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Damaged Library Materials Policy


If materials appear damaged upon check-out, library personnel note the damage and the date of discovery in borrowing records. It is highly recommended that patrons point out suspected damage to library personnel at the time of check-out. Milner Library charges fees when library materials are returned in a damaged condition. Damaged materials are assessed by library personnel trained in conservation. Patrons are billed for either a repair fee or full replacement costs, depending on the extent of the damage.

Damaged Copies

Patrons are not charged for normal wear and tear on library materials. However, the following conditions do not constitute normal wear and tear and may result in repair or replacement charges:

  • Wet or moldy books

  • Books damaged by food stains, oily or sticky residue

  • Books missing pages or covers

  • Books containing marking by pencil, ink or highlight marker

  • Books showing tears, cuts, graffiti or other unusual damage 

Repair and Replacement Costs

Repair costs are at the discretion of library personnel and are determined based on the particular circumstances of each case.

If library personnel conclude library material is irreparable and must be withdrawn from the library’s collection, patrons are charged the replacement costs. In most cases, replacement costs are $50, plus a $10 non-refundable processing fee. In some cases, the value of library materials exceeds $50 and patrons will be charged the actual replacement costs.

Damaged or Lost Pieces

Many materials in the library have multiple pieces, such as educational kits, media equipment, music scores, and media. It is the patron’s responsibility to return all pieces. If an essential piece is broken or lost, Milner Library will charge the patron for the repair or for the replacement cost of the piece. Essential pieces are those that are necessary for materials to be usable or educationally meaningful.

If the item requires an essential piece and that piece is lost and not replaceable, the patron will be billed for the replacement cost of the entire item. For example, parts of music scores are often very hard to replace, and a new score must then be purchased.

Replacement or repair costs are at the discretion of library personnel and are determined based on the particular circumstances of each case. Patrons are generally charged for repairs to equipment at cost and for replacement pieces at retail price.

Items are thoroughly checked by library personnel upon each return, so missing or damaged pieces will be billed to the last borrowing patron upon discovery. It is highly recommended that each patron verify that all pieces are present upon check-out and return.

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Milner Library
Campus Box 8900
201 North School St.
Normal, Il 61790-8900
Phone: 309.438.3451

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Last Updated: 9/28/12