• A valid University of Iowa ID card, UIHC badge, or Libraries issued borrower permit is required for check-out.
  • Application for a borrower permit or other library-issued cards may be made at the Main Library Service Desk or the appropriate branch library.

Loan Periods

Borrower Type Books*
(open stack and storage with call numbers)
Periodicals* Periodicals in Storage* DVDs and Videos Course Reserve Notebooks Borrowing Limits (Books/ Media)
Faculty and P&S Staff due first Monday in June 1 week 4 weeks 2 weeks Loan periods range from 2 hour to 1 week.  Please inquire at each library. Not Available 1,000/25
Graduate & Honor Students due last Wednesday in June Loan periods range from 3 to 21 days 500/25
Undergraduates & Merit Staff 4 weeks Loan periods range from 3 to 21 days (undergraduates only) 100/10
Community Borrowers 4 weeks   Not Available Not Available 25/5

*Unless recalled earlier

  • Some items such as materials in reference, special collections, and some open stacks books may not be checked out.  They must be used in the library because of their historical value, fragile condition, or frequent use.


Borrower Type Books & Journals DVDs and Videos Course Reserves Notebooks Billed Material
Faculty and P&S Staff Renew online using My Account Renew online using My Account No renewals allowed for these high demand materials. Not Available All users must bring billed material into a library to renew.
Graduate &
Honor Students
3 Day laptops no renewals. 1 Week laptops 1 Renewal (up to 14 day loan total). 21 day laptops 1 renewal (up to 28 days total)
Undergraduates & Merit Staff 3 Day laptops no renewals. 1 Week laptops 1 Renewal (up to 14 day loan total). 21 day laptops 1 renewal (up to 28 days total) (undergraduates only)
Community Borrowers 1 renewal online using My Account Not Available
  • Check with individual libraries or Main Library units for exceptions to loan periods and renewal policies.  In particular, policies for journals, newspapers, music scores, sound recordings, video recordings, microforms, software and other special materials may vary.


  • All items checked out can be recalled for Course Reserve.
  • The recall due date overrides the original due date.
  • Borrowers are guaranteed ten days with a book, DVD or video if it is recalled by another user.  If it is recalled for Course Reserve, there is no guarantee of the first ten days of the loan.
  • When classes are in session, being out of town, failing to maintain a current address or failing to read your e-mail will not be considered valid excuses for their delayed return. This does not include Winter sessions and Fall and Spring Breaks.
  • All UI-affiliated borrowers are blocked from further check out if they have two or more overdue recalls.  Community Borrowers are blocked with one overdue recall.

Fine Rates

Loan Periods Fine Rate Maximum Fine
Hourly loans $2.00 per hour $40.00
Daily non-reserve loans (1 day, 3 day etc.) No daily fine accrues
Daily non-reserve loan (7 day) No daily fine accrues
Daily Reserve loans $5.00 per day overdue $15.00
Notebook loans No daily fine accrues No daily fine accrues
Recalled materials $4.00 per day overdue $40.00
Material that circulates for 2 weeks or longer No daily fine accrues

Replacement Charges

A user who has not returned material after a reasonable time period is billed for its standard replacement cost and any associated fine.

  • When billing a user for lost library material, the default replacement cost charged is based on the average cost of books supplied to us by the current vendor and, as a result, will change periodically.  [$100.00/book in 2013]
  • If library staff have evidence that the replacement cost of an item is likely to be higher or lower than the default charge (not including any labor or overhead), that price may be charged instead.
  • The replacement cost charged for a journal volume or issue is based on the latest subscription price or the cost of a microform replacement if the default replacement cost is not used.
  • The replacement cost charged for a notebook is the average cost of a notebook and, as a result, will change periodically.  ($1,150.00 in 2021)
  • Materials returned after billing will be issued a credit for the replacement charge, if returned within five years of billing.

Damaged Books

  • Damaged books should be handed to staff at the Main Library Service Desk or any branch library.  Damage beyond normal wear and tear (water and mold, animal chew toy) may result in a rebinding or replacement charge. Wet books should be returned immediately to minimize damage.


  • Recall, Reminder and Overdue notices are sent via e-mail.
  • Students, staff, and faculty are responsible for checking their University of Iowa e-mail or establishing a routing address. Permit holders should make sure the e-mail address on file with the Libraries is current.
  • The Libraries use the official alias e-mail addresses that are assigned for students, faculty and staff by ITS. Library staff does not have the authority to change your routing address.
  • Notices will only be sent via surface mail if there is no e-mail option.



Borrowers are blocked from borrowing or renewing material when they have reached the following limits:

Maximum # of Items Maximum # of Overdue Items Maximum # of Overdue Recalls Maximum # of Simultaneous Requests
Faculty and P&S Staff 1,000 500 2 15
Graduate &
Honor Students
500 250 2 15
Undergraduates & Merit Staff 100 50 2 15
Community Borrowers 25 5 1 5
  • Check with individual libraries or Main Library units for exceptions to block policies as librarians in charge of a collection can place administrative blocks.  In particular, policies may be set to block users who have an excessive amount of billed materials, fines/bills, heavily used materials overdue, reserve materials overdue, or an ILL book that is overdue by 2 weeks. This block will be honored at all circulation units and must be resolved with the individual library or unit that placed the block before future check-out can occur.

More questions? Visit our FAQ on borrowing materials