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Borrowing Policy


Eligible borrowers are all current faculty, staff, and students of The College of New Jersey. TCNJ Alumni, as well as Non-TCNJ Library Users are granted certain borrowing privileges at the R. Barbara Gitenstein Library. All borrowers have their own accounts in the Gitenstein Library’s online system that contains their names, institutional or Library identification numbers, contact information, items charged out, overdue items, lost items, and fees associated with unresolved financial obligations, if any.

Borrower’s identification

Proper borrower’s identification must be presented to the Access Services staff in order to borrow items from the Library.  Borrower’s identification is a valid TCNJ ID card, TCNJ Alumni ID card, TCNJ Library Guest card, TCNJ Library Courtesy card, or Library Paid Membership card.  With exception of current students, faculty/staff and TCNJ alumni, all others must register at the Library Access Services desk in order to obtain an appropriate Library identification card. TCNJ Alumni may obtain an Alumni Card by calling the alumni office at 609.771.2598 or 800.347.9621, or emailing

Borrower’s responsibilities

Borrower is responsible for all the items charged to his or her account. That includes overdue fines (if applicable) accruing if the item is not returned by the due date, and/or charges, if the item is damaged, lost or stolen. Borrower is also responsible for notifying the Library of any changes in contact information in his/her account, or if a R. Barbara Gitenstein Library card is damaged, lost or stolen.

Loan Periods and Renewals

See Gitenstein Library Borrowing Privileges for details

Loan periods and right to renew the library materials already on loan are determined by a combination of circulation policy rules, item type, and the borrower’s category. Certain items such as reference, periodicals, microforms, selected music scores and archival materials are non-circulating, unless a special permission is granted by a Librarian. Library users can renew borrowed library materials either at the Access Services Desk, by e-mail, through their online library account or by phone (609-771-2311). Please note, online renewals must be done prior to the due date as the system does not allow login on the due date. Materials on hold for another library user, or needed for Reserves cannot be renewed.


Books, reserve materials and children materials Items are to be returned to the Library Access Services Desk on or before the due date. When the Library is closed, the materials may be placed in return book drop located to the right of the Library’s south entrance. All media materials (sound- and video recordings) must be returned to the Media Services Desk on Level 4 of the Library. Media materials should not be placed in the return book drop; a borrower will be held responsible for incurred damages.


A “notice” refers to electronic or printed communication from the Library with regards to a status of borrower’s account. Library issues two types of notices: E-mail courtesy notices and Overdue notices.

  • E-mail courtesy notices reminding of approaching due date for return of borrowed materials are generated by the Library online system and sent to TCNJ faculty, staff, and students’ institutional e-mail addresses. Undergraduate Students receive an E-mail Courtesy Notice three days prior to the due date for their library materials. Graduate students, faculty and staff receive an E-mail Courtesy Notice three weeks prior to the due date by which library materials should be returned or renewed.
  • Overdue notices for students are sent by e-mail the day after an item becomes overdue. Overdue notices for faculty/staff/graduate assistants that include lists of overdue items are sent by e-mail to individuals, or sent by mail to home addresses if e-mail address is not available, 7 days after the due date. Two additional notices follow in 7 day increments if the library items are not returned or renewed.

Overdue Item and Lost Item

Overdue item refers to any library item that is not returned by the due date. After 28 days of “overdue”, the status of an item changes into “lost.”

Fines, Charges, and Payments

See Gitenstein Library Borrowing privileges for details

Library Fines and Charges (as approved by the TCNJ Board of Trustees on July 10, 2012) are determined by a combination of type of loan, a borrower’s category, and the nature of a financial obligation.

Overdue fines* $0.50/day
Overdue Reserves Fines $1.00/hour (max. of $15.00 per item)
Lost Book Charges** Current cost of lost book or $50.00 (if cost is not attainable)
Membership Charge – Individual/Institution $25.00/$75.00 per year

*Overdue fines start accruing the next day after the due date with no grace period. Current TCNJ faculty/staff and graduate assistants do not pay overdue fines.

**Charge ($50.00 or current cost) will be refundable for item returned only if a replacement has not already been purchased (fines, if applicable, are not refundable).

Payment may be remitted at the Gitenstein Library Access Services Desk by Get It Card, check or cash. If by mail, a check should be made payable to The College of New Jersey, and sent to the following address: R. Barbara Gitenstein Library, (attn. Access Services) The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628.


Refund refers to money returned to a borrower who paid for a lost item to keep his borrowing privileges intact, but later returned a book to the Library. Such a refund might only be made if a replacement for the lost item has not already been purchased, and the time limits set by the Library have not been reached. Alumni, and guests have 90 days, and faculty, staff and graduate assistants have 180 days to return lost items to be refunded money that was already paid for the cost of a book (overdue fees, if any, are not returnable). Students have 90 days or time remaining to the end of semester, whichever comes first, to request a refund. All returned items are assessed by the Library staff as to their physical condition before any refund is granted. After indicated periods of time no money is refunded even if replacement items have not been purchased. Below is an example of charge and refund issued to Student, Alumni, Guest or Faculty, Staff for a lost Library item when returned within an applicable time frame:

Student, Alumni, Guest Faculty, Staff
Charges Refund Charges Refund
Cost of item $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00
Overdue Fee $14.00 (28 days x $0.50) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Total $64.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00


Suspending Borrowing Privileges, and Other Consequences

The Library suspends borrowing privileges when circulating library materials are overdue, when Reserve materials are overdue, when charges for lost items are not paid in full, an account is expired, or a home and/or e-mail address is defunct. The borrowing privileges will be reinstated only when all overdue library items are returned and financial obligations resolved.

Unpaid fines and charges may result in blocking a student from registering for the next semester, or receiving grades and transcripts at the end of a semester. Unpaid fines and charges may also result in blocking the students from graduating if their accounts are still outstanding by the end of a final semester.

Outstanding accounts will also be sent to the collection agency if no attempt to communicate with the Library on a subject, and no remittance of payment is made by the borrower after appropriate notices are sent by the Library.

Items on Hold

A library user can request that item that is in circulation be put on hold for him or her when a previous borrower returns it to the Library. When this happens, the person requesting it is notified by e-mail, phone or mail, and the item is held for a pick-up at the Access Services Desk for 5 days from the date of notification.

Search Services for Missing Library Materials

Library users may request a search for materials not found on the shelves that are not checked out already to another person. Library user will be notified about the search results by e-mail, phone or mail within 2 days of placing a request with the Access Services staff. Materials that are found will be held for pick-up at the Access Services desk for 10 days from the date of notification.

Proxy Borrowers

Proxy borrowers may be designated by faculty/staff to borrow library materials on their behalf. Each semester the person thus designated will present to the Library Access Services staff a letter written by a faculty or staff member, with a copy of their TCNJ ID card attached, as proof of being authorized to make a proxy library transaction. Faculty/staff members who designate their vices are responsible financially for all transactions made by proxy borrowers on their accounts.

Princeton University Library cards

R. Barbara Gitenstein Library has 2 courtesy cards that grant entry to the Princeton University Library. The cards are available only to current TCNJ students on a first come, first served basis. They may be borrowed for only 1 day during the week, or for 3 days if borrowed on Friday. Overdue fees are $10.00/day, and a borrower is financially responsible for a lost card’s replacement price.

Faculty receive free access privileges.  See Princeton’s visiting faculty page here.