Lending Code

  1. General
  2. Borrowers
  3. Loan Periods
  4. Return of Materials
  5. Resource Sharing
  6. Sanctions
  7. Appeals


1.1 The York University Libraries exist to meet the information needs of faculty, students and staff at this university.

1.2 The objectives of an academic library is the provision of effective access to recorded knowledge. Regulations, as stated in this Lending Code are essential to assure fair access for all members of the York community to the Libraries’ collections, services and facilities. These regulations include the designation of specific loan periods, the restriction on the circulation of certain library materials, the definition of borrower privileges, and the definition of access to and use of library services and facilities. Privileges vary according to borrower status and are granted subject to the continuing adherence to the established library regulations. These regulations are enforced by levying fines, suspending privileges and other sanctions as specified in the Lending Code.

1.3 To protect the privacy of users and their right to consult and borrow library materials without prejudice, it is the policy of the York University Libraries that information about the activities of individual borrowers, including materials used, is not released to any person, institution or agency, except as may be required in the application of sanctions.

1.4 The York University Libraries are open to everyone and all may consult materials in the Libraries or consult with library staff for assistance in using the collections or services. All registered library borrowers may borrow materials designated for regular loan. Other privileges which may be extended are the right to access electronic resources to borrow Reserve collection materials, to borrow materials for an extended loan period, to borrow through interlibrary loan (RACER), and to receive an Inter-University Borrowing Project card.


2.1 There are two categories of borrowers: University and External.

2.1.1University Borrowers include all faculty, students and staff of York University; faculty, students and staff affiliated with York University such as retired faculty and staff, field instructors, host teachers, adjunct professors, post-doctoral fellows, and visiting scholars.

2.1.2External Borrowers include faculty, students and staff at universities with which York has direct borrowing agreements; persons such as York University alumni and members of the public (excluding high school, community college and undergraduate students) upon payment of an annual fee; and other persons issued cards under special programs. Due to database licensing agreements, External Borrowers do not have remote access to periodical databases or some electronic journals. External borrowers cannot normally borrow materials from the Map Library, the Sound and Moving Image Library, or reserve collections.

2.2  A valid library card must be presented in order to borrow materials or to obtain other library services. For York University students the YU-Card is their library card. Library cards are not transferable. The person named on the card is responsible for all library transactions made with the card. The loss or theft of a card must be reported immediately to the Circulation staff in any of the York University Libraries. In addition, a lost YU card must be reported immediately to the YU card Office. Borrowers will be held accountable for transactions on their card until such notification is received.  Library staff check to see if the image in the circulation system is a match to the person signing out library materials, but in instances where this check is not made, or a misidentification occurs, this does not alleviate the user from overdue charges and other fines/fees.  The person named on the card is still responsible for all library transactions made with the card.


Loan periods for library materials are established to provide reasonable access to all members of the university community.

3.1 Circulating Materials

3.1.1 Regular Loan: Books and other materials designated for regular loan normally may be borrowed for 14 days. Unless requested by another borrower, these materials may be renewed to a maximum of six renewals by York University borrowers and twice by external borrowers. Items with more than one hold are loaned for 7 days only and are not renewable.

3.1.2 Reserve Loan: Books and other materials in Reserve collections normally may be borrowed by University borrowers for periods ranging from two hours to 3 days as determined by each Reserve unit. These materials may not be renewed.

3.1.3 Extended Loan: Faculty members, graduate students, and research associates will receive regular loan materials from the Scott, Steacie, Law and Frost Libraries for 100 days. Regular loans from Bronfman Business Library  are not eligible for extended loan privileges. Unless requested by another borrower, these materials may be renewed twice. Items borrowed on extended loan are subject to recall. The recall will automatically change the due date and the material will be due in 14 days.

3.1.4 Loan Limit: Faculty and graduate students, have a loan limit of 80 items at any given time; undergraduate students have a limit of 50; external borrowers have a limit of 15.

3.1.5 Renewal: Borrowers may renew circulating materials (excluding reserves) online using the My Library Account option. When using online renewal, it is the responsibility of the user to confirm whether the renewal worked. Renewals may not work due to renewal limits, holds, fines, etc. One can use the Check My Library account status to verify the new due dates.

3.2. Non-circulating Materials, Journals, both current and retrospective (unbound and bound) do not circulate. In addition each of the York University Libraries contain other material which does not circulate. Examples are: reference books, rare books, archival material and law reports. The Sound and Moving Image Library, Map Library and Scott Library Microtext Collection have restricted lending policies. These policy statements may be found in the regulations associated with the Lending Code. Some non-circulating materials may be circulated for a limited loan period upon application to and, at the discretion of, the head of that library.


4.1 Library materials must be returned on or before the date and/ or time due. Material found in the stacks that are not sensitized are considered returned on the date found.

4.2 All library materials, with the exception of those noted below, may be returned to the circulation desk in each of the York University Libraries or through library book drops. Materials borrowed from the Reserve collections and SMIL and Resource Sharing must be returned to the area from which they were borrowed. Maps must be returned to the Map Library or to the Scott Circulation desk when the Map Library is closed. For borrowers at the Glendon campus, Reserve, interlibrary loan (RACER) and Map Library materials may be returned through the Frost Library Circulation Desk. In these cases original due dates and times apply.

4.3 Notices are sent when materials are coming due, overdue or have been recalled for another borrower. The non-receipt of courtesy, overdue or recall notices does not relieve the borrower from liability for fines or other sanctions.


5.1 Interlibrary Loan: The York University Libraries will endeavor to locate and borrow library materials not available at York on behalf of authorized borrowers. Fees may be charged for this service and sanctions applied for failure to return interlibrary loan materials.

5.2 Direct Borrowing: York University has reciprocal borrowing agreements with members of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), Council of Atlantic University Libraries (CAUL/CBUA), Conference des recteurs et des principaux des universities du Quebec (CREPEQ), and the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL). For further information refer to the Canadian Universities Reciprocal Agreement at www.curba.ca.

5.2.1 Inter-University Borrowing Project or CREPUQ Carte de Presentation/Introductory Card: York University faculty and graduate students may apply for an Inter-University Borrowing Project (IUBP) card. This card may be used at participating universities in Quebec. IUBP cards are issued to and renewed for borrowers in good standing at the York University Libraries.


Sanctions, including the levying of fines, the assessment of charges for the replacement of library materials, and/or the suspension of library privileges may be applied for the failure to adhere to this Lending Code.

6.1 Fine Rates

6.1.1 Bills are calculated when overdue material is renewed or returned. Although materials are not due on days when the Libraries are closed, overdue fines accumulate. There is a maximum overdue fine of $25.00 per item on regular loans and $100.00 per item on Reserve loans. Fines payments are not refundable.

6.1.2 Fine rate on overdue stack loans: $.50 per day to a maximum of $25.00 per item. Fine rate on overdue recalled materials $1.00 per day to a maximum of $25.00 per item. Fine rate on all overdue hourly, overnight and weekend Law reserve materials as well as films and compact discs: $3.00 per hour/or any part thereof to a maximum of $100.00 per item. Fine rate on overdue daily reserve materials: $5.00 per day to a maximum of $100.00 per item.

6.1.3 Borrowing privileges are suspended when a borrower has overdue materials and/or charges owing. Borrowing privileges are suspended immediately for University borrowers with charges of $25.00 or more and for External borrowers with charges of $5.00 or more. The block at $25.00 for University borrowers or $5.00 for External borrowers includes both unpaid bills and charges accumulating on overdue materials not yet returned.

6.1.4 There is a charge of $40.00 for cheques returned by the bank.

6.2 Lost and Damaged Materials — Lost or damaged materials must be reported to the appropriate Circulation Department. Library materials are assumed lost and charges for the cost of replacing these materials are levied after 15 days following the due date for reserve loans, and 50 days for regular stack materials. Borrowers losing or failing to return materials, or returning materials in damaged condition are subject to a $60.00 charge to cover the cost of replacing the material, a $15.00 service charge, plus any outstanding fines. In lieu of the $60.00 replacement charge, after consultation with library staff it is possible to purchase an acceptable replacement copy. The service charge is not refunded if a book billed for replacement is found and returned. The charges are determined annually by the University Librarian. All materials remain the property of the York University Libraries.

6.3 Additional Sanctions — The following additional sanctions may be applied where appropriate: Withholding of transcripts, permission to re-register or permission to graduate. Potential graduates with charges of $25.00 or more may not be permitted to graduate until the charges are paid.


7.1 Inquiries concerning the application of the Lending Code may be made to the appropriate Circulation Department. Inquiries will be investigated and responded to if submitted in writing within 60 days of the due date.

7.2 All borrowers may appeal the application of fines or sanctions.

7.3 There are three possible steps in this process. At each stage in the process the borrower is provided with the opportunity to have the decision reviewed by the individual or committee with the particular responsibility for the application of the fines and/or sanctions. At each step the borrower is afforded the opportunity to provide additional information to assist the reviewer. Library staff will assist the borrower at each step in the process.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Petition: to the head or designated staff of the Circulation unit concerned
  2. Appeal Stage 1: to the head of that Library/Department
  3. Appeal Stage 2: to the University Librarian/Law Librarian