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Fines

Long overdue library materials eventually accrue replacement fees. Overdue materials that have been recalled by library staff may accrue fines. These may lead to blocked library or student accounts.

Contact fines staff

The information on this page applies to all Twin Cities Libraries locations, other than the Law Library. Contact Twin Cities fines staff at:

fines@umn.edu
612-624-3321
110 Wilson Library
309 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455

For questions about library fines from the Law Library or other University of Minnesota campuses, please contact those locations directly.

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Payment methods

Pay charges with a credit card or check, or through a student account. To pay in person, visit Wilson Library, Walter Library, Magrath Library, or Health Sciences Library.

Credit card

We accept Visa, Discover, Mastercard, and American Express credit cards.

Call Wilson Library at 612-624-3321 to make a payment by phone. We will need your credit card number and its expiration date.

Check

Make checks payable to "University of Minnesota." We accept checks in person, or via mail, to the address above.

Student account

Only currently enrolled students may pay charges through their student account. Charges must be transferred to a student account before payment, which may take one to two business days. Request a transfer in person, by phone, by email, or by mail, with a fines transfer request form.

Unpaid charges

Charges that are not paid within thirty days of accrual are automatically transferred to enrolled students' student accounts, or to the University's Accounts Receivable Services for other users. Users receive email notices before these automatic transfers occur. After charges have been transferred, we can no longer waive or reduce them (except for refunds).

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Recall fines rates

We do not charge overdue fines for regular overdue materials. However, materials that are recalled by library staff may accrue recall fines, and materials thirty days overdue accrue replacement charges.

Recall fine accrual rates depend on the item's loan period or loan type. Loan periods and renewals provides more information on loan periods. Recall fines for an individual loan will never exceed $15.00. The rates below are based on the open hours of the owning library; fines are not charged for days or hours that a library is closed.

Loan period/type Accrual rate
3 days or longer $1.00 per day
1 day or 3 hours $1.00 per hour
Interlibrary loan materials $1.00 per day

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Lost materials

Materials that reach thirty days overdue are automatically marked lost and accrue replacement charges. Replacement charges consist of a $100.00 replacement fee and a $15.00 processing fee.

If a lost item is returned before its replacement charges are paid or transferred, both the replacement fee and the processing fee are waived. Processing fees are waived manually, so there will be a delay of twenty-four to forty-eight hours before they are removed.

Replacement copies

In certain cases, you can purchase a replacement copy instead of paying the $100.00 replacement fee. Not all materials are eligible, so contact fines@umn.edu for approval and more details. Replacement copies must:

  • have the same ISBN or publication information as the lost item,
  • be in new or like-new condition (e.g., no tears, stains, or pen/highlighter markings), and
  • cannot be former library copies (e.g., no stamps or call number markings).

Replacement copies are not accepted if replacement charges are already paid or transferred. The $15.00 processing fee still applies to replacement copies.

Refunds

There is a three-month refund period, from the date that replacement charges are paid or transferred. If a lost item is returned within this period, the $100.00 replacement fee is refunded. Replacement fees are refunded manually, so there will be a delay before the refund occurs. The refund will take the same form as the payment (e.g., credit card payments will be refunded to the same credit card).

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Damaged materials

Users are not charged for general wear on library materials. Fines staff assess damaged item fines if the damage is excessive or intentional, such as:

  • markings from pens, pencils, or highlighters,
  • staining or water damage, or
  • missing pages.

Depending on the severity, the fine will either cover repair work or the full replacement cost.

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Blocks and holds

Users with unpaid charges meeting or exceeding $10.00 are blocked from borrowing further library materials, until the balance is resolved. If this balance reaches $100.00, students will receive an academic hold, which prevents registering for courses, requesting transcripts, and receiving a diploma.

Users are responsible for the materials on their library account, even if they were borrowed on behalf of another person. If you are being blocked or charged for materials that are not in your possession, work with the person who has the materials to resolve the issue. We cannot contact other users on your behalf, and we cannot discuss your account details with anyone else, without explicit permission.

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Disputes

To prevent recall fines or replacement fees, please contact us before materials are overdue to ask about possible loan extensions. We can occasionally waive or reduce charges that have already accrued.

Hardships

Certain hardships qualify for full waives, including:

  • medical emergencies,
  • theft,
  • unavoidable damage (e.g., flooding), and
  • delayed returns due to extreme weather.

These cases require official documentation, such as a police report or a redacted medical report. Contact fines@umn.edu with the details of your situation.

Returned materials still on account

Processing mistakes can occur, and returned materials might be shelved without being checked in. These situations are rare, and we regularly search for missing items to catch errors. If you believe that you already returned materials that appear on your account, contact fines@umn.edu, with:

  • the titles of the returned materials,
  • which library you returned them to, and
  • approximately when you returned them.

This will initiate a two to three week search process. We will update you by email while the search progresses.

Not receiving notices

Email notifications of due dates are a courtesy reminder. Charges still apply to situations where notices were not received. Add <libnotic@umn.edu> to your contact list to avoid library notifications being marked as spam.

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