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Undergraduate Policies

Loan Periods

  • The regular loan period for books is 42 days.  Most items are renewable.
  • Special materials such as journals, DVDs, laptops or reserve items may be loaned for shorter periods such as hours and days. Check with individual libraries for specific loan periods.


Courtesy notices are sent within three days of when a book is due, and overdue notices are sent the first day and fourteenth day after a book is due. Available notices are sent the day after a requested book is received at the designated pick-up library. Recall notices are sent the day after a book is recalled by another user. Fine/fee notices are sent the day after the fine is incurred.

Library notices are sent by e-mail to the borrower's NetID address ( If you prefer another type of e-mail address, such as, please configure your mail preferences so that NetID mail is routed to the preferred address. Please go to and follow the instructions for routing mail. Note that failure to receive a courtesy or overdue notice does not relieve the borrower of responsibility to return or renew borrowed materials by the due date.

Overdue Fines

Loan Type Fine Rates
Regular $.75/day*

Reserves, laptops, equipment

Special loan equipment

$.04/minute or $2.40/hour


Short-term $2.00/day
Recalls $3.00/day

*Late fees are not charged for regular loan materials renewed or returned within nine days of the due date. Items returned or renewed after the grace period has expired will be fined from the first day overdue. All other overdue loan materials are subject to immediate fines.

Replacement Billing

  • If a borrowed item has not been returned or renewed, a replacement bill is created 27 days after the most recent due date for general collection materials. Replacement bills for special collection materials may be sent from 3 days to 14 days after the due date.  The bill will include the replacement cost plus the applicable overdue fine according to the chart below.
    Lost Item Replacement Cost $75.00*
    Recalled item fine $60.00
    Overdue fine (non-recalled regular loan item) $25.00
    1 day - 14 day loan fine $35.00
    Reserves, laptops, equipment fine $150.00
    Special loan equipment fine $150.00

    * This amount may be more if the item is of greater value

  • Items returned after billing: the replacement cost will be cancelled if the item has not already been replaced or reordered. Fines may not be cancelled.
  • Unpaid bills are sent to Cornell Collections after 60 days from the bill date.
  • Questions and appeals should be directed to the circulation supervisor of the lending library.

Borrowing Privileges

  • Cornell University identification cards serve as library cards. The privilege of borrowing is a personal one and may not be transferred.
  • Borrowing privileges are suspended if the borrower:
    1. owes library bills of $300 or more
    2. has one overdue recalled book
    3. has more than 100 overdue items


  • Books may be recalled at any time during their loan, including during the summer and break periods.  Recalled books are usually due back 14 days from the date of recall.

General Circulation Policies

  • All library material must be properly charged out. Its prompt and safe return is the personal responsibility of the individual to whom it is loaned.
  • Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy to remind borrowers that an item should be renewed or returned, but failure to receive a notice does not absolve the borrower of the responsibility to renew or return the item to a Cornell library in a timely manner.
  • The borrower is responsible for notifying the Library immediately if library material is damaged, missing or lost.
  • Address changes: Update your postal mailing address at the Student Center website.  For email configuration, go to