May 21, 2022

Harvard Library Eliminating Standard Overdue Fines

From The Harvard Crimson:

Harvard libraries will no longer charge 50 cent per day fees on overdue books.

The change, one of several detailed in a post on the Harvard Library system’s website, went into effect on April 1. Though standard fees have been eliminated, fees for overdue recalled material have been raised from two dollars a day to three dollars a day, with a 45 dollar maximum.


“We have witnessed firsthand the stress that overdue fines can cause for students,” [Steven] Beardsley, [Harvard’s associate director for access services administrative operations and special projects, continued.] “Eliminating standard overdue fines and standardizing loan periods across Harvard’s libraries should help students focus on their scholarship, rather than worrying about renewing library books every 28 days in order to avoid fines.”

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More From The Harvard Library:

The goals of these changes are to improve the user experience and embrace a “One Harvard” approach for borrowing material across Harvard Library service points. This simplified approach to loan rules and fines will benefit those who use Harvard’s library materials as well as library staff by reducing the amount of billing and renewal notices sent to Harvard scholars. With these policy revisions, Library leadership is optimistic that the system will be both more consistent across campus, and user-friendly for library patrons and public services staff.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.