Physics Research Library: Circulation, Renewals, Fines

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All holders of a valid Harvard University ID card and Widener Special Borrower card may borrow monographs from our library. The loan period for all monographs is 28 days, regardless of the borrower's status, with the exception of Course Reserves (see below).

Course Reserve Books:
Items marked "Course Reserve Book" circulate overnight only and are due by 1:00pm the following business day.

Audio/Visual Materials:
VHS tapes and DVDs circulate for a period of three days.

In general, periodical publications, either bound or unbound, may not leave the library. We will, however, make exceptions on a case-by-case basis; if, for whatever reason, you need to check out a journal, please do not hesitate to come to the library and speak with us.


You may renew library materials directly through HOLLIS by clicking on "My Account" and logging in using your University (or Special Borrowers) ID and PIN number. Click on "Loans" to view the books you have checked out and click on "Renew All" to renew them.

Harvard University faculty, students and staff may request a PIN at Special Borrowers must go in person to the Widener Library Privileges Office, Room 130, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:45pm.

Books may be renewed in person or online up to a limit of five times. If you need the book longer than this, you will have to bring it into the library for renewal by a library staff member.

Course Reserve books may be renewed up to three times, providing that there is another copy of that book on the shelf at the time of renewal. Please renew Course Reserves in person or by phone only.


The overdue fine per book is $0.50 per day.
The maximum fine that can be charged for any overdue book will be $28.00.
The grace period for books, which circulate on the 28 day period, is 3 days.
If the overdue book goes beyond the 56 day period, the patron will be charged for the replacement cost of the book, plus the $28.00 fine.

Course Reserve books have no grace period, and the fine is $1.00 per day.

Examples of how the fine and grace period interact:
If a patron returns a book 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days after it is due, there is no fine. If the patron returns an overdue book on the 4th day, there is a $2.00 fine ($0.50 X 4 days)--this is the minimum amount the Term Bill office will consider before placing the charge on any student's term bill. For 5 days overdue, the fine is $2.50; for 6 days overdue, the fine is $3.00, etc., up unto 56 days overdue, when the maximum fine of $28.00 is reached.

If the book is not returmnd at that point, it will be considered lost and the patron will be charged a replacement cost of $75 per book, in addition to the accrued fines.

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