Our Circulation Policies

The Circulation & Interlibrary Loan Department is responsible for the circulation of library materials from Academic Library Services. The Music Library, which is a branch collection of Academic Library Services, also adheres to this circulation procedure.

Library Borrowers need to provide a form of identification to check out materials. ECU faculty, staff, and students use their ECU 1 Card. Borrowers who are not affiliated with ECU use a valid photo ID and library card that they receive when registering for their library account.

For circulation rules governing the interlibrary loan service to ECU and outside libraries, refer to the Interlibrary Loan Procedure, 300.10.25. For circulation rules governing the document delivery service, refer to the Document Delivery Procedure, 300.10.27. For circulation rules governing the reserves service, refer to the Reserves Procedure, 300.10.56. For other related circulation rules, consult the Library Procedure Manual.

Table of Contents

  1. Borrowing Privileges, Loan Periods, and Fine Information
  2. Borrower’s Responsibilities
  3. Renewing Materials
  4. Fines
  5. Lost/Damaged Materials
  6. Returning Items Billed as Lost
  7. Debt Collection Process, Penalty Fees, and Interest Charges
  8. Payment Options
  9. Fine/Lost/Damaged Fee Appeals
  10. Requesting an Item; Holds and Recalls
  11. Missing Items
  12. Claims Returned

1. Borrowing Privileges, Loan Periods, and Fine Information

back to top

ECU Graduate/Undergraduate Students/Visiting Students

Students currently enrolled in a graduate or an undergraduate program at ECU. Visiting students are enrolled at another university and are taking a class at ECU under special arrangement with ECU and their home institution.

ECU Faculty/Staff/Emeriti/Retirees

Faculty and staff currently employed by ECU, retired ECU faculty and staff, ECU Emeritus faculty and staff, and visiting faculty with written approval from their sponsoring department.

Authorized Users

ECU students, staff, and faculty must provide written permission via email to circulation@ecu.edu from an ECU email account for another person to borrow materials on their library account. The written permission should specify:

  1. the Borrower’s name
  2. the name of the person being granted authorization
  3. the period that the person is authorized to use the Borrower’s account (e.g. one-time only, for specific semesters, indefinitely).

Authorized persons may be asked to present an ID to prove identity to check out on the Borrower’s account. Borrowers are responsible for materials checked out to their account by Authorized Users.

ECU/Pitt County Public Schools’ Innovation Early College High School Students

Students currently enrolled in the Innovation Early College High School (IECHS) located on the ECU campus.

Area Educators

Current verified employees of public or private K-12 schools in the eastern North Carolina area serviced by the Walter and Daisy Carson Latham Clinical Schools Network in the College of Education, those who are authorized as homeschooler educators, and educators employed in the ECU/Pitt County Public Schools’ IECHS. Area Educators must fill out a Borrower Agreement Form and bring to the circulation desk with proof of school employment.

Area Residents

Area Resident Borrowers must be 18 years or older. Area Residents must fill out a Borrower Agreement Form and bring to the circulation desk and pay an annual fee of $35 before borrowing privileges can be granted. Only five items may be checked out on an Area Resident’s account at any given time.

Cooperative Borrowers

Current students, staff, and faculty of any institution with which the library has a cooperative agreement. Cooperative Borrowers must fill out a Borrower Agreement Form and bring to the circulation desk with proof of employment or enrollment at a participating institution.

Friends of Joyner, Laupus, and Sheppard Memorial Libraries

Current members of the aforementioned Friends Associations. Friends must fill out a Borrower Agreement Form and bring to the circulation desk. Only five items may be checked out on a Friends of the Libraries account at any given time.

ECU Health Employees

Current verified employees of ECU Health. ECU Health Employees must fill out a Borrower Agreement Form and bring to the circulation desk with proof of employment.

Eastern AHEC/Outreach

Faculty and Staff of Eastern AHEC, Preceptors of ECU students, or any individual currently employed by a healthcare organization in the 23- county EAHEC region.  Eastern AHEC/Outreach patrons must fill out a Borrower Agreement Form and bring to the circulation desk with proof of employment.

Visitors/ECU Special Programs

Participants in temporary official ECU special programs (e. g. ECU’s Language Academy, ECU’s Lifelong Learning Program, the ECU’s Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics) or any patron temporarily associated with ECU who are sponsored by an ECU department. ECU 1 Card or valid picture ID and proof that they are currently enrolled in these programs or have received sponsorship. Patron may be required to fill out a Borrower Agreement Form.

Type of ItemBorrowerLoan PeriodNumber of RenewalsLate Fee
General Collection Titles,
North Carolina Collection Books,
Music Scores, &
Federal Documents
ECU Faculty/Staff/Emeriti/Retirees180 Days3None
ECU StudentsLast day of semester
IECHSLast day of semester
Other Borrowers28 Days
Popular Reading Books,
Teaching Resources Center (TRC) Materials,
Media Materials (DVDs, CDs, & other Audio-Visuals), &
Federal Document Maps
All Borrowers28 Days3None
Circulating Equipment*ECU Faculty/Staff/Emeriti/Retirees1 day or 7 days, as marked0$5.00 per day or part thereof
ECU Students1 day or 7 days, as marked
IECHSNot permitted
Other BorrowersNot permitted
Reserve MaterialsAll Borrowers3 hours, 1 day, 3 days, or 7 days, depending on instructor's choice0$1.00 per item, per hour/day, or part thereof
Reference Materials,
Bound Journals,
Microforms, &
Other Non-Circulating Materials
ECU Faculty/Staff/Emeriti/RetireesIn Library Use, or By Exception0$1.00 per item, per day or part thereof
ECU StudentsIn Library Use, or By Exception
IECHSIn Library Use Only
Other BorrowersIn Library Use Only

* Some equipment is purchased with student technology fee funds; checkout of those items is limited to ECU Students only. Borrowers are not permitted to check out multiples of certain equipment types as identified by departmental instructions without prior arranged permission from library personnel. A list of circulating equipment may be found on the library’s Borrow Equipment webpage.

Access to library electronic resources away from the library building is limited to ECU Affiliates with a valid Pirate ID as determined by ECU ITCS. Other Borrowers may use library electronic resources within the library building, but do not have remote access.

2. Borrower’s Responsibilities

back to top

Borrowers must present either their ECU 1 Card with a clear photo on it, or a valid library card or a government-issued identification card with a clear photo on it, each time they borrow materials at a circulation desk. For ECU Borrowers, as a one-time courtesy each semester, a valid government-issued photo ID will be accepted in lieu of a university identification card and a note will be placed in the Borrower’s account to track this allowance. ECU students with verified fall semester enrollment may borrow materials during the preceding summer.

Borrowers must notify a circulation desk if their university identification card or library card is lost or stolen to have their account blocked to prevent misuse by others; if a circulation desk is not notified, the Borrower will be held responsible for materials checked out to their account.

Borrowers are responsible for all uses of their card and for paying all fines and fees accrued on their card. It is the responsibility of Borrowers to remember their due dates. Borrowers should inquire from the circulation desk what their due dates are, if in doubt, or view their due dates in their account in the online library catalog.

It is the Borrower’s responsibility to return borrowed materials to any ECU library (Academic Library Services, Music Library, or Laupus Health Sciences Library) in the condition in which it was borrowed and to do so by the due date. Borrowed equipment must be returned with all components to the library circulation desk from which it was borrowed; equipment may not be returned to a library drop box or another library.

Faculty and staff with offices on main campus may request to schedule with Circulation staff to come to their office to pick up materials to be returned; if this service is to be used, a notice of at least two days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and state holidays) before the due date should be given to Circulation staff.

It is also the responsibility of the Borrower to inform a circulation desk of any changes in telephone number, permanent mailing address, or e-mail address to ensure timely contact between the library and the Borrower. ECU affiliated faculty, staff, and students should also change this required information through ECU Pirate Port, or they may contact the ECU Office of the Registrar.

3. Renewing Materials

back to top

Academic Library Services has several options available for renewing your materials. Book renewals are allowed provided the patron has no outstanding fines, no overdue materials, the renewal limit has not been reached, and the item has not been requested by another Borrower. Circulating Equipment cannot be renewed but may be returned with all included components and checked out again if the Borrower’s account has no outstanding fines and the equipment is not on hold for another patron.

  • Online – ECU Borrowers – Login to My Account in the library catalog using your PirateID and password. Non-ECU Borrowers – Login to My Account in the library catalog using your library ID and password. If you do not know your password, please call the circulation desk at 252-328-6518. Select the items to Renew or click “Renew All” to renew all renewable items.
  • By Phone – All Borrowers may call the circulation desk at 252-328-6518 to renew items.
  • By Email – All Borrowers may e-mail Circulation at circulation@ecu.edu to renew items. Borrowers will receive a confirmation e-mail from a Circulation staff member to verify the items have been renewed and what the new due date will be.

4. Fines

back to top

Consult the Borrowing Privileges, Loan Periods, and Fine Information section for fine specifics by Borrower type.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the Borrower to know the due date of their items. Failure to remember the due date of the materials does not relieve the Borrower of responsibility for overdue fines. Borrowers may check the status of their account by logging into My Account in the library catalog or by contacting the circulation desk.

Information about appealing a fine is listed in section 9 below.

5. Lost/Damaged Materials

back to top

Library equipment, course reserves, and other high demand materials will be charged as lost per the Borrower’s request or after the material has become more than 7 days overdue. Other library materials will be charged as lost per the Borrower’s request or after the material has become more than 40 days overdue. Borrowers will be charged replacement cost for lost library materials plus a non- refundable $30 processing fee to cover billing, reorder, post-receipt processing, re- cataloging, and re-shelving costs. Lost materials for which a market rate replacement cost cannot be determined will be charged a flat replacement cost of $50.00 for books/media/maps, $10.00 for popular reading collection books, and $10.00 per microfiche or microfilm reel. Borrowers might be permitted to provide a replacement copy on a case-by-case basis (for example, some library materials, such as juvenile books, require specialized library binding and cannot be replaced with an edition purchased by the Borrower). All lost item fees will be used to purchase library materials, but the library reserves the right to not repurchase an exact copy of the lost material.

Circulation, interlibrary loan, and document delivery privileges will be suspended when there are any unpaid fines or fees on the Borrower’s account.

The lost and processing fees for incidental materials (e. g. plastic bags for equipment) may be reduced or cancelled by Circulation staff.

Materials lost/damaged due to natural disaster, fire, theft, or other reason while checked out to a Borrower are still the responsibility of the Borrower to pay to replace.

Materials checked out to a Borrower who dies are the responsibility of the Borrower’s estate.

If an item is returned damaged, the library’s Preservation and Conversation personnel determine if the damaged item can be repaired or must be replaced. The Borrower will be charged the repair cost or replacement price of the item damaged beyond repair, plus a $30 processing fee.

6. Returning Items Billed as Lost

back to top

If a Borrower returns a previously billed lost item before having paid for it or before it is sent to a student’s Cashier’s Office account through Banner, the replacement cost and processing fee charges will be cancelled and replaced by the maximum overdue charge for the item.

If a library item is returned in good condition, within one (1) month of having been paid as lost or sent to a student’s Cashier’s Office account through Banner, the responsible Borrower will be issued a refund or Banner reversal only for the replacement cost; the processing fee is non-refundable.

The library will not issue refunds for items returned one month or longer after payment has been made or reverse charges that have been sent to the Cashier’s Office after one month or longer.

7. Debt Collection Process, Penalty Fees, and Interest Charges

back to top

ECU student debt may be transferred to Banner Finance for collection by the ECU Cashier’s Office. Other Borrower debt may be submitted for collection through the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Revenue, and collection agencies. ECU faculty and staff debt may also be sent for collection through ECU Human Resources.

Educator Card and Cooperative Borrower debt may be collected through collaboration with those respective institutions. Borrowers with unpaid bills are subject to a one-time penalty fee and monthly interest charges being assessed on their accounts pursuant to North Carolina state law §147-86.23.

8. Payment Options

In Person – Payments to the library may be made at the Academic Library Services circulation desk by check, credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), some mobile phone linked payment apps, or ECU Bounty Bucks. If a check is declined by the bank used by ECU for insufficient funds or for a closed account, a returned check processing fee of $35.00 will be added to the Borrower’s account.

Online – ECU Borrowers – Login to My Account in the library catalog using your PirateID and password.

9. Fine/Lost/Damaged Fee Appeals

back to top

Borrowers who wish to appeal a fine due to suspected error or extenuating circumstances should use the form on the library’s website. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the original billing date. The appeal process may take 1-2 weeks to complete. Failure to know, or follow, library procedure is not an acceptable reason for cancelling library charges.

10. Requesting an Item; Holds and Recalls

back to top

All Borrowers may place a hold request on library materials that allow holds by asking at a circulation desk or online through the catalog. Materials that are checked out to other Borrowers will be available after they are returned. If the Borrower is unable to wait for an item to be returned by its due date, Borrowers may request the item though the interlibrary loan (ILL) service, if they are eligible for the ILL service. Materials that are on the library’s shelves will be pulled as staff time allows. The Borrower requesting the hold will be notified by email when the material is available for checkout. Reminder notifications will be emailed multiple times until the hold period is exhausted, at which point it is made available to other patrons. Only one equipment item of each type of equipment may be on hold for a person at a single time without special prior arrangement with circulation personnel.

Library employees may recall materials from Borrowers to fulfill course reserves requests by instructors. Other Borrowers who are requesting materials that are checked out by others are referred to request through the ILL service, if they are eligible for the ILL service.

Recalled items not returned within the seven-day recall period will be declared lost and billed accordingly. Once billed, the charges are non-refundable, even if the material is later attempted to be returned.

Items that are in high demand and have been requested by several people may be put on reserve. This will keep the item in the library and allow full usage for everyone.

11. Missing Items

back to top

Materials that are not found in their listed location may be reported in person, by phone, or by email to Circulation. Missing materials will be searched for over a period of three months. If the missing material is found, the Borrower reporting the material will be notified. If the missing material is not found, a collections librarian will be informed to consider purchasing a replacement copy or to notify Cataloging to remove the missing material from the collection.

The interlibrary loan service may be used at any time by eligible Borrowers to request a copy of the missing material from outside libraries. Research & Instructional Services may be consulted for other related materials, as well.

12. Claims Returned

back to top

If a Borrower believes overdue materials have been returned, those materials should be reported to Circulation to be marked as claimed returned. Materials cannot be claimed returned after materials have been billed as lost. Circulation employees will search for such materials at least once each month for three months. Borrowers are encouraged to continue their search as well. If the materials are found by the library, any accrued overdue fines will be waived. If the materials are not found by the library, the materials will be declared lost, and the Borrower will be responsible for the replacement cost plus processing fee.