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Circulation Borrowing Policies

Borrowing | Renewing | Requesting checked out materials | Requesting materials at HD | Overdue fines | Address changes

Borrowing Materials 

Circulation and access services are provided at the circulation desk at the entrance of Langdell Hall. If you have questions about borrowing, renewing, or requesting library materials, staff can assist you at that circulation desk, or over the phone at 617-495-3455.

Borrowing privileges are limited to current members of the Harvard community with a Harvard ID or those with a Fletcher, Officer Dependent or Spouse Special Borrowers card. The standard loan period for circulating materials is 28 days for Harvard University students. Semester loan periods are for Harvard staff, faculty and their research assistants, S.J.D. graduate students, and Ph.D. candidates, with due dates of September 10, January 10, and June 10. 

All books are subject to recall after they have been borrowed for 14 days.

Periodicals, journals, primary source materials, and looseleafs do not circulate. Approximately 20% of the Library collection actually circulates.

To check out a book or other item from Harvard libraries go to the library in which the item is located. Consult individual library listings for borrowing and access policies.

Renewing Materials 

Books that have not been requested by another library patron may be renewed directly through HOLLIS by using the "Your Account," function, found at the upper left of the top menu. Log in using your University (or Special Borrowers) ID and PIN number. "Your Account" gives you access to your library circulation records, and allows you to renew and request items on-line.

To set up viewing your account Harvard University faculty, students and staff may request a PIN at pin.harvard.edu.

Overdue books may be renewed, but the user will be billed for any applicable overdue fines.

Books recalled by other patrons cannot be renewed.

Renewal Limit

There is a five-time renewal limit for any materials loaned from any Harvard library. Once an item has been renewed more than five times, it cannot be renewed online. That item will have to be returned or renewed in person at the owning library. The rationale for this policy is that patrons who keep books longer than five loan periods often find it difficult to produce them after that period of time has elapsed. Physically producing borrowed books every five loan periods should help locate these items when they are actually needed, enabling the libraries to account for the collections at regular intervals and to fulfill their preservation and conservation stewardship role.

Requesting Books Out to Another User 

All books are subject to recall after they have been borrowed for 14 days. Patrons may recall/request materials that are checked out through HOLLIS. You must be logged in to "Your Account." using your University (or Special Borrowers) ID and PIN number. If you have questions or problems with requesting materials, staff can assist you at the Circulation Desk or over the phone at 617-495-3455. The due date on a recalled book is adjusted to 7 days after the recall has been placed, unless the item has not yet been out for the guaranteed 14 day loan. 

Requesting Books at Harvard Depository 

Patrons may request materials that are at Harvard Depository directly through HOLLIS. You must be logged in to "Your Account." using your University (or Special Borrowers) ID and PIN number. If you have questions or problems with requesting materials, staff can assist you at the Circulation Desk or over the phone at 617-495-3455.

Overdue Fines and Book Recalls 

Overdue fines are 50¢ per day up to a maximum of $15 per overdue item. Overdue fines for Reserve materials are $1.00 per hour up to a maximum of $28 per overdue item. Fines go to Term Bill or Accounts Receivable offices with no additional fee. Patrons owing the Law School Library $200 or more will be blocked from checking out additional books until fines have been paid.

All books are subject to recall after they have been borrowed for 14 days. Whenever a recall request is placed, a notice will be mailed indicating the adjusted due date. Failure to return the book within 7 days will result in fines of $2 per day up to a maximum of $28. 

A book is presumed lost if not renewed or returned within 30 days, and a $85 replacement fee will be charged for each item; out-of-print or more valuable items may be billed at a higher rate, based on the judgment of the appropriate bibliographer. If the book is returned after a replacement fee has been charged, the patron will still be responsible for the $15 overdue fine. In lieu of the $85 replacement fee, patrons may supply an acceptable duplicate copy to be used for replacement; however, a $30 fee will be charged for the processing of the replacement copy.

Address Changes 

The Library is not responsible for non-receipt of email or paper notices. Changes of address must be made with the Registrar's office of the appropriate school for students, with the Human Resources office for faculty and staff, and with the Widener Privileges Office for special borrowers.

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