The University of Alabama
University Libraries Circulation Privileges
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Five types of patrons may borrow materials from the University Libraries - Faculty and administrative professional staff, staff, undergraduates, graduate students, and other.


In keeping with Alabama State Law, all patron records are confidential. The University Libraries will release an individual's circulation records only upon written request of University Legal Counsel and only to University Legal Counsel.

Under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy act) the University Libraries may release only fine/fee information to someone other than the student if there is a signed FERPA release on file.  We must verify the name of the person prior to releasing any information.


All patrons are required to provide proper identification. UA Faculty, administrative staff, professional staff, and currently enrolled students who are listed in the automated system must provide an ACTion card. Patrons from groups not listed in the automated system must provide current picture ID and official proof of status.

If a patron does not have proper identification available, materials will be held at the circulation desk for up to 24 hours.


The borrower receives the due date when checking out material. The borrower is responsible for meeting the due date and can check due dates online by accessing My Library Account. Overdue notices are sent when the material is overdue by 10 days. Failure to receive an overdue reminder does not remove the responsibility of the borrower for meeting each due date and returning the items. Educational curriculum materials cannot be renewed.


Loan periods vary, depending on patron group and the type of material.

  • Books and government documents:
    • Undergraduate students - 30 days, 3 renewals; 50 items total
    • Faculty - Fixed due dates of January 31, May 31, and September 30;
      all items due May 31 must be brought into the library for renewal; 300 items total
    • Retired Faculty, Administrative Staff, Graduate Students - Fixed due dates of January 31, May 31, and September 30;
      all items due May 31 must be brought into the library for renewal; 200 items total
    • Visiting Scholar, Adjuncts, Special Faculty (ie. Geological Survey), System Employees Staff - 30 days, 3 renewals; 100 items
    • Borrower's Card patrons - 30 days, 1 renewal; 5 items total
  • Sound recordings, DVDs, and videos:
    • Faculty - 14 days, 1 renewal
    • Graduate students - 14 days, 1 renewal
    • Undergraduate students - 3 days
    • Staff - 3 days
    • All other patrons - In-library use only
  • Bound Periodicals
    • Faculty - 5 days, 1 renewal
    • Graduate students - 5 days, 1 renewal
    • All other patrons - In-library use only
  • Course Reserve Materials

    Reserve materials circulate for a limited amount of time. Check-out periods are:

    • 2 hours (in-library use only)
    • 4 hours (in-library use only)
    • End of day (in-library use only)
    • Overnight
    • 2 days
    • 4 days
    • 7 days
    • 10 days

    All reserve items must be returned to the appropriate library's reserve desk.

  • Current Periodicals
    • Current periodicals can not be checked out. They may be used only in the libraries.
  • Special Materials

    There are some materials that have shorter loan periods for all patron groups (30 days). These special materials may not be renewed.



Fines for overdue items are assessed to students, staff, and "others" at the following rates:

Books: $.25 per day with a maximum of $10.00 per item.
Recalled items:$1.00 per day beginning 10 days from the date of recall notice.
Course reserve items:

Hourly:$1.00 per hour or fraction thereof; maximum of $20.00 per item
Daily: $2.00 per day; $20.00 maximum per item.

Bound periodicals: $1.00 per day with a maximum of $20.00 per item

Student fines must be paid at Student Receivables. Staff and all "other" patrons will be notified of their fines via letter from the library and must be paid at the library by check or money order.


All patrons are charged for books that reach the status of long overdue and are declared lost. The charge is $65.00 which include $45.00 for the replacement cost of the book, $10.00 for processing fees, and $10.00 maximum overdue fine.

Payment of fines for long overdue or lost materials must be made in accordance with the fines collection policy.

The library will not accept a copy of a lost book in lieu of payment. If a lost book is returned within one year of being billed and paid for, the library will refund the replacement costs ($45.00) but not the fines or processing fee. If a book is stolen from a patron while it is checked out to him/her and the theft can be documented through a police report, the patron will not be charged the cost of the book.


A patron needing an item that is checked out to another patron may request a recall on that item. When a recall is placed, the patron who borrowed the item is notified by letter to bring it back to the library. This letter gives the original borrower 10 days to return the item. Failure to return the item within 10 days from the date of the letter will result in a $1.00 per day fine.

When the recalled item is returned, the patron who placed a recall will be notified by letter. Recalled items are held at the circulation desk for 10 days. If they have not been picked up by the requesting patron by the end of the 10 day period, the item will be returned to the stacks.

The library may recall an item immediately for use in course reserve. When this happens, the patron who borrowed the item has 3 days to bring the item back to the library.

"Other" patrons may not recall items.

A patron who is interested in an item that is checked out to another patron but does not need it immediately may place a hold on the item. When the item is returned, the patron who requested the hold will be notified by letter that the item is available at the circulation desk.

3/21/01; 02/22/13