For a recorded message of Mugar Memorial Library’s general hours, including changes in the hours of operations (i.e., during holidays, vacations, Intersession and 24 hour study periods), please call (617) 353-3708.

Full-time staff members are available at the Circulation desk during all hours the library is open and may be reached by phone at (617) 353-3732 or by email: The Fines Coordinator is available Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 3:00pm, at (617) 353-3736.

This information page describes basic circulation policies. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to speak to anyone at the Circulation desk.

Borrowing and Renewal

Individuals with a current Boston University “Terrier” card, a Boston University Alumni card, or a Boston Library Consortium card issued by a cooperating library are eligible to borrow library materials. Consult the table below for the loan periods and renewal options as they apply to borrower status, expiration date and the type of material.

BLC Card Holders
Books: 28 days or the expiration date on your record (whichever is earlier), renewable
Journals: Library Use Only
Reserve: 2 hours, 24 hours, or 3 days no renewal
Faculty Books: 365 days or the expiration date on your record (whichever is earlier),  renewable
Journals: 24 hours no renewal
Reserve: 2 hours, 24 hours, or 3 days no renewal
Graduate Students / Staff Books: 133 days or the expiration date on your record (whichever is earlier), renewable
Journals: 24 hours (Staff only) no renewal
Reserve: 2 hours, 24 hours, or 3 days no renewal
  • BU Worldcat Local materials: 56 days with no renewals (Exception: media materials circulate for 7 days with no renewals.)
  • Reference materials: May not be taken from the library.

Please note that all checked out items are subject to recall at any time during their loan period.

Renewing Charged-out Materials

You can see what you have charged out and renew items yourself after you log into your record on line. These options are available to you by accessing the Mugar Memorial Library’s online Circulation system from one of the public terminals within the library or after connecting to the library system from a remote computer. If your record is blocked for any reason, or if an item you wish to renew has been recalled, you may not use the self-renewal option.

You may also come to the Circulation desk during its operating hours and request a renewal or you may send the request by mail or email.  If by mail, your request must be postmarked by the item’s original due date, or email your request to Please remember to always include your full name and B.U.I.D number.

Items may be renewed as many times as you wish unless the item is recalled, or if your patron record is blocked for any reason, you must clear your record before any materials will be renewed.

Materials that have been recalled by another patron must be returned promptly and may not be renewed.

Because it is very difficult to document phone renewals, Mugar Memorial Library does not renew books by phone.

Returning Materials

During library hours, return material to the Circulation desk. When the Library is not open, materials may be deposited in the outside book drop. You may log into your record at any time to review your library account to check the due-dates of any material you have charged out and renew materials yourself before they become overdue. If you have an item that is overdue and you wish to pay the fine at the time of return, you must return the book to the Circulation desk in person. If you wish to receive a receipt for the return of an item, you must return the item to the Circulation desk and specifically request a charge-in receipt be printed before the material is charged in.

If an item remains on your library account more than 24 hours after you returned it, you may come to the Circulation desk to request that a “Claims Return” search be done for the item. During this search period, if the item has reached the overdue stage, you will receive computer-generated overdue notices. These may be disregarded during the search. This special search usually takes 2 – 3 weeks to complete. After the search is finished, you will be sent notification of the results. If the material was found during the search, you need do nothing further. If it was not found during the search, you will need to speak to the Circulation Department Fines Coordinator.

Fines and Fees

Fines are assessed for items not returned by the date due.

Open Stacks

  • $2.00 per day per overdue recalled item (Overdue recalled item will be billed after 6 days with $30 non-refundable processing fee)
  • $100.00 replacement charge per item (or cost of the item – whichever is greater)

Mugar Worldcat Local Items

  • $1.00 per day per item
  • $155.00 replacement charge per item (or cost of the item – whichever is greater)

Reserve Items

  • 2 Hour
    • $2.00 per hour per item
  • 24 Hour & 3 Day
    • $10.00 per day
    • $150.00 replacement charge on the 3rd day (or cost of the item – whichever is greater)

When an item goes into “Lost” status, a non-refundable $30.00 billing fee, also called a processing fee – will be charged.

Please pay any accrued fines in a timely fashion and keep all receipts. These charges are assessed to everyone including Faculty and Staff members.

If you have any questions about fines, please consult the Fines Coordinator at the Circulation desk or by phone at (617) 353-3732. The Fines Coordinator is available Monday through Friday until 3pm.

Recalling Items

If the item is charged out to another patron you may recall the item by logging in to your record on line, or send a recall request to “” with your full name, BU ID number, the title and the call number of the book you wish to recall. When the item is returned, you will be notified by e-mail.

Searching for an Item

If you cannot locate an item on the shelf or in the Intermediate Shelving area (the room on the first floor of the library where materials are sorted before being returned to the shelves), bring the title and call number to the Circulation desk; staff there will help to locate the item. If the item cannot be located at that time and the item is not charged out, you may fill out a Search card at the Circulation desk. Most searches are carried out within 24 hours of the request being made. If the requested item is not located, other searches will be made over longer periods of time. You will be notified of the progress of the search. In the event of an unsuccessful search, accessing the needed material via Interlibrary Loan, BU Worldcat Local, or through the use of a Boston Library Consortium card are possible options.