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Library Borrowers’ Policy

Policy Objectives

To provide guidelines regarding the responsibilities of both the Library and its members with respect to borrowing material.  


If you borrow an item from the Library you are responsible for its return. You can check what items you have on loan using My Account via Queen’s Online.

The number of items that you may borrow and the loan period depends on you membership category.

All loans should be retuned before you leave the University or before your membership expires.

Renewals and Recalls

Standard Loan material will be automatically renewed a maximum of three times unless an item is in demand, your membership is about to expire or, you have an outstanding charge pending.

All Standard Loan items are subject to recall if required by another reader. Thus, whenever a book is in demand the loan period is immediately reduced to one week and you will be unable to borrow or request after this date.

It is not possible to renew items held in the Short Loan Collection.  You will be unable to borrow or request once a short loan item becomes overdue. 

Overdues and invoices

You will be considered to be in default of the Library, if you fail to return a recalled or short-loan item without any explanation.

After the first overdue reminder, your Library Account will be suspended thereby preventing you from borrowing or requesting any more material.

Ultimately students may face disciplinary action whilst all other borrowers may be referred to the Director of Information Services.


In October 2022, the Library stopped charging fines for the late return of books.  This was part of a series of measures introduced by the University to help support our students and staff through the Cost-of-Living Crisis.

Student wellbeing matters to us and our ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional student experience means that we want to support our users in any way that we can during these challenging times.  We don’t want anyone to be prevented from accessing the resources they need because they cannot pay a library fine.

For this system to continue to work without fines, we need our users to play their part.  Please continue to return your books on time so that they are widely available for other users to borrow and benefit from, particularly short loan and recalled items that are in high demand by many students.

The Library's Responsibilities

The Library has a responsibility to keep stock in circulation and to make items available to its members. Failure to return an item promptly may result in the borrower being charged for a replacement.

When an item is overdue, it impacts negatively on other users who wish to use the material. If a customer fails to return Library materials when requested, they are not available to other customers who wish to benefit from them. The Library will therefore need to begin replacement procedures.

To help you to keep track of your loans and return them in a timely manner, the Library will communicate with you regularly as follows: -

Renewal Update Notices

Provides regular updates on the items that you have on loan – which ones have been automatically renewed and which ones could not be renewed for whatever reason. See Renewing and Requesting for more information.

  • In Demand Notices

Asks you to return a book because another person wants it. You will be given an amended ‘due back’ date.

  • Overdue Notices

Informs you when an item is overdue and asks you to return it as soon as possible.

The first overdue notice will prevent you from borrowing or requesting material from the Library.

  • Invoices

A considered lost invoice is to cover the replacement cost of an unreturned item, both printed and non-book materials. 

If a user declares an item lost, we will raise an invoice for the replacement cost. 

Your Responsibilities

You are responsible for any use made of your library card or credentials so keep them safe and do not share them with anyone else.

Books and other loanable items must be issued to your library record before being removed from the Library. However, there are some loanable items, such as headphones, laptops and chargers, that should not be taken out of the building.

The Library’s resources are a shared facility, so please help us keep material in circulation and readily available to other users by retuning borrowed items promptly.


Revised August 2023