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Changes in Library Fines and Loan Rules Policies

Harvard Library is eliminating standard overdue fines for regular loan materials; raising the recall rate; and implementing standard semester loan periods for Harvard students, faculty, and staff. 


Harvard Library is pleased to announce the implementation of semester loan periods for all Harvard students, faculty, and staff. Beginning on April 1, 2017, all Harvard-ID-holding faculty, staff, and students will enjoy semester loans on regular loan items from Harvard’s libraries. The standardization of loan periods will help to improve the consistency of due dates at libraries across campus, and reduce the frequency of returning or renewing items that are not requested by other library users.

In addition to standardized loan periods, Harvard Library has agreed to revise its fines and fees policy. Also beginning on April 1, HL will no longer charge the $0.50 per day standard overdue fines for regular loan items. Fines for long-overdue/lost material and reserve/media/equipment items will remain the same. 

Beginning on May 1, in order to further encourage the return of items that are in demand by other library users, Harvard Library is raising its fee for overdue recalled material from $2.00 to $3.00 per day. 

The goals of these changes are to improve the user experience and embrace a “One Harvard” approach for borrowing material across Harvard Library service points. This simplified approach to loan rules and fines will benefit those who use Harvard’s library materials as well as library staff by reducing the amount of billing and renewal notices sent to Harvard scholars. With these policy revisions, Library leadership is optimistic that the system will be both more consistent across campus, and user-friendly for library patrons and public services staff.

We want to thank the Harvard Library leadership, library directors, and members of our community whose vision and support were instrumental in forming this broad-based agreement across the library system. We appreciate the contributions from all who participated in discussions and assisted in moving these initiatives from proposal to implementation.