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Fines, Fees and Account Holds

Daily Fines

The Styberg Library does not charge daily overdue fines for most circulating items with the exception of overdue recalled items and short term loan items, including:

Recalled Items $1.00 per day
Items on Reserve $1.00 per hour
1-day items $5.00 per hour
Headphones, laptops, & power cords $1.00 per hour

Patrons are responsible for keeping track of their due dates. To view your account and renew materials log in here.

Lost Status Items

Items that are not returned or renewed within 30 days after their due date are automatically marked with a Lost status by the library circulation management system. A replacement fee and a non-refundable $10.00 processing fee will be automatically assessed for every book overdue by 30 days or more. Replacement fees will be waived for lost books returned within a reasonable timeframe, but the processing fees will not be waived. Replacement fees are a minimum of $125.00 per book. Patrons who have lost an item are encouraged to contact the Styberg Library to discuss options to provide a replacement copy of a lost item, and thereby avoid paying the full lost item replacement fee.


Patrons may pay fines or fees (excluding lost item replacement fees) owed to any of the libraries in the Northwestern University Library system, including Main, Media, and the downtown campuses, at the Styberg Library circulation desk. Fines and fees are payable by cash or check Mondays-Fridays 8:30am-4:30pm at the circulation desk. Arrangements may also be made to pay by credit card or student account through the mediation of the business office. Please stop by the library or contact the Styberg Library by phone (847-866-3909) or email to make arrangements to pay by credit card or student account.

Damaged Items

Library staff make an effort to note damage before an item is allowed to circulate. Damage can be classified as accidental or intentional. Patrons who return items damaged by intentional misuse (including highlighting, underlining in pencil or ink, or use of adhesive notes) may be assessed fees on those items according to the severity of the damage. The patron is also responsible for any accidental damage (liquid, animal damage, etc.) that is determined to have occurred while the item was in their care. Damage, whether accidental or intentional, shortens the life of the book; in some cases the damage is so severe that the item must be replaced. If an item is returned damaged, the following fines and fees will apply:

  • Mild Damage: A $5.00 fee will be assessed for mild damage, such as minor pencil marks, dog eared pages and post-it notes.
  • Moderate Damage: A $10.00 fee will be assessed for moderate damage, such as marking in pen or highlighter.
  • Minor Water Damage: If water damage is confined to the cover and only the edges of the text block or the fly leaves, the item will be sent to the bindery. A $20 fee will be assessed ($10 for binding or repair and $10 for processing).
  • Severe Damage: A replacement fee of a minimum of $125.00 (or the actual replacement of the book) plus a $10 processing fee will be assessed for damage that renders the book unusable. This includes torn or missing pages, excessive water damage, active mold or mildew, and excessive marks made by pencil, pen or highlighter.


Unpaid bills and fines are reported to the Student Accounts Office at least twice a year and will result in a hold on your account.

Holds will be placed on accounts if fines are equal to or exceed:

  • Returning students: $10.00
  • Graduating Students: $1.00

Blocked Borrowing Privileges

Patrons who have overdue recalled items, fines in excess of $100.00, or more than 100 items checked out will have their borrowing privileges blocked and will not be able to check out or renew any more items until fines are paid and/or items are returned. Information about why the account is blocked is available in the My Account section in USearch. Patrons may also telephone the circulation desk at 847-866-3909 or email to get information about the status of their account.


An item due notice is emailed the day the item is due. An overdue notice is emailed a week after the due date has passed indicating what charges will be assessed should the item not be returned. If an item is not renewed or returned by the 30th day past the due date, it is considered lost and is billed to the patron’s library account. An email fine notice stating the amount due for replacing and processing the lost item(s) is sent on the 30th day.

In order to ensure equitable access to library materials, an item may be recalled if it is needed by another user or by the library. All loaned items are subject to recall and must be returned within seven (7) days of the date of recall. An email notice advising of the recall and showing the new due date is sent at the time the recall is placed. Recalled items cannot be renewed. If an item is not returned by the 7th day, an overdue fine if $1.00 per day will be assessed, up to $30.00. A patron with an overdue recalled item will be blocked from borrowing other items from the library. Patrons are responsible for the timely return of recalled items at all times of the year, including holidays and intercessions. It is advisable to return items before leaving campus for extended periods of time, and not to remove library materials from the Evanston area. If you have difficulty complying with the recall request, contact the Styberg Library immediately.

Notices are sent out as a courtesy to all borrowers, but borrowers are liable for fines and fees whether or not a notice was received. If you are not receiving notices, please contact the Circulation Desk at 847-866-3909 to verify your e-mail address.

It is the borrower’s responsibility to keep track of due dates and manage his or her account. Patrons are encouraged to monitor their accounts and to check due dates, as well as renew items, by logging into “My Account” on USearch (see bellow). Students, faculty, and staff use their NetID and password to log in. Other patrons use their email address as their username and the password they created when they registered their account to log into their accounts.

Patrons can check your materials due dates, fines & fees, in addition to renew materials online by logging into “My Account” in USearch.

For instructions on how to log into MyAccount, see the USearch help page.