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Circulation: Fines and Fees

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Library Delivery Services

Fines and Fees

How do I avoid fines and fees?

Avoid fines and fees by returning or renewing books on or before the due date, and checking your library account regularly for recall notices.

  • Reserve fines are $1/hour
  • Recall, video, and sound recording fines are $1/day; $30 maximum fine. 
  • Bestsellers are $1/day
  • Laptop fines are $.25/minute
  • BorrowDirect and E-ZBorrow fines are $1/day; $25 maximum fine. 
  • Lost item processing is $10/item
  • Lost item replacement (varies: see chart below)

How do you pay fines?

You may pay fines in person at any library circulation desk, by cash or check, or by mailing a check made to "The University of Pennsylvania" to Van Pelt Circulation, 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206. Please note your PennCard ID number and the words "Library fines" on the memo line of the check so that we can be sure to credit the correct account.

The Van Pelt Library Circulation Desk also accepts Visa and MasterCard in person or over the phone at (215) 898-7566, Monday through Friday, 9am-8pm, or up to 30 minutes before closing.

How do lost item replacement charges work? 

Each library charges a minimum standard replacement fee, shown below, for books once they are 28 days late and marked "Lost".  In addition there is a non-refundable $10 billing fee for each "Lost" book. 

  • Van Pelt, Lippincott, Music: $85
  • CAJS and Engineering: $100
  • Biomedical, Chemistry, Dental, PA Hospital, Veterinary, Math-Physics-Astronomy: $110
  • Museum: $120
  • Fine Arts: $150
  • BorrowDirect and E-ZBorrow : $125

Note: The actual replacement charge will be higher in cases of more valuable items; the fees above are minimums only. At the discretion of the Libraries, replacement copies of lost books, along with a $25 processing fee, may be accepted in lieu of replacement fees. To be accepted, replacement copies must be the same edition as the one that was lost. They must be new condition. Books that have been withdrawn from other libraries will not be accepted. Do not purchase a replacement copy before ensuring that it will be accepted by the Libraries. The owning library of the item being replaced reserve the right to reject, for any reason, any materials submitted for replacement.

Please note: many of our BorrowDirectE-ZBorrow and Interlibrary loan lending partners will not accept replacement copies. For these materials we are obligated to follow the rules of the owning institution.


Can lost fines be forgiven if you return the book?

"Lost" books cannot be renewed and must be returned to the library for your account to be credited. If you return a book after billing but before the library has begun the process to replace it, your account will be adjusted for the full lost item replacement charge, but the $10 billing fee will remain. If the library has already "withdrawn" the item, $25 of the replacement cost will be retained.  

The level of reimbursement or credit for items returned more than 6 months after they have been marked "Lost" is at the discretion of the Penn Libraries. For items that are not the property of the Penn Libraries (e.g: Interlibrary loans, BorrowDirects or E-ZBorrows): once the Penn Libraries have been billed for lost materials by the original lending institution, no credits or reimbursements will be issued.

Are damaged books subject to fines and fees?

Books returned damaged will be carefully evaluated by library staff. Repair or replacement costs may be charged where appropriate. Books returned with adhesive tabs may be subject to fine/fee. Students are responsible for reporting any damage to a book they check out from Penn Libraries, prior to returning it at the end of their use.


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