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Monday, January 12, 2015

Fines and fees and how to avoid them

About Fines

You will be fined if books are overdue (returned after the due date) or the book is lost or is so overdue it is declared 'lost'*.

Overdue Fines
Overdue fines only show when the overdue book is returned. If you are in habit of getting fines please check your account regularly to see if books are overdue. They could be increasing daily. Note overdue short loan and recalled items have very high fines. See the fine amounts page on our website. To help you avoid fines we will renew your books for you if no one has requested them (up to your renewal limit) . See more about auto-renewals and how to avoid fines below.

Lost book fines
Lost book replacement fines are incurred if a book you borrowed is lost by you. Lost book fines are applied to your account when you tell us a book is lost or when the book has been overdue for more than 60 days (at which point the library system changes the status from 'overdue' to 'lost'). If a lost book is found, the lost book fine is refunded but the overdue fine must still be paid.

Consequences of having fines and fees:

  • If unpaid fines (for all your overdue items) total more than $5 you will be blocked from borrowing.
  • If unpaid fines or lost book fees total more than $50 you will be blocked from many Unitec services and may be subject to debt collection procedures. See section 4.9 of the Library Policy.
Your borrowed book/item will be automatically renewed 3 days before the due date, unless someone else has requested it or you’ve reached your renewal limit. If the item can’t be renewed, we will send you an email reminding you to return it.

Recalled items
If someone wants an item you have, it gets recalled. You will be notified of the new, earlier, due date by email.Note overdue fines for recalled books are much higher than normal books.

How to avoid fines and fees:
  • Return short loan items on time as they have very high overdue fines
  • Return recalled items as soon as you get notified as they have very high overdue fines
  • Check your email regularly - we we will send you a reminder just before a book is due
  • Check your library account online regularly to see when books are due
  • Use the self check machine to borrow books and opt to get a printed due date receipt.


  • You will get a reminder via email when books are due. 
  • You will be notified by email when the system makes a book's status 'lost' .
  • Reminders about outstanding fines and fees are notified to you monthly via email in your Library activity report. Note this monthly activity report is new from the beginning of 2015 - we did not do this in earlier years.


The first point of contact regarding fines and fees is the Customer Service Assistants at each branch. Contact them via the branch phone number or email address on our 'contact us' web page.

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