Lost or Damaged Library Materials Policy

Lost or Damaged Library Materials Policy

Library patrons who have damaged or lost library materials are required to pay a replacement cost or replace the item with an acceptable copy.

Items Not Returned

The Library considers an item lost once it is 30 days overdue and will charge the patron a replacement cost. Once the patron pays the replacement cost or brings in a replacement copy the transaction is complete. If the patron locates the item after this transaction, the Library will not issue a refund and will inform the patron they may keep the item.

Patrons may return the item within 365 days of the due date and the replacement cost will automatically be waived. Items will not be accepted if returned after 365 days from the due date. 

If the replacement cost exceeds $25 patrons will not be able to use their library account until the item is replaced or the charges fall below the $25 threshold.

Patrons who borrow Interlibrary loan materials from libraries outside of the Finger Lakes Library System will be charged for any lost or damaged item at the discretion of the lending library within their chosen timeframe and will not be waived.

Replacement Copies

The Library will accept a replacement copy for a lost/damaged under these conditions:

  1. The replacement copy needs to be new.  If the item is a DVD or CD, it needs to be in the original sealed packaging.
  2. The replacement copy needs to be the same edition as or newer than the item it is replacing.  For example, if a patron is replacing What Color is your Parachute? 2021, the Library will not accept the 2013 version.  Compare the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) of the lost/damaged copy with the replacement copy.  If unsure, patrons can opt to pay the replacement cost and TCPL will locate the proper replacement copy.
  3. Once a replacement copy has been accepted, the Library will not issue a refund even if it is located at a later date.

Replacement copies can be brought to the front Circulation Desk. Patrons should speak with a staff person who will accept the copy and clear the replacement cost off the account.

See also, TCPL's  Collection Development Plan.

Revision History


Approving by



Library Services & Policy Committee



Board of Trustees