Policy No: 007
Approval Date: 8/17/05
Historical Notes: Revised August 29, 2006; August 14, 2013, September 9, 2016


The New Mexico State University Library circulates library resources to valid users based on library-defined borrower categories, item types, and loan periods.  The guidelines set forth below optimize the availability and use of library resources and promote equity of access to information.



  1. Faculty:  Currently employed by NMSU with faculty or exempt staff status.  This category also includes full- and part-time, emeritus, temporary, affiliated, and visiting faculty. Visiting faculty requires sponsorship by an NMSU academic department.
  2. Staff:  Currently employed by NMSU with non-exempt staff status.  This category also includes full- and part-time, temporary, affiliated, and all retired employees (except emeritus faculty - refer to above).
  3. Graduate Student:  Enrolled in NMSU graduate-level course(s) or a graduate-level program. Includes full- and part-time students and thesis and dissertation candidates.  This category also includes undergraduates with Crimson or Centennial Scholar status.
  4. Undergraduate Student:  Enrolled in NMSU courses full- or part-time.
  5. Guest:  Eligible to apply for and receive an NMSU Library Guest Card.  Includes:
    1. New Mexico residents; area middle and high school students with written parental consent; and visiting scholars with a letter of introduction from the home institution.
    2. NMSU Alumni with proof of current NMSU Alumni Association membership.


*These are considered regular loan periods, exceptions may apply.  See Circulation Loan Periods By Item Type for more specific information.
Borrower Category Item Limits Regular Loans Renewals
1. Faculty Unlimited 150 days 2
2. Staff Unlimited 60 days 2
3. Graduate Student Unlimited 120 days 2
4. Undergraduate 50 items 28 days 2
5. Guest 10 items 28 days 1
6. Alumni 20 items 28 days 2


  1. The library endorses the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights .
  2. The library's collections are publicly accessible and materials are available for circulation.
  3. Not all library items within the collections circulate.  Related library policies  and guidelines may also apply to the circulation of special items, such as interlibrary loans or library reserves .
  4. The Circulation staff is responsible for circulating materials and shelving general and non-book collections.
  5. Staff and services are available to assist users with disabilities in the retrieval, delivery, and pick-up of desired library materials.
  6. Circulation privileges are non-transferable.
  7. All borrowers are responsible for returning or renewing their materials on time and in good condition.  Borrowers will be held liable for any applicable replacement costs and/or fees for materials lost, not returned, or damaged.
  8. Library blocks are placed on borrowers' records to suspend borrowing privileges until overdue materials are returned and/or financial obligations are cleared.  All borrowers are subject to blocks.
  9. Theft or damage of library materials or property may result in disciplinary and/or legal action.
  10. The library adheres to the New Mexico Privacy Act which preserves the confidentiality of circulation records.   Note: Provisions of federal law may supersede state law.
  11. The library reserves the right to suspend an individual's borrowing privileges.


A valid NMSU identification card or current guest card is required to borrow materials. Guests must complete an application form at either at the circulation desk or receive their permanent card in the mail prior to borrowing materials.


  • Return of Items:  Borrowers are responsible for returning or renewing their materials by the due date provided.
    • When materials are recalled, borrowers must return the materials by the new due date.
    • Materials should be returned to either the circulation desk or deposited in one of the book drops adjacent to the library buildings.
    • Materials may also be returned at an affiliated area library or via library delivery service , if eligible.
    • Return receipts are available, but must be requested prior to check-in of materials
  • Notices:  Overdue notices are routinely sent by e-mail or regular mail.  Non-receipt of an overdue notice does not relieve the borrower of responsibility.
    • 1st notice sent: 7 days after the due date
    • Final notice sent: 18 days after the due date
    • Patron record blocked: 30 days after the due date, followed by billing
    Notices are sent to inform borrowers if an item they have checked out has been recalled, or if a requested recall is available for pickup.
  • Claimed Returned:  An item claimed returned remains on the borrower’s record, along with a note of the claim, while a search for the item occurs.  If the item is found, it is checked in, related fines are canceled, and the borrower is notified.  If it is not found within 30 days, the item is considered lost.  The borrower is then notified and billed the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee.


Generally, library materials may be renewed as reflected on the CHECK OUT LIMITS AND LOAN PERIODS table.  Borrowers with blocked privileges are not eligible to renew materials.  Exceptions include, but are not limited to:

  • Reserve items
  • Recalled items
  • Bound periodicals
  • Videos/DVDs, CDs

Renewals may be requested in person with items in hand at either the circulation desk or done online through the library's catalog .  Phone renewals are not available.


All library materials are subject to either recall or rush recall.  Rush recalls are generated by library staff, typically for course-related purposes.  If an item is recalled, the borrower regardless of status is given a minimum loan period of three weeks.  If an item is a rush recalled, it is due immediately.  When an item is recalled, the current borrower is notified in writing and provided a new due date.  If the item is not returned by that date, daily fines will accrue and the borrower’s record will be blocked.  Those requesting a recall will be notified when the item is available for pickup.  Recalled items will be held at the Zuhl circulation desk for ten days.

Recalls may be requested in person at either the circulation desk or online through the library's catalog.


Normally, overdue fines are not charged. Exceptions include:
Item Type Fine Amounts
Recalled items $1.00 per item/day until returned
Bound journals $1.00 per item/day until returned
Videos/DVDs $1.00 per item/day until returned
Reserve items $1.00 per item/hour or day until returned
Laptops/Chromebooks $5.00 per item/hour until returned


Library privileges are blocked for the following reasons:

  1. Overdue or lost materials
  2. Accumulated fines or fees of $10.00 or more
  3. Other financial obligations to the library (i.e., damaged or lost books)
  4. Non-return of recalled books


All borrowers are financially responsible for replacement costs and related processing fees for lost, non-returned, or damaged items.  Student billing is processed through the NMSU Business Office.  Faculty, staff, and guest borrowers are billed directly.

Fees and billing will occur as follows:
Interval Action Amount
30 days after the due date The system applies "Lost" status on record of the overdue item(s) and blocks the borrower's circulation privileges $15.00 processing fee per item
Before billing occurs at 120 days Replacement of item by the borrower upon library approval $15.00 processing fee + replacement item
120 days after the due date - Students billed to Business Office
- Faculty and guests billed directly
Replacement cost of an item or $35.00 (whichever is greater) +
$15.00 processing fee
Damage noted when returned Billed for the damaged item Full or partial replacement cost + $15.00 processing fee
Up to 6 months from the billing date Credit available for the returned item Credit for the amount billed; $15.00 processing fee non-refundable


Unpaid bills will result in one or more of these penalties:

  1. Suspension of library privileges
  2. A block for subsequent course registration, transcript requests
  3. Bad debt status within the NMSU system


Library fines and fees may be appealed.  To initiate an appeal, an appeals form must be completed and submitted to the Access Services Department Head who may forgive or reduce billing charges.  The decision of the Department Head is final.


Borrowers may be eligible to participate in several reciprocal borrowing programs that have been established with other libraries to facilitate resource sharing.


  • Electronic security gates:  Are installed at the entrance of both library buildings.  If a user attempts to leave with library materials that have not been properly desensitized, an alarm will sound.  The individual will be asked to return to the circulation desk, where a staff member will seek approval to inspect their books, backpack, or briefcase.
  • Lost and found:  Please refer to our Lost and Found Policy .