Borrowing Options

Late, Lost, or Damaged Items

Lost or Damaged Materials Policy at Decker Library.

At Decker Library, we strive to make borrowing materials as convenient as possible. Here's what you need to know about returning items and our policy on lost or damaged materials.

Returning Items After Hours:

Even if the library is closed, you can still return items. Simply use the drop box located at the main entrance of the library (first floor, Bunting Center).

Decker Items: Lost or Damaged Materials Policy

At Decker Library, we want to make borrowing as easy as possible. While we don't charge fines for overdue materials, it's important to return items on time. Here's what you need to know:

  • If an item is not returned within one month past its due date, it will be considered lost.
  • In the case of a lost item, the borrower will be charged the full replacement cost, along with a $25.00 processing fee per item.
  • If you have lost or damaged materials, you have the option to provide a new copy in lieu of paying the replacement cost.

We appreciate your cooperation in returning materials promptly, so they can be enjoyed by others in the MICA community.

Interlibrary Loan Fines and Fees:

When borrowing materials from other libraries through interlibrary loans, different rules may apply.

  • Any fines or fees levied by the borrowing library will be passed on to the user.

Need Assistance?

If you have any questions or concerns about fines, holds, or returning items, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help you navigate the process and ensure a smooth borrowing experience.

Why Decker Doesn't Charge Fines

Decker Library's decision to not charge overdue fines is a reflection of our commitment to MICA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals and the library's mission to make information accessible to all. This fine-free policy resonates with a broader movement in the library community. In January 2019, the American Library Association (ALA) labeled monetary library fines as "a form of social inequity," urging libraries to move towards eliminating them. We recognize that fines can create an economic barrier to information access, particularly for library users with limited income. The fear of incurring debt may deter some individuals from utilizing library resources, and once a fine is incurred, they are less likely to visit the library again. Interestingly, studies have shown that small fines do not significantly impact return rates or adherence to policies, further supporting our decision to eliminate them. We're also following the lead of other libraries, such as Enoch Pratt Free Library, which went fine-free in 2018. By removing fines, Decker Library emphasizes its commitment to equity, inclusivity, and the free flow of information, fostering a more welcoming and supportive environment for our community.