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Damaged Library Materials Policy

If materials appear damaged upon check-in, library personnel note the damage and the date of discovery in the borrowers’ records. It is highly recommended that patrons point out suspected damage to library personnel at the time of check-out/check-in. The Harris-Elmore Public Library charges fees when library materials are returned in a damaged condition. Patrons are billed for full replacement costs, depending on the extent of the damage.

Damaged Copies

Patrons are not charged for normal wear and tear on library materials or even minor damages. However, the following conditions do not constitute normal wear and tear and will result in  replacement charges:

  •    Wet or moldy books/items

  •    Books/items damaged by bodily fluids

  •    Books/items damaged by food stains, oily or sticky residue

  •    Books/items missing pages or covers

  •    Books/items containing marking by ink, crayon, or highlight marker

  •    Books/items showing major tears, bite marks, cuts, cracks, graffiti or other unusual damage


If library personnel conclude the library material is irreparable and must be withdrawn from the library's collection, patrons are charged the replacement costs.  Patrons may either pay for the item, or replace it with another new copy.

Damaged or Lost Pieces

Many materials in the library have multiple pieces, such as educational kits, board games and media. It is the patron’s responsibility to return all pieces. If an essential piece is broken or lost, The Harris-Elmore Public Library will charge the patron for the replacement cost of the piece or occasionally the entire item. Patrons may either pay for the item, or replace it with another new copy.

Essential pieces are those that are necessary for materials to be usable or educationally meaningful.

Items are thoroughly checked by library personnel upon each return, so missing or damaged pieces will be billed to the last borrowing patron upon discovery. It is highly recommended that each patron verify that all pieces are present upon check-out and return.

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