CC image by Flickr User domesticat
You get back into town after a long holiday break, just before classes begin. Entering your apartment and setting down your bags, you look over and… there on the table is that stack of library books you thought were returned weeks ago! Whoops! What now?
There is no need to panic. See below for more information about overdue fines big and small, and how to avoid getting fined altogether. (Details are also posted at http://www.scad.edu/library – under circulation policies.)
Why does the library charge fines anyways?
- Fines encourage people to return borrowed materials to the library on time, so that others can use them too. Certain items – like ILL and reserve items – carry a higher overdue fine because they are in highest demand for use, or have a high value. It’s simple: renew or return your items on time to avoid getting fined!
How much does the library charge for each overdue item?
- .10 per day for circulating books ( books you can take home with you)
- $1.00 per hour for course reserve, permanent reserve, theses, and other items that are have a short checkout time, for in-library use only (these are the items kept behind the front desk).
- $5.00 per day for inter-library loan (ILL) books (loaned from non-SCAD libraries)
When do fines start to accrue?
- For circulating books, you have until the end of the due date to make returns without late penalties. For example, if my book due date is 1-5-2011, I can return it anytime that day and not get charged an overdue fine.
- Reserve, in-library use materials (2 to 4 hour checkout) must be returned BEFORE the time they are due. For example, the thesis I am checking out is due at 12:30pm today. If I return it at 1:00 I will be charged an overdue fine.
What about “billed” items?
- “Billed” means that an item is long overdue – for general circulating books this is about 31 days (and sooner for reserve materials and DVDs). You will receive several email reminders before items reach billed status.
- The library fine for billed items can be quite large because it combines overdue fines, PLUS the replacement value of the item itself.
- The good news? If you can return the billed items to the library, you ONLY have to pay the overdue fines. The replacement fine will be waived for any books returned that are undamaged.
How can I pay my fines?
- Bring your overdue items to the library front desk. We’ll check everything in, which will prevent you from accruing any more overdue fines.
- Payments can be made by cash, check, or SCAD Card (No credit cards!).
- If you think you are being charged for something that you returned, please speak with someone at the front desk, or call 912-525-4700. If the item can be located in the library, we will waive your overdue fine.
Simple tips for avoiding overdue fines:
- Pay attention to your SCAD email account. You will receive an email reminder a few days before your books are due, and several times again times AFTER the books are due. When you get a library email message, renew or return items as soon as you can.
- Renew your books online BEFORE they are due. Prevent a long trip to the library by going to http://library.scad.edu and clicking on “my account”. Renewing takes only one or two clicks, and you’re done! (Note: in-library use, ILL, overdue and on-hold items can’t be renewed online.)
- Don’t lend your checked-out library books to other people! If your roommate/ friend/ significant other doesn’t return the books on time then YOU get stuck with the fine. This happens all the time, and it sucks! Though it may seem mean, just tell them they need to check the books out on their own after you’ve finished.
- Make a final trip to the library at the end of the quarter. Once you’re done with your last research projects, check your apartment, studio space, car trunk, and anywhere else you might be hoarding library books. Round them up and bring them in. This will help you avoid ‘surprise fines’ if you are leaving town.
Finally, remember: paying a fine is not a big deal! Fines are just another fact of life – like paying rent, brushing your teeth, and changing the oil in your car. So bring in your books, settle up your fines, and soon you will be on your way to take care of more important things.