What do my library charges mean?

Penfield Library does not charge overdue fines. We do charge a replacement fee for:

  • Items that were damaged while you had them checked out

  • Items that were lost

    If you have an overdue item, we will send you 3 notices to remind you to return the item. If we don't hear from you, we will assume the item is lost.

What are demerits?

Overdue fines disproportionately affect students experiencing financial hardship, so we do not charge them. However, we also recognize that consistently turning in items past their due date makes it harder for other students to make use of the resources we provide. Our demerit system provides consequences for repeatedly turning items in late, without adding to students' financial obligations.

One demerit is applied to a student's library account when an item is returned after its due date – or time, if it's an item with a 3-hour check-out period (ex. laptop, textbook on course reserves).

If a student earns 3 demerits within a 14-day period, their library account will be blocked for 7 days. This means that student will be unable to check out items until after the 7 days has passed.

After the 7 days have passed, the student's library account resets to 0 demerits.

How can I see more information about charges on my account?

You can:

How can I pay my charges?

At this time, the Library only accepts credit card payments through the campus' online payment portal.

Pay charges online

Can I purchase a replacement instead of paying a fee?

Yes! It may be more cost effective for you to purchase a replacement yourself. Our requirements are:

  • The replacement must be the same edition (or a newer edition).
  • The replacement must be the same format (i.e. a hardcover must be replaced with a hardcover).
  • The replacement can be used, but it must be in good condition.
  • If you purchase a used copy, it must not be a former library copy. (Other libraries' stamps, etc. may cause issues.)

If we find the replacement you've purchased doesn't meet these requirements, we'll contact you.

What happens if I can't pay my charges right now?

A hold may be placed on your library account when your library charges are over $25, which means that you will not be able to check out any items until the charges have been paid.

This will not have an effect on your college-wide student account - it will not keep you from registering, graduating, etc.

Holds that have been paid will be lifted from your account within 24 hours (or the next business day).

If it has been longer than 24 hours, or you need a hold lifted sooner, take your payment receipt to the Check-Out & Reserves Desk. Note: This service may not be available late nights or weekends; call first to find out.

How can I appeal a charge?

if you feel a charge is unjustified, you can appeal it.


If you have any questions, please contact the Check-Out & Reserves Desk at 315-312-2560 or at circdesk@oswego.edu