materials. However, the following conditions do not constitute normal wear and tear and may result in repair or replacement charges.

  • Wet or moldy materials
  • Materials damaged by food or chemicals or that have an oily or sticky residue
  • Materials missing pages or covers
  • Materials containing marking by pencil, ink or highlight marker
  • Materials showing tears, cuts, graffiti or other unusual damage
  • Materials showing insect or animal damage
  • Broken or missing equipment
Type of chargeCharge amount
Repair - Material which can be repaired without rebinding$25
Rebinding - Material which can be repaired only by rebinding$25
Replacement - Charge for material too badly damaged to be repaired or rebound.See below for replacement charges

Fines for Late Items

Undergraduate students, graduate students and courtesy borrowers are assessed fines for late return of materials.*

Material typehourly/daily fineMaximum fine
Hourly check outs and Library Use items$3/hour$36
Tablets, DSLR Cameras$15/day$600
3 day check outs$6/day$36
General collection materials$.60/day$36
Recalled general collection materials (originally checked out for 14 or more days) $1/day$36

* Students are not assessed fines on materials checked out for 14 or more days. Recall fines and fines for short term loans still apply. Faculty, staff and special borrowers are not assessed fines, but they are assessed billing service fees and charges for damaged or lost items.

Replacement Charges for Damaged or Lost Items

A borrower is assessed replacement charges when material is damaged beyond repair, when material is declared lost by the borrower, or when an item is billed as overdue by the Libraries. Items are billed as overdue if they have not been renewed or returned within a specified time after the due date, depending on the loan period. Replacement charges for billed items will be cancelled or refunded if the items are returned or replaced within two years of the billing date. Charges more than two years old will not be cancelled or refunded.

The replacement charge represents the cost to the library when an item is billed or lost, including the cost of purchasing and processing a replacement where applicable. The cost assessed for billed or lost items is in most cases a default amount representing the average cost of items in a particular library or collection. If the actual item cost is significantly greater than the established default cost, library staff may change the assigned cost to reflect the actual cost of the item, as determined from available sources of cost information.

Material typeDefault item costLost item fee
Regular item from the Perry-Castañeda Library and the Benson Latin American Collection; uncataloged reserve items$125$25
Regular item from other Libraries locations; cataloged reserve items$150$25
Bound journal volume$300$25
CDs and DVDs$30$25
Slides, filmstrips, transparencies$50$25

Borrowers who wish to replace a lost item themselves, thereby eliminating the item cost, should consult with the circulation supervisor at the library from which the item was checked out. The Libraries reserves the right to determine whether a copy submitted is acceptable. If the copy is accepted, the item cost will be canceled. Other applicable fines or fees remain even if the item itself is replaced.

To discuss replacement other than by an identical copy, contact the subject specialist responsible for the collection to which the item belonged.

Paying Library Charges

Library Charges may be paid through What I Owe or in person at Bursar (Cashier) Services.

Appealing Library Charges

To request cancellation or reduction of a library charge first discuss the charge with a circulation desk supervisor in the unit(s) owning the material for which charges are assessed. If resolution fails you may file an official appeal using the Appeals Form.

Official Appeals are only accepted for charges related to lost or damaged items. Overdue fines cannot be appealed. Appeals must be filed within one semester from the end of the semester in which the charges were assessed.

Appeals based solely on inability to pay and/or disagreement with the assessment structure will not be accepted. Address such disagreement to the Head of Branch and Borrower Services.

If an appeal is accepted for consideration, the amount under appeal will not be subject to financial or library bars pending review of the appeal. Library records used in reaching a decision are open to appellants upon request.

All appeals decisions are final.

Borrower Services


Perry-Castañeda Library
PCL 2.122E
Austin, Texas



(512) 495-4300