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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 objective 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.

2.1.1 University 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.

2.1.2 External 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 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 YU-Card card must be reported immediately to the YU-Card Office. Borrowers will be held accountable for transactions on their card until the library is notified of theft.  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.


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 stack books: Books and other materials designated for regular loan normally may be borrowed for 120 days by Faculty, Graduate, Undergraduate students and staff. Unless requested by another borrower, these materials have unlimited renewals.

3.1.2 Reserve Loan: Books and other materials in Reserve collections normally may be borrowed by University borrowers for periods ranging from 3 to 24-hours as determined by each Reserve unit. These materials may not be renewed.

3.1.3 Loan Limit: Faculty, Graduate, Undergraduate students and staff loan limit is 500 items. The loan limit for other borrowers is 15 items. 

3.1.4 Renewal: Borrowers may renew circulating materials (excluding reserves) online using the My Library Account option. It is the responsibility of the user to confirm whether the renewal worked. Renewals may not work due to renewal limits, holds, fines, etc. 

3.2. Recalls: Regular loan items are subject to recall at any time. If an item is recalled, its due date is 7 days from the date of recall. The library will notify you by email of any changes affecting your loans.

3.2.1. 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 print law reports, statutes, and digests. The Sound and Moving Image Library, Map Library, Scott Library Microtext Collection have restricted lending policies. These policy statements may be found in the regulations associated with the Lending Code.


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 or through Inter-Library Loans must be returned to the area from which they were borrowed. Maps and SMIL items must be returned to the Scott Circulation desk. For borrowers at the Glendon campus, Reserve, Inter-Library loans, and Map Library materials may be returned at the Frost Library Circulation Desk. In these cases, the 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 Inter-library Loan: York University Libraries will endeavour 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 Inter-Library 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

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 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 Fines/Fees

6.1.1 Bills are calculated when recalled material is not returned and for reserve loans. Materials are not due on days when the Libraries are closed. There is a maximum overdue recall fine of $56.00 per item on regular loans and $100.00 per item on overdue reserve loans. Fine payments are not refundable.

6.1.2 Fines/Fees schedule: 

Overdue Stacks No fines
Overdue Media (e.g. film, sound) No fines
Overdue Bound Periodicals No fines
YUL - Overdue Recalls Regular stacks: $4.00/day to max $56

Media & Maps: $10/day to max $100

YUL - Overdue Reserves Regular reserves (24 hours): $5.00/day to max $100

Short reserves (<24 hours): $3.00/hour to max $100

Osgoode Hall Law Library - Overdue Reserves Core: $15.00/day to max $100

Reserve: $3.00/hour to max $100

Equipment/Accessories: $3.00/hour to max $100

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.

6.2 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 30 days for regular stack materials. Borrowers losing or failing to return materials, or returning materials in damaged condition are subject to a $125.00 charge to cover the cost of replacing the material, plus any outstanding fines. In lieu of the $125.00 replacement charge, after consultation with library staff, it is possible to purchase an acceptable replacement copy. All materials remain the property of 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 designated staff of the unit concerned
  2. Appeal Stage 1: to the manager of that Library/Department
  3. Appeal Stage 2: to the Dean of Libraries/Chief Law Librarian