Boston Public Library
Lost or Damaged Material
Borrowing and Circulating Information


Damage to or loss of material must be reported to the library. Borrowers are responsible for the cost of replacement of material if it is lost or damaged beyond repair. If the item can be repaired there are various fees for types of damage. In many circumstances, the borrower may replace an item in lieu of a replacement fee. In such cases, the replacement copy must be the same title and author of the material that was lost or damaged beyond repair. The replacement must not be an older edition and library staff reserve the right to refuse unsuitable replacements offered.

Lost Material

For our newer materials we charge the purchase price for the item lost. If that is not known or it is older material, we will charge a predetermined replacement fee as listed with our fines and fees.

Damaged Material 

Fees are based on the severity of damage. If an item is beyond repair, you will be charged the fees listed above for lost material.

If you are checking out material and you notice that it is damaged, please bring it to the attention of a staff person. They will note the damage so that you will not be charged for it.