Frequently Asked Questions
The due date on all borrowed materials originally due between, March 13 - August 31 has been automatically extended. No fees or fines have been assessed on those items.
During this time, only materials held by GW Libraries were circulating to the GW community and there was no urgency to have materials returned. Now that consortium loan services have resumed, it is important that items are returned so that they can remain available to the GW and WRLC community.
Beginning on September 1, due dates will no longer be automatically extended. To avoid items becoming overdue, borrowers must renew outstanding items online through their library accounts. Borrowers may renew items up to three times, but this will no longer be done automatically. Once an item has met its renewal limit it must be returned to the library.
For any questions or concerns regarding material returns, e-mail GW Libraries' Access Services team.
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
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 or coordinator 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?
Please keep in mind that you are solely responsible for keeping track of library due dates. 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.
Other sources for due dates:
- My Library Account
- Stamp in the back of the book
- Due date bookmark
- Self-check receipt.
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 incidentals, 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.