SPL library card stuck in the stacks

Material Recovery

Material Recovery at SPL

Library materials that are not returned after an extended period of time will be presumed lost and the replacement cost will be charged to your account.

Borrowing privileges are suspended when outstanding charges total $10 or more.

Library accounts with fines of $50 or more may be sent to Unique Management Services (UMS) to retrieve Library materials for others to borrow. UMS is a specialized materials recovery service for libraries. They assist us to retrieve long-overdue items and fines. If your account is referred to UMS, an additional $12.95 service charge will be added to cover the costs associated with referring your account.

How Do Overdues Work?

You will receive a phone call, letter or email from the Library informing you that you have overdue items 7 days, 14 days, and 35 days after the due date. At 35 days overdue, the outstanding materials and processing fines are billed to your account. 

Once items are 56 days overdue, and if fines total $50 or more, your account may be sent to UMS.

Please note that for special collections—such as wifi hotspots, Express items, community passes and others—the notification timeline is shortened to 2 days, 9 days, and 16 days after the due date. These outstanding materials and processing fines are billed to your account at 16 days overdue. UMS would receive your account when these items are 37 days overdue.

How Does UMS Work? 

UMS contacts you through a series of letters and phone calls until library materials are returned or fines are paid in full:

  • First letter notification
    • Within 24 hours of UMS receiving your account from the Library
  • First phone call 
    • 22 days after UMS receives your account (3 weeks after first letter notification) 
  • Second letter notification 
    • 43 days after UMS receives your account (3 weeks after first phone call) 
  • Second phone call 
    • 64 days after UMS receives your account (3 weeks after second letter notification) 
  • Third letter notification 
    • 85 days after UMS receives your account (3 weeks after second phone call). This is your final communication from UMS. 
  • Credit reporting 
    • 115 days after UMS receives your account (30 days after final letter) 

Avoiding Lost Fees 

The Library has many ways for you to keep up to date with your account. Here are a few options:

  • Renewal in person at the service desk
  • Renewal by phone by calling 519-271-0220
  • Renewal by email. Simply send a message to and we’ll renew your items for you. Be sure to include your name, library card number if possible, and the items you would like renewed.
  • Renewal by logging on to your account. Simply log onto your account in BiblioCommons using your full library card number or username as your login, and the last four numbers of your telephone as your PIN. From there, you can renew items, reserve items, and much more. If you have borrowed more than one item, be sure that you click renew on all of them, and not just one. If you have any problems with your account online, give us a call at 519-271-0220

If you ever have questions or concerns at any time about your account, please don’t hesitate to contact the Library to speak with a staff member. We are here to assist you in any way we can.