Circulation Policies (Rules for Borrowing Books)

Questions about library books or fines? Contact 936-294-1618 or lib_circ@shsu.edu

Bearkat OneCard – SHSU Identification Cards

  • University students, faculty, staff, and retirees must present a valid SHSU I.D. card (Bearkat OneCard) at the time of checkout to borrow library books or Reserve Materials.
  • If you check out material for someone else, you are responsible for any overdue or lost book charges.
  • For information about the Bearkat OneCard, visit the SHSU OneCard Office website, call 936-294-CARD (2273), or e-mail bearkatone@shsu.edu
  • Undergraduate Students
    • 4-week checkout of normal circulating materials
    • Maximum of 25 items at a time
    • Borrowing and recall privileges begin on the first day of class, and end the day before the next semester’s first day of class.
    • Not enrolled for summer? Purchase a summer card for $15; apply online. (More about enrollment and services in Academic Policy Statement 030603)
      • Alternatively, you may join a public library in Texas, request a free TexShare card from them, and use that for no-cost borrowing at SHSU. Note that TexShare cards do not include ILL privileges.
    • SHSU privileges may be blocked for overdue, damaged, or lost material, whether SHSU or interlibrary loan materials.
  • Graduate Students
    • 4-week checkout of normal circulating materials
    • 2-week checkout of Reference materials
    • Maximum of 35 items at a time
    • Borrowing and recall privileges begin on the first day of class, and end the day before the next semester’s first day of class.
    • Not enrolled for summer? Purchase a summer card for $15; apply online. (More about enrollment and services in Academic Policy Statement 030603)
      • Alternatively, you may join a public library in Texas, request a free TexShare card from them, and use that for no-cost borrowing at SHSU. Note that TexShare cards do not include ILL privileges.
    • SHSU privileges may be blocked for overdue, damaged, or lost material, whether SHSU or interlibrary loan materials.
  • Distance Students
    • Remote users may request books owned by SHSU to be mailed to their home address. Books must be returned by the due date via UPS or insured mail. Learn more about Distance Learning Services.
    • In general, other regular borrowing privileges and restrictions will apply according to classification (undergraduate or graduate).
  • Faculty and Staff
    • Semester-long checkout of normal circulating materials
    • 2-week checkout of Reference materials
    • 1-week checkout of journals/periodicals
    • Maximum of 75 items at a time (Academic Policy Statement 840606)
    • Borrowing and recall privileges begin the first day of employment with SHSU
    • Faculty do not accrue normal overdue fines for SHSU materials, but are responsible for overdue recall fines, overdue interlibrary loan fines, and bills for damaged or lost materials.
    • SHSU borrowing privileges may be blocked for overdue, damaged, or lost interlibrary loan materials.
  • TexShare Card Holders (Users from outside SHSU)
    • 4-week checkout
    • At the time of application and payment, one book may be checked out
    • Maximum of 10 items at a time after application processing
    • May borrow in-building resources (laptops, study rooms, etc.) when available
    • No hold or recall privileges
    • No interlibrary loan privileges

    NOTE: The above applies to non-SHSU TexShare users only. SHSU users can request a TexShare Card online from SHSU to use at other libraries.

  • Courtesy Card Holders (Visitors)
    • 2-week checkout
    • Maximum of 10 items at a time
    • May borrow in-building resources (laptops, study rooms, etc.) when available
    • No hold or recall privileges
    • No interlibrary loan privileges
    • Apply for a Courtesy Card
  • Summer Cards
    • Students not enrolled for summer may purchase a summer card for $15; apply online. (More about enrollment and services in Academic Policy Statement 030603)
    • Summer cards provide borrowing, renewal, hold, recall, and interlibrary loan privileges.
      • Alternatively, you may join a public library in Texas, request a free TexShare card from them, and use that for no-cost borrowing at SHSU. Note that TexShare cards do not include interlibrary loan privileges.
  • Reserves

    Material placed on reserve by a faculty member is housed behind the Library Service Desk (print reserves) or online (electronic reserves).

    Print Reserves

    • Borrowed in person from the Library Service Desk.
    • Checkout times are specified by the faculty member.
    • Most items are in-building use only for 2 hours, though some items may have a longer loan period.
    • Only 3 reserve items may be checked out at one time.
    • Reserve materials cannot be renewed.

    Electronic Reserves

    • Accessed online by authorized SHSU accounts only.

    Reserves Requests

    Request forms are available online for faculty convenience:

    For more information on the use of copyrighted works, refer to this policy.

  • Renewals
    • All users may renew materials online
    • Students, Courtesy, and TexShare: 4-week renewals (or the last date of the semester, whichever is earlier)
    • Faculty and staff: One-semester renewals (or the last date of the semester, whichever is earlier)
    • Special item types with shorter loan periods (e.g., board games) will have shorter renewals.
    • Reserves items are not eligible for renewal.
    • A specific item may not be eligible for renewal if it has been recalled by another patron.
    • A patron will receive an email confirmation of the renewal request within 48 hours, indicating a new due date, any items which could not be renewed and must be returned, and any accrued fines.
    • Eligible items will be renewed from the date the renewal request was submitted, rather than the date that the email confirmation was sent.
  • Hold and Recalls
    • You will be contacted when the book is available for you to check out. Hold items can be picked up at the library’s first-floor Help Desk during the library’s hours of operation.
    • All material is subject to recall after a patron has had an item for 14 days.
    • Overdue recalled materials promptly accrue a fine of $1.00 per day per book to a maximum fine of $25.00.
    • Note that TexShare Card and Courtesy Card holders do not have hold/recall privileges.
  • Returning Materials

    Book Drops

    • Only books should be returned in book drops.
    • DO NOT place the following in book drops:
      • Interlibrary loan materials
      • Reserves materials
      • Material that is damaged or appears fragile
      • Oversized or unusual materials such as board games
    • Book drop locations:
      • Outside on the patio at the Northeast corner of the Library, near the steps coming up from the parking lot (1st floor entrance).
      • On the wall at the front of the Library next to the main entrance (2nd floor entrance).
      • Inside the Library at the front of the Library Service Desk (2nd floor lobby).
    • Book drops are emptied regularly throughout the day. Books that are returned after the Library has closed will be checked in early the next business day, with a return date of the previous business day.

    Reserves

    Reserve materials and board games must be returned to the Library Service Desk.

    Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

    ILL materials should be returned to the ILL Office or the Copy Room. DO NOT return ILL materials to the SHSU library book drops; you will be financially responsible for any damage to ILL materials placed in book drops.

    SHSU-The Woodlands Center

    Any materials, both regular loans and ILL, may also be returned to the library services desk in the computer lab (room 315) at SHSU-The Woodlands Center, Monday-Friday, 8a-5p.

    Returning by Mail

    You may mail materials (both regular loans and ILL) back to the library via USPS library book rate with tracking using the address below. (Please write "Campus Box", NOT PO Box)

    Interlibrary Services
    Newton Gresham Library
    Sam Houston State University
    Campus Box 2179
    Huntsville, TX 77341

  • Fines on Overdue Materials
    • Overdue notices will be sent to your SHSU email account.
    • Overdue fines accrue at a rate of $0.25 per day per item on regularly circulating material.
      • There is a 2-day grace period on regularly circulating material, after which the fine is charged.
    • Overdue recalled material accrues a fine of $1.00 per day per item.
    • Reserve material with hourly checkout accrues overdue fines of $0.25 per hour per item.
    • Reserve material with daily checkout accrues overdue fines of $3.00 per day per item.
    • $25.00 maximum in late fines per item.
  • Lost Materials

    If you receive a notice that you have not returned a book...

    • The Library will search for the book at least three times.
    • If we find the book on the shelf the first time we search, we'll take it off your record and waive the fines for that book.
    • If we find the book on the shelf after the first search, the fine will be calculated from the date due to the date found.
    • If we don't find the book, you will be charged the cost of the book plus a $15.00 processing fee.

    If you are charged for a lost book:

    • You may be able to find a replacement copy that is less expensive than the price you've been charged.
    • You may provide a replacement copy meeting these criteria:
      • the SAME ISBN, title, edition, and publication date;
      • clean, in good condition, with no stains, tears, writing, or library labels/stamps on it.
    • If the item meets the criteria, we'll delete the cost of the book from your account. You will still owe the $15 administration fee and any overdue fines.

    If you find a lost book...

    • Before you have paid for it: You will owe the fine that accrued from the date due to the date you returned it. You will also owe the $15.00 processing charge for each book.
    • After you've paid for it: You will be reimbursed for the difference, if any, between the fine and the lost charge.
    • After you've paid for it and the book has already been replaced; You will be reimbursed for the difference between the fine and lost charge, less the $15.00 processing fee.