Our organisation


Date approved:


Date policy will take effect:


Date of Next Review:


Approved by:

Custodian title & e-mail address:


Responsible Faculty/
Division & Unit:

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

References & Legislation:


Expiry date of policy (if applicable):


      1 Purpose of Policy

2 General information

3 Charges

4 Fines information

5 Overdue notices

6 Recall from loan

7 Billed cost items

8 Invoices

9 Payment

10 Debt collection

11 Claims and appeals

12 Version Control and Change History

    1. Fines were introduced in 1987 for the late return of Library materials. The Fines Policy was endorsed by the University Council with the main purpose being to ensure equitable access to Library Resources.
    2. Ideally, fines would not be required if all loans were returned by the due date. Fines are not a fee, they are a deterrent, and borrowers who comply with the loan rules should never need to pay a fine. The Library receives regular complaints about borrowers not returning books on time and often keeping them long overdue. Fines are imposed to encourage borrowers to return items on time so that other Library users are not disadvantaged.

    2 General Information

    1. All borrowers are liable for fines on overdue, lost or damaged items. Borrowing of Library items implies an agreement by the borrower to return items by the due date.
    2. The Library realises that occasionally it may be difficult to return items on time and therefore allows clients to renew items either online or by phone. Fines under $10 will not impact on the release of examination results. An invoice is not generated until the fine amount reaches $10 or above.
    3. Borrowing rights are suspended while items are overdue. Once items are returned, unpaid fines will not prevent further borrowing unless indebtedness to the University reaches $60.00. Visitors will be blocked from borrowing if they have any unpaid fines of $10.00 or more.
    4. In cases of illness or other extenuating circumstances, fines may be reduced or waived. Borrowers will need to substantiate such claims.
    5. Fines can be avoided by:
      1. Checking circulation records and responding to email notices
      2. Returning loans on or before the due date
      3. Renewing the loan on or before the due date
      4. Returning recalled books by the new due date
    6. To assist clients in avoiding fines, a courtesy notice is emailed to clients three days before the item is due.
    7. Fines apply to all categories of borrowers:
      1. Staff
      2. Students
      3. Alumni
      4. Associate borrowers
      5. Visitors

      3 Charges

    1. Late Returns
      1. $1.00 per item per day overdue
    2. Lost or very overdue items (items not returned 30 days after the due date)
      1. $85.00 replacement charge or true value if it is valued at above $200.00 and/or marked as expensive, plus
      2. $10.00 processing fee, plus
      3. $30.00 maximum fine
    3. Short Loans Collection and equipment
      1. $3.00 for any part of the first hour overdue
      2. $1.00 for each additional hour overdue
    4. Lost or very overdue Short Loan items not returned within 16 hours
      1. $85.00 replacement charge or ‘true’ value if the item is valued above $200.00 and/or marked as expensive, plus
      2. $10 processing fee, plus
      3. $30.00 maximum fine
    5. Lost or very overdue laptops computers
    6. Laptops: $10 per hour or part hour of laptops
    7. Replacement charge for lost/damaged laptop computers: $1,500 per computer

      4 Fines Information

    1. Details of fines applied on late return of material are available on the circulation system. Borrowers may check their loan records by using the Check your Library record feature on the Catalogue.
    2. Queries relating to the imposition of fines should be directed to the Client Relationship Officer or the Team Leader, Client Services at the Wollongong Campus. Fines incurred at the Shoalhaven Campus should be directed to the coordinator of the branch.

      5 Overdue Notices

    1. Fines commence from the first day of becoming overdue. The first overdue notice is emailed on the first day overdue. This is the only overdue notice sent prior to a borrower being billed for the replacement cost of an item.
    2. The final overdue notice is a Bill for the Replacement cost of an item and is sent 30 days after the due date.

      6 Recall from Loan

    1. All items on loan are subject to recall. If a recall notice is sent, the due date of the item will normally be altered. If the recalled item is not returned by the new due date an overdue recall notice will be sent and fines of $2.00 per day will accrue if the item is not returned by the new due date.

      7 Billed Cost Items

    1. If an item is not returned by the time the fine has accumulated to $30, the system will identify the item as one for which the borrower is to be billed the replacement cost.
    2. The bill for the replacement cost will be the cost of the item plus the fine and a processing fee. In most cases the cost of the item has been averaged at $85.00 for items valued at less than $200.00. Items valued at more than $200 will be billed at actual cost. An itemised account will be prepared for the replacement item.
    3. If the item which has been billed cost is subsequently returned, the Library will withdraw the invoice and issue a new invoice for outstanding fines or a maximum fine of $30.00 per item.
    4. Invoices
    5. Invoices are sent out by Client Services. An invoice is sent when fines total $10.00 or more. It is possible to be billed for a number of small fines accumulated over a period of time. Fines totalling less than $10.00 remain on the patron record until either further fines are incurred or the patron record has expired.
    6. Payment
    7. Payments can be made in person by EFTPOS (no cash) at the Short Loans Desk of the Wollongong Campus Library or over the telephone by calling (02) 4221 3545 during opening hours.
    8. Payments can be made at the Wollongong Campus Post Office located inside the UniShop.
      1. During Session:
      2. – Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm;
      3. Session breaks:
      4. times vary during session breaks
      5. The Post Office accepts payments by
        1. Cash
        2. Cheque
        3. EFTPOS
        4. MasterCard or Visa
        5. Commonwealth Bank facilities are also available.
    9. Payment and invoices may be mailed to:
    10. Fines
    11. Box U500
    12. University NSW 2500
    13. Cheques should be made payable to Wollongong UOW Pulse and include a student number.
    14. Debt Collection
    15. Active borrowers are sent a statement of charges twice each year.
    16. Borrowers whose enrolment has expired or employment with the University has ceased, and have outstanding debts of $200 or more will be referred via Financial Services to the University’s debt collecting agency. Reports listing borrowers with substantial outstanding debts are provided to Finance in April and October each year.
    17. Claims and Appeals
    18. claim
      1. borrowers are able to provide evidence of illness or extenuating circumstances causing them to be unable to return their loans by the due date, they should consult with the Client Relationship Officer or the Team Leader, Client Services at the Wollongong Campus Library or the coordinator of the Shoalhaven Campus, as appropriate.
      1. borrowers are not satisfied with the outcome of the initial claim, they may submit a written appeal to the Associate Director, Digital & Client Experience, stating their situation and reasons for their request. Student number and contact details must be included in the letter.

      4 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



August 2003



July 2004



October 2004



June 2005



February 2006



December 2008



August 2010

Helen Mandl

Updated to UOW Policy format


January 2014

Margie Jantti

Change of titles, e.g. Director Library Services, Associate Director

Fees incurred at the CRC are referred to the Main Library

Maximum overdue fee for Short Loans increased from $18 to $30


February 2015

Margie Jantti

Change of Universities Logo


April 2016

Margie Jantti

Change of Universities Logo


January 2015

Margie Jantti

Updated custodian details


March 2017

Fiona Macdonald

Charges – included laptop computers

Payments – changed UniCentre to Wollongong UOW Pulse

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