UNL Libraries eliminate overdue book fines and extend loan periods for circulating books

Overdue fines on books have been eliminated, easing a financial burden for Nebraska students.
Overdue fines on books have been eliminated, easing a financial burden for Nebraska students.

UNL Libraries has radically changed the length of time a student can check out a book and eliminated a financial burden for students -- overdue fines for late books. For students, the loan period has been extended from 30 days to the entire semester, which is identical to the loan period for faculty and graduate students. All books are due at the end of each academic semester regardless of the date the book was checked out during the semester.

“Over the last few years, the Libraries has been committed to reducing costs for students, and minimizing fines is one way we can contribute. By extending the loan period, we meet the student’s needs for the semester and we continue to make education more affordable and equitable.” Charlene Maxey-Harris, associate dean, University Libraries.

The Libraries implemented these policy changes based on national research data and the experience of other academic and public libraries across the nation, to align with other University of Nebraska libraries, and as part of the new catalog system explained Michael Straatmann, coordinator of access services.

In fact, during the process of implementing the new library catalog system, the Libraries forgave over $235K of accumulated fines from students, staff and faculty.

Fines don’t have an impact on the book return rate. In fact, libraries are seeing a savings from staff time that focuses around billing, collection, processing and cash handling. Straatmann says they hope to see the same cost savings.

Some loan rates, fines and fees still remain the same, including no circulation of reference, archival, and special collections materials. Media Equipment and Course Reserves will still be assessed late fees. Interlibrary loan materials may have shorter due dates and fees. If a book is not returned at the end of the semester or is lost, the user will be charged the replacement cost. More information can be found at: https://libraries.unl.edu/overdue-fines-fees.

More details at: http://libraries.unl.edu