Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Developing Tomorrow's Leaders

Appeals to Fines and Fees Policy

Why does the Library charge fines and/or fees for late or lost items?

When items are not returned in a timely manner, other patrons needing to use the items cannot.
Especially in the case of equipment, when a student or instructor may need to use a piece of
equipment to complete a class assignment or teach a class, but also for printed and other
materials, it is important that materials are returned on time. Fines are used to reinforce the loan
period limits so that materials are available after a reasonable time for other patrons to use.
Numerous methods for additional renewal periods are made available to the patron prior to the
items due date, as such an extended unauthorized use by the patron generates penalties.

In the case of lost items, fees are used to cover the cost of replacement, and the processing fee
covers the cost of the additional workload placed on staff to process the items for the collection.

Fines and/or fees cannot be waived or reduced without authorization. Only the Circulation
Supervisor(s), and the Director of Library and Information Resources are authorized to waive or
reduce fines.

If an item has not been returned, fines continue to accumulate until they reach the fine cap, even
if the fines have been appealed
. In addition, any holds which have been triggered by the fines
will remain until the fines are paid or waived through the appeals process.

How much are fines for overdue items?

Fines (which are subject to change) for items not returned by the end of the loan period (or grace
period if applicable) shall accrue as follows:

  • General Circulating Items: $0.25 per day
  • Media Items: $0.25 per day
  • Media and Study Room Keys: $1.00 per hour until returned
  • Reserve Materials: library use only items: $0.25 per hour; all other reserves: $2.00 per day
  • Laptop computers: $25.00 per day

Lost items will be billed a processing fee plus the replacement cost of the item. All patrons are
responsible for replacement fees for lost or non-returned items. Charges will be based on current
replacement price for the item plus a $10.00 processing fee. Refunds for materials returned to the
library after replacement charges have been paid are given only if the item has not been replaced
or withdrawn from the collection.

Fines and/or fees cannot be waived or reduced without authorization. Only the Circulation
Supervisor(s), and the Director of Library and Information Resources are authorized to waive or
reduce fines and fees.

Unpaid fines or an excessive number of overdues will result in a loss of borrowing privileges.

Unresolved charges will be turned over to Student Accounts for collection resulting in a block on
future class registrations and transcript requests.

How does one appeal a fine?

All appeals must be made through a fine/fee appeal form, also available at the Circulation desk in the
North Hall Library. Forms should be submitted (Fully filled out – no exceptions) to staff on duty
at the Circulation desk or the Information Desk.

If possible, attach a copy of the bill or fines statement to the appeal form. Circulation staff may
be able to provide a duplicate copy. Please attach copies of any supporting documentation which
may help clarify any extenuating circumstances.

When must appeals be submitted by?

Appeals of overdue fines must be made witin two weeks (14 days) of incurring the fine.

Appeals of fees and/or fines on lost items must be made within seven (7) days of returning the
item if the item is found and returned within one calendar year of being declared lost.

Fines and/or fees incurred for items which are lost and not subsequently found and returned, or
for items returned more than one calendar year after being declared lost, will not be waived.

In general, fines or fees will not be waived for the following reasons:

  • Not knowing or understanding Library / University policies
  • Lack of income / means / desire to pay
  • Disagreement with fine/fee structure
  • Material loaned /used by a third party
  • Items returned by a third party for a patron
  • Not receiving or receiving late any reminder notices
  • Disregarding a recall request for an item
  • Returning items to libraries other than the North Hall Library
  • Being off campus
  • Forgetting / misinterpreting due date
  • Semester breaks, vacations, exams, etc.
  • Failure to update contact information with the North Hall Library
  • Item returned by mail and it arrived late or not at all

Who reviews appeals?

Appeals are reviewed first by the Circulation Supervisor on duty. If no Circulation Supervisor is
on duty, the appeal form will be submitted for review when s/he returns or to the Information
Desk. If the Circulation Supervisor denies the appeal, the patron may submit a final appeal to
the Director of Library and Information Resources. The decision of the Director of Library and
Information Resources is final and may not be further appealed. Patrons should note that in the
majority of cases, appeals that are initially denied are unlikely to be overturned further up the
appeals hierarchy.

How will I be notified of the result of my appeal?

You will be notified via email within seven to ten (7-10) business days of receipt of the appeals