Library Fines and Fees

This FAQ answer has several sections. Scroll down to see headers.

What's the policy? Harvard Library no longer charges overdue fees for general loans. We still charge for overdue recalls, as well as overdue Reserves and other short-term loan items, and we charge for lost or long overdue materials. See the Fines and Fees page of our website for more detail.

Why am I being fined? To see how these apply to you, you can log in to your HOLLIS account (sign in, then click on my account. If you're signed in but don't see My Account, click on your name to make it appear) and look under "Fines and Fees" to see specific materials listed. *Once they're sent on to TermBill or Accounts Payable (see below), the information will no longer show up in HOLLIS. The Library Billing Office staff can explain the fines and discuss the situation once material has been returned.

How can I pay my library fines? Replacement fees for lost or long overdue materials vary depending on the item and library. Fines for late return of reserve items and other short term loans vary between libraries - please check with the individual library for precise information. 

You can pay most fines using a credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or Crimson Cash at the Harvard Library Billing Office, on the main floor, Room 130, during business hours.  The office accepts credit cards; it is not possible to pay online. For further information please contact the office: or (617) 495-4166. 

After a certain period of time charges are transferred to financial offices. Once a bill has gone to Accounts Receivable or the Term Bill office (Student Accounts), all payments must be made directly to them.

  • For students, the charges are applied automatically to term bills if not paid in X time. Fines must be paid before a student can graduate.
  • For faculty, staff and special borrowers, fines unpaid by the end of each month are processed through accounts receivable.

For more information, see Harvard Library Fines and Fees or contact Harvard Library Billing Office at or 617-496-3015.

How can I dispute this fine? Fines are only charged for recalled items, so removing fines is uncommon. To discuss it with someone, contact the Library Billing Office: or 617-495-4166 after the item has been returned.

I returned the material I’m being charged for! Contact the Circulation department at the Harvard library you borrowed the book from. If you're not sure which Harvard library to contact, contact Widener: 617-495-2414.

I didn’t get a recall notice. Auto-generated courtesy emails are sent for notification of recalls and upcoming renewal times. Unfortunately, emails sometimes go astray. Patrons are responsible for monitoring their library borrowing and you can always see when your books are due using the "my account" feature in HOLLIS

It’s probably a good idea to check with Library Access and Borrowing to see if we have the correct email address for you. 

  • For Harvard ID holders, we'll have the email address in the central Harvard University identity database. To change this address, call the ID Office phone number on the back of your ID card.
  • For special borrowers, we have the email address you gave in your application form and you can change it with the Library Access and Borrowing office.



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