Please note that the following is general information concerning circulation policies.  The Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and branch Libraries and collections within libraries may have differing circulation policies.

Library Card

Your Community Borrower Card is needed to check out items.  This card is not honored at the UI Law Library. We strongly recommend against loaning your card to others.  All financial responsibility for items rests with the person whose ID card was used.  If your library card is lost, stolen, or destroyed, contact staff (335-5299) at the Main Library as soon as possible.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Any adult Iowa resident who has no affiliation with the University of Iowa
  • Friends of the UI Libraries (for information on how to make a minimum donation of $25 required to have a Community Borrower card for 1 year click here)
  • Iowa K-12 students with written request from a school authority or parent
  • Valid email address
  • Apply for your UI Libraries Community Borrower Card here


The library uses e-mail to send notices. Please check your e-mail account frequently.


The hours of the libraries vary according to the university calendar.  Paper copies of library hours are available, and hours information is also found here.

Loan Information

  • Books, theses, and Storage items: 4-week loan
  • Journals: 1-week loan at Main Library; other libraries may have different loan policies
  • Items with a loan period of more than 3 days can be checked out.
  • A maximum of 25 items can be checked out at a time
  • A maximum of 5 holds (recalls and/or searches) at a time
  • Most items can be renewed up to 99 times
  • A maximum of 5 videos at one time with one renewal
  • Newspapers and Reference items can’t be checked out.
  • One overdue recalled item and/or five overdue items will block further checkout privileges.
  • Overdue fines and replacement costs are charged according to the policies and procedures that apply to UI students.  The University Business Office processes library charges.

Each item will have a due date noted at checkout.  Please note this date since this can prevent overdue fine and book replacement charges. Please be aware that items can be recalled from you, often resulting in a new and earlier due date. (Please see information under “Recalls”.)  Checking “My Account” on InfoHawk+ can help manage your library checkouts.


Renewing via InfoHawk+ “My Account” is easy.  Once signed in, eligible items can be renewed from your loans list. (If you have five or more overdue items, you will be blocked from renewing online.)  Renewals can also be emailed, mailed or phoned in.  Items can also be brought into any library for renewal. Recalled items cannot be renewed.


When another library needs an item, or an instructor has requested that material be placed on course reserve, a recall notice is placed. A recall notice is sent (usually via e-mail) informing you that a new due date is in effect.

Everyone is guaranteed ten days with material (for materials due 4-weeks or longer) and then it may be subject to recall. Material recalled for course reserve has no guaranteed period. Most recalled material is due 10 days from the date the recall notice is sent. You are encouraged to request material from another academic library if you wish; otherwise, material recalled from you cannot be recalled back.

Late fees for recalls are high, and having overdue recalled material will block you from checking out any new material.

The University of Iowa Libraries has generous loan periods and renewal policies. The recall system is a way to ensure that material needed by others is accessible.


If you are unable to locate an item that should be on the shelf, contact staff at a service desk to initiate a search.  If it is located, you will receive a notice that it is on hold for you.  The item will remain on search for you for a year.

Courtesy/Overdue Notice

One courtesy notice will be sent just before the due date and one overdue notice will be sent after the item is due.  Please contact staff at the library that sent the notice if you have any questions or concerns about the notice.

Fines and Book Charges

  • Overdue recalls – $4.00 per day fine; maximum fine $40.00

All library charges appear on University of Iowa Cashier’s Office statements.  If an item is billed, both the maximum fine and the item replacement cost charge will appear on the statement.  When the billed item is returned, library staff will process a credit for the item replacement cost (the fine is not refunded) towards your account at the Cashier’s Office.


Off-campus access to library databases and resources is not available, due to licensing restrictions.  For further information, please see the Access to Commercial Databases policy and the Appropriate use of Electronic Resources policy.

Library cards are issued only to individuals, not to groups or businesses.  The individual named on the card takes financial responsibility for each item checked out on the card.

A card may be revoked if a holder demonstrates poor borrowing habits (e.g., repeatedly returning materials overdue, failure to respond immediately to recall notices, or violation of the “personal use only” guideline).

A librarian may restrict any cardholder from borrowing normally circulating materials in collections for which s/he is responsible if, in the librarian’s opinion, such a loan will interfere with the needs of the UI community.  The UI Libraries are not intended to take the place of a public library – they are intended primarily for the use of UI students, faculty and staff.

revised 9/16