Circulation Policies (Rules for Borrowing Books)

Who May Borrow Library Materials?

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) I.D. Cards (Bearkat OneCard):

  • University students, faculty, and staff must have a valid SHSU I. D. card to borrow library books or Reserve Materials and must present it at the time of checkout.
  • Please remember that if you check out material for someone else, you are responsible for any overdue or lost book charges incurred.
  • For information about the Bearkat OneCard, visit the SHSU OneCard Office website, call 936-294-CARD (2273), or e-mail

Faculty and staff: borrowing and recall privileges begin the first day of employment with SHSU.

All University students: borrowing and recall privileges begin the first day of class and end the day before the first class day of the next semester. For example:

  • Fall privileges: First class day August 17th – January 13th.
  • Spring privileges: First class day January 13th – May 27st.
  • Summer privileges: First class day May 27th – August 18th
  • If not enrolled in summer classes, student may purchase a Summer Card from the Library Service Desk (Academic Policy Statement 030603). The charge is $15.00; apply for a Summer Card online. Alternatively, you may use a membership at Huntsville Public Library (or your local public) to request a free TexShare Card, which will then permit no-cost borrowing privileges at the SHSU Newton Gresham Library (note that TexShare cards do not include ILL privileges).
  • The exception to all students having borrowing/recall privilege is students who have been blocked for fines, lost material, or damaged material.
  • If you check out books for someone else, you are responsible for any overdue or lost book charges.
  • For information about your library books or fines, call 936-294-1618.

Courtesy Card holders have borrowing but not recall privileges.

TexShare Card holders from other institutions have borrowing but not recall privileges. TexShare Card holders may also borrow an in-house laptop computer if one is available.

Loan Periods

  • Undergraduate students: 4 weeks
  • Graduate students: 4 weeks
  • Faculty/Staff: Please consult this Academic Policy Statement 840606
  • Distance Learning Services Users: 4 weeks (includes mailing to and from NGL)
  • Courtesy Card holders: 2 weeks

There is a two day grace period after which fines will start accruing at a rate of 25¢ per book per day to a maximum fine of $25.00 per book.

Books may be renewed for a 2-week period after the initial loan period.

All material is subject to recall after a patron has had the book 14 days. Overdue recalled materials promptly accrues a fine of $1.00 per day per book to a maximum fine of $25.00.


  • All users may renew materials online.
  • Renewals are for 2 weeks, or until the last date of the semester (whichever is earlier).
  • 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.

Checkout Limits

Journals may be checked out only by faculty; inquire at the Service Desk.

All materials are subject to recall after 14 days. Overdue recalled materials promptly accrue a fine of $1.00 per day per book to a maximum fine of $25.00.

If you are unable to locate a book, library personnel can assist you in searching for it; inquire at the Library Service Desk. If material you need has been checked out to someone else, we can show you how to place a recall.

Circulating Materials

  • Most material in the Main collection circulates so they can be checked out.
  • Books in the Reference Collection can be checked out only by faculty and graduate students.
  • Periodicals (newspapers, magazines, journals), either current or bound, can be checked out only by faculty.
  • You are welcome to take notes or photocopy the pages you need.

Courtesy Cards

Individuals who are not affiliated with the University may use the Library's resources in-house. To check out materials, they must purchase a Courtesy Card for an annual fee of $20.00; apply for a Courtesy Card online or at the Library Service Desk.

  • At the time of application and payment, one book may be checked out.
  • After processing, up to ten (10) books may be on an individual's account at a time.
  • The loan period is 2 weeks.
  • Overdue fines accrue at a rate of 25¢ per book per day.
  • Items may be renewed, but materials are subject to recall after 14 days; overdue recalled materials accrue a fine of $1.00 per day per book.

Courtesy Card holders are not eligible to use Interlibrary Services, library e-books, or library databases.

Courtesy Card holders do not have recall privileges.

TexShare Cards

SHSU students, faculty, and staff may apply for a TexShare Card, which allows the user to borrow material from another participating library.

  • Apply for a TexShare Card online or at the Service Desk.
  • Applications will be approved if:
    • you are currently enrolled or employed at SHSU
    • there are no overdue books on your account
    • there are no fines on your account
  • Card holders are responsible for abiding by the rules and policies of the library from which books are borrowed.
  • Card holder is responsible for any fines or charges accrued at the lending library.

Distance Learning Circulation Policies

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.


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.
  • Includes books, CDs, and files containing book chapters, class notes, articles, tests, etc.
  • 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.
  • An SHSU I.D. (Bearkat OneCard) is required to check out reserve materials.

Electronic Reserves

  • Accessed online by authorized SHSU accounts only.
  • Includes book chapters, articles, class notes, tests, etc.

Reserves Requests

For more information, refer to the library's Reserve policies. Request forms are available online for faculty convenience:

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 fine per item.

Lost Material

If you receive a notice that you have not returned a book and our records don't match your memory:

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.

Lost a Library book?

  • You may be able to find a replacement copy that's less expensive than the price you've been charged, because you can buy from places we can't.
  • 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 owe the $15 administration fee and overdue fines.
  • Examples of places to look online for replacement copies are,,,, or

If you find the book...

  • Before you have paid for it, you will owe the fine that accrued from the date due to the date your returned it. In addition, 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 between the fine and the lost charge, if any.
  • 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.

When notified of an overdue book and before you are charged for the book, look:

  • Under the car seats
  • At your friends' houses
  • At work
  • Under the bed
  • In a friend's car
  • At another library

Returning Materials

The Library has three book drops. Only books should be returned in the drops. Please do not use the book drops to return material that is damaged or appears fragile, as the drop and weight of other books may increase the damage. The book drops are located at:

  • 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: Overnight reserve material must be returned to the Library Service Desk.

Interlibrary Loan: 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, 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.

Mailing: You may also mail materials (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