If you have overdue items requested by another user, you won't be able to borrow any more items until they're returned and you may be charged a replacement cost if you don't return them promptly. 

For this system to continue to work, we need you all to continue to play your part, and make our library work for the whole community. As a library we believe our role is to empower our communities to be knowledgeable, active, global citizens through learning, discovery, and research. We want to ensure that charges on accounts are kept to a minimum, so please ensure you return all request books as quickly as you can.

You can pay library charges online here


Information about our charges

We only apply charges for items that are lost, or that the Library considers lost. If an item you have on loan has been requested, and is not returned by the new due date, a £50 Replacement Charge will be added to your account. If you return the item before we purchase a replacement, then the charge will be removed. Find out more about how and when charges are applied on our Lost Items and Exceptions webpage

Replacement charges can be applied on any of our borrowable items if they are lost or damaged, not just those under our Flexible Loans system. See below for our full list of replacement costs for our borrowable items.

Item Charge
Flexible Loans - books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, borrowable journals £50 per item
Locker keys £15
Headphones £30
Laptops £702
Laptop charging cable £35
Interlending Loans At the discretion of the lending institution


Questions about our charges

When the pandemic began, we suspended all fines for returning books late (though we’ve always had charges for losing a book). The last thing our students and staff needed to worry about during lockdown was trying to get items back to the library. That period effectively became a successful trial for a fine-free library - so we decided to make the change permanent.

We think our Flexible Loans system provides the fairest access to resources, ensuring that you have access to books until someone else needs them. For this system to work, please bring back items promptly to ensure everyone has access to the books they need.

Our students and staff are responsible, and respect the need for our resources to be available to the whole community. When you have a book on loan which is requested by another user, once that book becomes overdue you can’t borrow any more items until it is returned. 

If that book becomes overdue, we will consider the item lost and may decide to purchase a replacement copy in order to fulfil demand and ensure everyone has access to the resources they need. If we incur a cost because of this, a £50 replacement charge will be applied to the account holding the book.

This has proved to be enough to make sure people bring their books back.

Replacement charges still apply. You can find out more about that on our Lost Items page.

When you receive an email to say that your book has been requested, it’s because another user really needs it, just like you did. For the flexible loans system to work, please bring the requested items back promptly. You can always place a request back on the item once you have returned it - this will also indicate to us that the item is in high demand.

If you do not bring the books back in good time, we may consider the item lost and you may be liable for charges if we have to purchase a replacement copy. You can find out more about that on our Lost Items page.

More information about our replacement charges and waivers policy can be found on our Lost Items and exception webpage.

As a University, we have to use approved suppliers to purchase our replacement stock. In many cases, £50 does not always cover the full averaged cost of replacing lost items. Lost items, or items which are not returned so that other users can use them greatly inconvenience other members of our community that need those items.

We will only charge you for a lost item if we incur a replacement cost in order to fulfil a need or if the item is part of a Reading list.

If you have lost an item or cannot return an item, some waivers and exceptions do apply in limited circumstances.

That said, the easiest way to avoid any charges is to please bring your books back - we really don’t like charging anyone if we can avoid it!

We don’t always replace physical stock, but we’ll always replace it if we think there is a reasonable demand for the item. On some occasions, when an item is lost we will decide not to replace it. As there is no cost incurred to us, we will not pass a charge on to you - we don’t think this is fair. 

Replacement charges are designed to help contribute towards the costs we incur for replacing stock, and not designed to punish or ‘fine’ users. If we’ve removed a charge and emailed you, on this occasion, there is no further action (but in the future, please do try and get books back to us - we really like books!)

Charges for items borrowed through Interlending vary. This is because they are not a part of the University of York Library’s collections. If you lose an Interlending Loan, or do not return the loan by the due date, any charges are at the discretion of the institution the item was borrowed from.

If you have charges due to a Lost Interlending Loan, please get in touch with us and we will be able to discuss how we can help.