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FAQs about Fines

No, borrowed items fall into three groups to which different fines regimes apply.

Yes, even if you have no outstanding fines and all your other borrowed items are still within their due dates, you will remain suspended from all library services involving the use of your barcode if you have one item more than fourteen days past its due date.

When you return the book, the fine will be calculated and added to your account. If your total outstanding fines are less than €50, the suspension will be lifted.                           

Following current Library rules you can renew books four times before they are due for return and normally the loan will be extended for one month.

Books on loan may not be renewed and must be returned if any of the following apply:

  • they have been renewed once already
  • they have been reserved by another user 
  • they are ILL books
  • you are suspended from the Library because of too many overdue books or unpaid fines

Loan renewal is the user's responsibility. You cannot renew by telephone or email. When you can't renew a book yourself, you must return it to the Library by its due date or risk a fine.

ILL cannot be renewed by you. Two weeks before an ILL is due for return, you can ask the ILL Service to request an extension from the lending library which may or may not grant it at its discretion.

Suspension only applies to library services requiring the use of your barcode. You may still enter the Library and consult books and online resources.

However, the following will not be possible:

  • borrowing
  • renewing existing loans
  • requesting ILLs
  • off campus access to eResources

The courtesy notice is the first of a series of communications you will receive from the Library concerning overdue books. If you do not return the book before its due date, you will receive a series of emails informing you of the increasingly serious consequences of not doing so. Apart from having to pay a fine, these sanctions include suspension from library services, being billed for the default cost of the book, being billed for the real cost of replacing the book and, in serious cases, notifying the Institute's authorities.
It is the responsibility of users to check their loan records and return books on time. Library e-mails are sent only as reminders.

Three days before a book falls due, you will receive a message from the Library asking you to renew the book (where possible) or to return it by the due date or otherwise risk paying a fine. The courtesy notice is a reminder of what you will already know from regularly checking your loan record and any discrepancies between your loan record and what you believe to be the case should be communicated immediately to the Library.
Courtesy notices are not sent for items (reserve material and software CD ROMs) borrowed on overnight loan.

All items borrowed by a user are registered in the Library system as due for return on a certain date. Normally this date falls one month (thirty calendar days) after the date the book was borrowed. However, under certain circumstances, the loan may be for a shorter or a longer period:

  • Inter-library loans (ILLs) have due dates set by the library which sent the book
  • Institute holidays, when the EUI is closed, can have the effect of extending the due date to the next day the EUI is open
  • If your library rights are about to expire within the coming month, normal loans will be given a corresponding due date.

At the moment of loan, a pro-memoria date slip may be issued by the Library. From the point of view of the fines system, this date slip serves only as a reminder to the user. The official due date is the one registered in the Library loans system which you can see by looking at your loan record.

It is your responsibility to know and observe the due date of any book you borrow from the Library. To check the due date of any borrowed item you, open the tab "checkouts" in My Account. You will see a list of items on loan to you, the due date and an option for requesting renewal. Overdue books not yet returned will have an indication of the amount of the total fine accumulated for each book up to that moment in time. You can also check the total amount of your outstanding fines for overdue books already returned and any automatic bills issued for books not returned within one month of the due date. It is important that you check your Library record before you leave the EUI for any length of time because any book falling overdue during the period of your absence will be charged the usual fines.


Fines for an overdue book are calculated automatically by the system at the moment when the book is checked in. Any book returned after the expiry of the Grace Period will be subject to a fine calculated at the rate of €0.50 per working day; Saturdays and Sundays and EUI holidays are not counted in the calculation.
The amount of the fine will be visible on your loan record. The daily fine rate for normal books increases to €1 per day after fourteen working days and the potential fine continues to accumulate for up to one month after the due date. At this point, the Library considers the book lost and a bill is automatically issued for the default cost of the book (see Bills for non-returned books ).
You can see the accumulated fine on an overdue item in your account.

Once the fine threshold of €50 has been reached or exceeded, you will be suspended from the library services and will remain suspended until the total fine is paid. Suspension will not be lifted by paying enough of the outstanding fines to bring your total once again below the threshold.

Yes, once the due date has passed the Library system starts calculating the fine to be paid when the item is returned. If you plan to be away from Florence, you should first check whether you have any items due for return during the period you are away, bearing in mind that they may not be renewable (because they have been renewed once already or because another reader has reserved them or because you have been suspended for another reason and your library account is blocked).

You can either pay all your outstanding fines and renew the other overdue books (where possible) or else return all your overdue books to the Library immediately and pay your outstanding fines subsequently.

You can pay your fine in the Library (Library Coordinator’s Office on the entrance floor) by ATM/credit card only from Monday to Friday, during normal office hours.

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Suspension from library services happens automatically if you have not returned an overdue book after fourteen calendar days or if you for have incurred more than the threshold amount of unpaid fines and bills currently set at €50. All library services involving the use of your library barcode (including borrowing and external access to e-resources) will cease to function.

Suspension is lifted when the book has been returned and/or the accrued fines/bills paid.                           

If you have still not returned a book within one month of its due date, the Library considers it lost and you will automatically receive a default bill for the cost of replacing the book. The default bill can also be thought of as a 'superfine' because even if you return the book after that date, you will still be liable for the amount on the bill issued and for any extra costs the Library incurs in acquiring an extra copy in the meantime. However, if you return the book before the Library has started its replacement procedure, you will avoid paying the full replacement costs.                    

Once a month has passed after the issuing of a default bill, the Library will estimate the full replacement cost of the lost item and will debit your library account with any excess over €50.

A bill for the cost of replacing a non-returned book is automatically issued by the system if the book is more than one month overdue. The bill consists of a default cost of €50 PLUS an administrative fee of €20. Once a bill is issued you must pay it , even if you return the book subsequently, or your suspension will continue indefinitely. Furthermore, if the Library has decided in the meantime to proceed with the replacement of the book, you are liable for any difference between the default replacement cost and the actual costs of replacing the book. If the Library decides not to replace the lost item immediately, you are still liable for any difference between the default cost and the historic or current replacement cost of the book. You will not be refunded in cases where the default cost is less than either the historic or replacement costs.

You will avoid having to pay full replacement costs if you return the book before the replacement process has begun or within one month of the default bill being issued                           

In order to provided users with some leeway, fines are not charged on some overdue items if they are returned within a reasonable amount of time which is known as the Grace Period. Once the Grace Period is over, fines are charged retroactively to the day when the item became overdue.
The length of the Grace Period varies from item to item: for normal library books it is five days; for overnight loans it is one day. There is no Grace Period for inter-library loans. Full details are available in the Explanatory Tables for Library Fines.

The automatic fines system is activated on the first working day after a borrowed item was due for return and any fines eventually charged will be estimated from this day.

Every item you borrow is assigned a date by when it should be returned. You can see the due date in View Your Own Record.
A normal borrowed book becomes overdue on the first working day after the due date of return. In principle, the fines mechanism has been triggered and you will be fined €0.50 for every working day or portion of a day the book has not been returned. However in order to introduce a certain element of flexibility, fines will not be charged for the first five working days. This time is known as the Grace Period.
Other borrowed items (ILLs, overnight loans etc.) are subject to different rules governing the length of the Grace Period, the initial daily fine and the increase in the daily fine. Full details are available in the Explanatory Tables for Library Fines.

The fines system is configured to take into account only the working days of the Library which are from Monday to Friday when the Institute is open. Sundays and other days on which the Institute is closed are not counted as working days. Although the Library is open on many Saturdays of the year, these are not counted as working days. All fines are calculated according to the number of working days the book has been overdue.
Please note that the loan period - which is the number of days for which a book or other borrowable item can be taken on loan - is set in terms of calendar days, not working days. A book is given on loan for thirty calendar days (including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) from the date of issue. However, if the library system sees that the Institute is closed thirty days from the date of issue (because of week-ends or holidays), it calculates the due date as the next EUI working day. For example, a book issued on November 25th will not be due back on December 25th but on the first day when the EUI re-opens in January. Once the due date has passed, the fines system calculates exclusively in terms of working days which means that fines will not be charged on overdue books for those days when the Institute was closed.

If you return the book after the due date but before the end of the Grace Period, you will not be fined. If you return the book after the Grace Period has finished, you will be fined at the daily rate starting from the day after the book was due back. The Grace Period for a normal book is five working days. So, for example, if your book was due back on Wednesday 1st June the Grace Period will end on Thursday 9th June (Saturday and Sunday are not counted as working days). If you bring back the book on or before 8th June, you will not be fined. If you bring back the book on June 9th, you will be fined cumulatively for the six days it was overdue.
Please note that there is no Grace Period for inter-library loans and a Grace Period of only one day for overnight loans.

Page last updated on 05 September 2018

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