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Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning April 15, 2019, GW Libraries have eliminated daily fines for general collection books that are overdue less than 40 days, reducing a financial burden on students using library services. This includes books on loan through any of the GW Libraries and/or checked out via the Washington Research Consortium’s interlibrary loan. Over the summer, current unpaid book fines will be removed from patrons’ accounts across all member institutions of the Washington Research Library Consortium.

Lost, recalled, and reserve items remain subject to their respective fees and fines to help keep items that are most needed by patrons circulating.


What is the fine structure for the GW Libraries?

  • We do not charge daily fines for general collection books that are overdue less than 40 days. After 40 days, overdue items are considered lost and you will be charged $120 for each book. See details about lost books.
  • Recalled items: $5.00 per day, maximum fine $25.00
  • Reserve and Incidental items (2 hour/2 hour overnight): $1.20 per hour, maximum fine $30.00

  • Reserve items (3 day): $2.00 per day, maximum fine $30.00

[Note: This fine structure is the same for materials borrowed from all Washington Research Libraries Consortium (WRLC) libraries].

What if I disagree with the library's records?

A fine inquiry may be placed when items you believe you have returned still appear on your patron record. A fine inquiry may be made in person at the Check Out Desk by asking to speak with a manager on duty.

When is a book overdue?

A book is overdue if you do not return or renew it on or before the due date.

Is there a grace period?

All other eligible borrowers receive a 39 day grace period for any book that has not been recalled. The library will waive the fine if the book is returned within the grace period. If the item is returned after the grace period, fines will be assessed from the original due date.

For example, if your book become long overdue and is declared lost you will be charged the maximum overdue fine of $10, as well as fees and a replacement cost totaling $110.

Note: This information is the same for all libraries in the Washington Research Libraries Consortium (WRLC).

Will the Library remind me that I have overdue books?

My Library Account, refer to the stamp in the back of the book, the due date bookmark, or the self-check receipt. As a courtesy, the Library will email you a reminder notice 4 days before the due date and an overdue notice the 1 day after the due date. Please remember these messages are courtesy reminders. Patrons are responsible for paying library fines whether or not they receive a notice.

What charges do I incur?

As of April 15, 2019, books that have are circulated from the general collection will not accrue daily fines. If the book is long overdue and declared lost a $10 overdue fine will be assessed for each item in lost status.

What happens if I don't pay my fine right away?

If you owe over $25 to Gelman Library and/or a consortium university library, you will be blocked from borrowing or renewing materials, including course reserves, journals, and media items. Outstanding fines and fees in excess of $50 will block you from obtaining university transcripts.

What happens if I don't return a book?

Forty (40) days after the due date, the book is declared "LOST" and you will be blocked from borrowing or renewing materials at the Check Out Desk, including all books, media items and course reserves. In addition, your account will be assessed standard lost item replacement fees ($80) and lost processing fees ($30) in addition to the $10 maximum overdue charge. To reinstate your privileges, you must bring the "lost" book in person to the Check Out Desk. You will be responsible for the $10 overdue charge when you return the book. If you do not have the book, you will be accountable for the full $120 in lost book charges. See Lost Books for further details.

Where and how do I pay library fines?

Fines for overdue or lost items GW owns may be paid by cash, check, credit card*, and GWorld card at Gelman, Eckles, or VSTC libraries. You may also make payment by phone by calling the payment line of the Check Out Desk at 202-530-3947.

Checks and money orders are accepted by mail and should be made payable to the George Washington University. Please include your GWid number on the check or money order. *we accept all major credit cards, except American Express.

Fines owed to any WRLC consortium school may be paid at your home institution library  or directly to that school. The grid below provides detailed contact and payment information for our consortium partners.

Institution Payment Method Accepted Pay by phone Pay in person Questions?
American University Credit card 202-885-3221 American University Library Circulation Desk circulation@american.edu
202-885-3221
Catholic University of America Cash (exact change only), credit card, check 202-319-5060 Mullen Library
620 Michigan Ave, NE
lib-circulation@cua.edu
202-319-5060
University of the District of Columbia        
Gallaudet University Cash or personal check Unavailable Gallaudet University Library, Front Desk Service library.circdesk@gallaudet.edu
202-250-2349
George Mason University Mason Money/ID card Unavailable Any George Mason library location fencirc@gmu.edu, 703-993-2240
law: lawcirc@gmu.edu, 703-993-8120
Georgetown University Credit card ($5 min.) 202-687-7607 Lauinger Library accessservices@georgetown.edu
202-687-7607
Howard University Cash, credit card, or check Unavailable Founders Library
500 Howard Pl, NW
accessdept@howard.edu
202-806-6238
Marymount University Cash, credit card, or check 703-284-1533

Reinsch Library
2807 N Glebe Rd

Ballston Coakely Family Library
1000 North Glebe Rd

mucirc@marymount.edu
703-284-1533

703-284-5949

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