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Lending Code

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

1. General

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 and knowledge production tools. 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 Making & Media Creation Lab equipment, to borrow materials for an extended loan period, to borrow through Inter-Library Loan, and to receive an Inter-University Borrowing Project card.

2. Borrowers

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. Some exceptions apply for the Making & Media Creation Labs.

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 (must be 16 years of age or older) 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 borrow materials from the Map Collection, the Sound and Moving Image Collection, the Making & Media Creation Labs, 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 YU-Card Office. Borrowers will be held accountable for transactions on their card until the library is notified of theft or loss.  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.

3. Loan Periods

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 University Borrowers. 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. Making & Media Creation Lab equipment normally may be borrowed by University Borrowers for one week (seven calendar days).

3.1.3 Loan Limit: For University Borrowers, the loan limit is 500 items. The loan limit for other borrowers is 15 items. The loan limit for individual items in the Making & Media Creation Labs' collection is available on the Equipment Loans page.

3.1.4 Renewal: University Borrowers may renew circulating materials (excluding reserves and Making & Media Creation Lab equipment) 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 after which point, charges will accrue. 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 include reference books, rare books, archival material and print law reports, statutes, and digests. The Sound and Moving Image Collection, Map Collection, and Scott Library Microtext Collection have restricted lending policies.  Some non-circulating materials may be circulated for a limited loan period upon application to and, at the discretion of, the Manager, Access Services.

4. Return of Materials

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, the Making & Media Creation Labs, and SMIC must be returned to the area from which they were borrowed. Maps must be returned to the Scott Circulation Desk. For borrowers at the Glendon campus, Reserve, interlibrary loan and Map Collection materials may be returned through 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. Resource Sharing

5.1 Inter-Library Loan: The 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), Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universitiés du Québec (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.

6. Sanctions

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. Fines payments are not refundable.

6.1.2 Fines/Fees schedule: 

Overdue StacksNo fines
Overdue Media (e.g. film, sound)No fines
Overdue Bound PeriodicalsNo fines
YUL - Overdue RecallsRegular stacks: $4.00/day to max $56

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

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

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

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

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

Making & Media Creation Lab - Overdue$5/day to a max of the value of the overdue item

6.2 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. In the Making & Media Creation Labs, temporary suspensions of borrowing privileges may be enacted in response to repeated incidents of overdue equipment.

6.3 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 and MCL loans, and 30 days for regular stack materials. Borrowers losing or failing to return library 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.  

Making & Media Creation Labs – Lost or damaged equipment must be reported to the Making & Media Creation Labs as soon as possible. Equipment is assumed lost and charges for the cost of replacing the items are levied after 15 days following the due date. Replacement or repair costs will be assessed on an item-by-item basis. 

The charges are determined annually by the Dean of Libraries. All materials remain the property of the York University Libraries. 

6.4 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. Appeals

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. Inquiries can be submitted via email to  

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 
  1. Appeal Stage 1: to the Manager, Access Services or Director, Making & Media Creation Labs.  
  1. Appeal Stage 2: to the Dean of Libraries 

8. Osgoode Law Library

8.1 Information regarding the Law Library’s lending policies can be found on the Law Library website.