Latest News @ the RAU Library

Fine FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. What can I do if I disagree with my Library fine, or the replacement cost?

A. Please visit the Library to discuss with library staff.  Library staff will consider all legitimate concerns about library fines or charges. Reasons that DO NOT constitute a reason for dispute are: 

  • Lack of knowledge of Library policy
  • You lending your items to a third party.
  • Forgetting the due date
  • Non-receipt of library notices
  • Email inbox was full
  • Unable to visit the library
  • Disagreement with Library policy
  • Term breaks, summer vacation or placement
  • Changed opening hours

Q. I have lost a book I have borrowed. What should I do?

A. If you have genuinely lost the item and there is little or no chance of recovery (e.g. you have left it on a train while travelling overseas) please let the library know as soon as possible.  That way we can stop fines accumulating for the book. You will however be charged for the replacement cost of the book, plus a non-refundable administration fee of £10.

Q. Why do you charge a £10 administration fee?

A. Quite a lot of work is involved in replacing a lost item.  Firstly, a search is undertaken to find out if the item is still in print or available, and where to order it from. This may involve an online database search, phone calls, or emails to various sources.  If the item is still in print an order is placed. If the item is no longer in print or available, measures are taken to track down a second-hand copy.  Changes are made to the library catalogue to reflect the item is lost, and that new copy is ordered.  The replacement copy needs to be processed to make it ready to go on the library shelves.  This involves stamping the item and recording key data such as date received, accession number and classification number, as well as securing the item against theft, adding a barcode and date due slip, and covering the item.  The library catalogue is updated, and spine label is also produced and attached to the spine of the book. Also, additional time is spent checking the shelves, preparing invoice paperwork, and if the lost item is subsequently returned, arranging a refund.>

Q. I have accidentally damaged a library book. What should I do?

A. We understand that accidents happen. Please bring the book back to the library, and Library staff will assess the damage. Please don’t try to repair the damage yourself, as we have specialist materials to use specifically for books and other library material. If the book is irreparable you will be expected to pay the replacement cost of the book plus a £10 administration fee.>

Q. I’m sure I’ve returned my books, but the computer says I haven’t. What happens now?

We accept that errors can occur, either at our end or yours.  We will search the library and ask that you search at home or in your room again too.   We will record how often we have searched, which dates, and where. Common places where library items turn up are: 

  • Under a seat in the car
  • Under the bed
  • Behind the sofa
  • Mixed up with your own books
  • At your placement
  • With a friend

If the item is still not found you will eventually be charged for the replacement cost of the item plus a £10 non-refundable administration fee, and any outstanding fines.  If the item subsequently turns up you will be refunded the replacement cost.  

To be sure that your items are recorded as being returned we recommend waiting while library staff return them on the computer. Please do not leave items lying on the counter where they may be picked up by another user. 

Q. Where do the fines I pay go? 

A.  Money collected as library fines is deposited into the Library’s budget account which funds the purchase of books and other resources for the collection.


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This entry was posted on April 13, 2007 by in Library Policy.


Quote of the Moment

“But after all, in a library as in a business, the best advertising is that done by good service. The good library is its own best advertisement” – John Cotton Dana


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