Fine Policy

Fine and Cost Policy & Procedure

The purpose of the fine and cost policy is to encourage the prompt return of borrowed library materials so that they can be available for use by other library patrons. The policy and the library materials to which it pertains are described below.

In general, the policy applies to materials borrowed from the Merrill Library and to recalled materials and to all categories of borrowers: students, faculty, staff, and others.

A borrower’s responsibility does not end until material has been returned and checked in. Please keep in mind that it is also a borrower’s responsibility to understand what will occur if borrowed items become overdue, damaged, or lost. Questions should be addressed to permanent library staff. Borrowers are expected to respond to all library recall, fine and bill assessment notices. Please report any discrepancies promptly to the permanent library staff.

All Merrill Library materials will have a replacement cost if lost or damaged. There are no late fees for items owned by Merrill Library. However a bill will be generated for the item replacement cost after the second overdue notice.  It should be noted that Merrill Library Reserve materials are assessed overdue fines.  Merrill Library will follow the fines policies established by the lending library for inter-library loan items borrowed by Merrill Library patrons.

Reserve Materials Overdue or Lost

Reserves fines apply to:
Materials in collections designated as “reserve” in library guides and/or on signs; and other AV equipment, laptops, and keys.

If a reserve item is not returned after the second overdue notice, it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost of the item plus a $5 dollar processing fee.  There will be no refund of fines or replacement costs, even if the original item is returned at a later date.

Damaged Library Materials

The library user will be charged the current average replacement cost of $45 plus a processing fee of $5 as determined by the University of Maine System, or the actual replacement cost of the item if greater than $45 plus the $5 processing fee.

Theft or Mutilation

The Merrill Library may suspend library privileges and/or seek criminal prosecution or civil sanctions in cases of theft or mutilation of library materials.


Appeal of Fines and Costs

Appeals of library fines and costs must be initiated within ninety calendar days following the date the borrowed material was due for return to the Library. Appeals of assessments must be directed to a member of the permanent library staff.  Appeals once begun must proceed at the borrower’s initiative in a timely and reasonable fashion. If a borrower fails to initiate and pursue an appeal within the prescribed time period, the fines and costs will remain on the library user’s account and transcripts will be withheld until the debt has been satisfied.

Payment of Fines and Costs

Non-refundable fines and costs for overdue/damaged/lost materials are to be paid at the Bursar’s Office, Powers Hall 104A, after first stopping by the Merrill Library to obtain a statement of amount owed.  If a student does not pay assessed fines or costs in excess of $99.99, transcripts and/or diplomas will be withheld, and registration will be blocked.  If a University faculty, student, staff member, or other library user does not pay assessed fines or cost, the Bursar’s Office may pursue collection procedures.