Library institutes lost book charge

By Jennifer Freeberg

NIU libraries are taking a stand against the problem of lost books.

As of Monday a lost book charge will be in effect. A borrower who loses a book must pay a $50 fine or the cost of the book, whichever is higher.

“A person will be charged only when it is clearly determined that the book is lost,” said Elizabeth Titus, assistant director for Public Services for University Libraries.

“We will search the shelves before officially determining that the book is lost,” Titus said. If there is a disagreement over whether the book is lost, it can be appealed to the Library Appeals Board, she said.

Titus said the policy was started because the previous policy “didn’t reflect the real cost of the books.”

She said she feels the $50 fee, reflecting book market cost, is adequate. “The average cost of a book is $40,” Titus said, adding “not all books are replaceable.”

Students will be notified of a charge through the mail. The policy will include every NIU library.

Some students, however, disagree with the new policy.

“I think the $50 fee is too high considering the cost of the book,” said Sandy Carlson, a sophomore pre-business major.

Ray Stell, a sophomore pre-business major does not agree with the $50 fine. “I’d rather go with the book price,” he said.

“The $50 fee is ridiculous for a $15 book. I think replacing the cost of the book is sufficient,” said Sarah Giffin, a freshman English major.

Borrowers using the intralibrary loan system are also suject to lost book charges from the library the book was checked out of, Titus said.