Overdue and Lost Items - Borrowing

Overdue Items

To avoid overdue notices, fines, and bills, please return or renew your materials before the due date, and return recalled items by the recall due date.

If you have more than 35 overdue UIUC items, your library account will be blocked, and you will not be allowed to check out any UIUC items until you have renewed or returned enough items that you only have 35 or fewer overdue UIUC items. If you need assistance with the renewals, please contact us at circlib@library.illinois.edu.

Unpaid library bills may block your borrowing privileges. If you are a student, unpaid library bills may also prevent your registration for classes, your graduation, or requests for transcripts. Please pay your library bills promptly.

Although the Library sends notices to help you manage the materials you’ve checked out, you are responsible for returning materials on time, whether or not you receive these notices. We recommend checking your library account at least once a month as servers can crash, and notices can end up in spam folders, get deleted by mistake, or just be forgotten.

Overdue Notices

The University of Illinois sends overdue notices for most materials:

  • The first overdue notice is issued on the 7th day after the due date.
  • The second overdue notice is issued on the 21st day after the due date.
  • The third overdue notice is issued on the 35th day after the due date.

If you have questions about an overdue notice, contact the library that owns the item.

Overdue Fines

All library patrons, including faculty, can be charged for reserve, loanable technology, and recall fines. The current overdue fines rates are:

  • Main Library Loanable Technology: $15/day
  • Recalled items: $5/day
  • Reserves: Varies by loan type. Hourly reserves are fined $5 for each hour, or any portion of an hour, overdue.

There are no daily fines for overdue books from the general collection.

“Lost” Item Billing

Library items are assumed to be lost when they are overdue for an extended time (35 days for most items). Loanable technology items are assumed lost if not returned within 10 days after the due date.

Replacement Fees

For lost items, the average replacement cost is a minimum of $125 per book and a minimum of $300 for bound periodicals. The Library may assess a higher replacement cost in special instances. Replacement charges for loanable technology vary.

Returning Lost Items

If a lost item is returned, the replacement fee is usually waived. If the item has been damaged, has already been replaced by the Library, or if the item was billed more than two years ago, the replacement amount will only be partially refunded or not at all.

Replacing Lost Items

In some situations, patrons can purchase an exact copy of the lost item to serve as a replacement. If a patron wishes to replace an item, they need to talk to the library that owns it first, in order to find out if that library will accept replacement copies and what their guidelines are. If replacements are allowed and the patron provides an acceptable replacement for the lost item, the replacement fee is generally waived. For additional details, contact the Library Billing Office.

Damaged Items

Patrons should return items to the Library in the same condition they were in when checked out. Damage incurred while using items may result in the patron being held financially responsible. Examples of item damage include (but are not limited to):

  • Writing, underlining, or highlighting
  • Self-adhesive notes (Post-it® type notes)
  • Water damage
  • Pet damage
  • Environmental damage (smoke, perfume, mildew, mold)


Patrons may work with Library Billing staff to resolve any discrepancies regarding fines (e.g., item returned but unaccounted for). If there is an unsatisfactory resolution, patrons may contact Cherie Weible, Head of Central Access Services, and Mary Laskowski, Director of Library Fulfillment, for further consideration of a reduction or elimination of charges.

When necessary, the current Dean of Libraries and University Librarian will make the final determination regarding any appeal.

Fees, Bills, and Blocks from Other I-Share Libraries

Borrowers are subject to the loan policies of the institution that owns the material. All library patrons can be charged lost book fees by the lending library for failure to return or renew material.

If an item you have checked out from an I-Share institution has been overdue for 21 days, you will be blocked from that I-Share institution and won’t be allowed to check out any items from there until the overdue item has been returned or renewed.

I-Share lending libraries may request that we suspend the borrowing privileges of UIUC patrons who fail to return or renew materials when due, who fail to return recalled material promptly, or pending their receipt of payment for billing fees or lost book charges.

I-Share materials are considered lost when 35 days overdue.

Paying I-Share Fees and Bills

I-Share payments should be sent directly to the I-Share institution’s address as indicated on their invoice or Fine/Fee Notice. Checks or money orders must be made payable to the I-Share institution. Under some circumstances, this check or money order can be submitted in person to our Library Billing Office. Please contact the Library Billing Office beforehand to verify if this would be possible.

Contact the I-Share institution directly with payment questions. Our Library Billing Office can provide contact information for I-Share institutions.

Contact Information

If you have a question about a bill, consult the Library Billing Office, located on the second floor of the Main Library (room 203). Open Monday-Friday 1:00 pm-4:30 pm.

Phone: (217) 333-8288
Fax: (217) 244-4358
Email: libbill@library.illinois.edu

Mailing address: Library Billing Office/203 Library – University of Illinois/1408 W Gregory Dr./Urbana, IL 61801
(We suggest insuring library material returned by mail for the replacement value of the material.)