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Cambridge University Library


Overdue items
It is your responsibility to manage your Library borrowing and either to return or renew your items on time. Failure to do so means other Library users are delayed in accessing items that they may urgently need.  Library fines are charged as an incentive to encourage responsible borrowing.

We help you to avoid fines by sending you an email to let you know if any of your items are due to be returned.  If an item does go overdue, we will send you an email to inform you of this.  You are required to ensure that we have your up-to-date email address and that your email client's spam filter will allow the email to be received.

Any borrower who fails to return an item in time will be fined 25 pence for each working day that elapses before the item is returned.  If the item has been recalled and is overdue, the fine will be 50 pence for each working day.

If you have outstanding fines, you won't be able to borrow any more items until your fine has been paid. You may renew items with a fine on your account. You may renew your items once only, either online or in person.

Overdue items on Cambridge University staff accounts

There are no fines on overdue books for staff members. For overdue recalled books, the fine is £1.50.  

How do I pay my fines?

  • Pay fines by cash or cheque at the Reader Services Desk, in the main University Library Entrance Hall. Fines over £5 may be paid by card.

Lost books
If you have lost an item which you have borrowed from the Library’s collections the loss must be reported as soon as possible to the staff at the Reader Services Desk in the Entrance Hall (tel. 01223 333030) or by email to

Lost items can be a serious inconvenience to the academic community and it is imperative that they are replaced promptly.

Library staff will investigate a suitable replacement for the lost item and contact you once this has been found. Please note that there will also be an administrative fee. The lost item will need to be replaced before you can use the Library again. You can pay online or by cash or cheque in Reader Registration.

If posting a cheque to cover the replacement cost, please make it payable to "The University of Cambridge". Please send the cheque to: Reader Registration, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DR. Please include your name, address and Library barcode (the alpha-numeric code on the University/Library card that begins with a “V”) with your cheque.

Stolen books
Stolen books should be reported to the Reader Services Desk, as above.

If a police report or crime number is submitted to the Reader Services Desk, the Library will waive the administrative fee for replacing the book.  The replacement cost of the book will still need to be paid.