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Overdue and Lost Library Items

Overdue MaterialWhat is Materials Recovery?

Materials Recovery is a process that uses the help of a collection agency, Unique Management Services (UMS), to retrieve overdue items and collect fines from accounts with a balance of $50 or more. The Library does this in an effort to bring long-overdue items back to the collection. Non-returned items are not available for other customers to borrow, and replacing them can be costly, using library funds which would be better spent purchasing new items.

Who is "Unique Management Services" (UMS)?

UMS is a specialized collection agency for Libraries. They help the Ajax Public Library recover long-overdue items and/or collect fines of $50 or more.

When will my account be turned over to UMS?

Accounts with items overdue by 60 days or more, or carrying fines and or fees of $50 or more, will be referred to UMS.

What is UMS's process for handling my account after the 60 days?

  • Day 60 (day of submission to UMS): 1st letter
  • Day 81 - 88: Initial phone call(s)
  • Day 102: 2nd letter
  • Day 125 - 139: Final phone call(s)
  • Day 150: Final letter
  • Day 180: Credit reporting

A $15 non-refundable administration fee will be added to accounts referred to UMS.

How do fines accumulate on my account?

All items borrowed are subject to fines if not returned by the due date. Items not returned 36 days after the item due date are assumed to be “Lost”, and the customer is charged for the cost of the item, plus a processing fee of $5.50.

What steps can I take to avoid overdue fines?

  • Keep track of due dates: Utilize a method that best suits your needs (electronic reminders, calendar/agenda updates, date due slip, etc.)
  • Register for email or text notification: You will receive a courtesy notice, emailed or texted to you, three days before the item’s due date.
  • Utilize renewals: Most items can be renewed five times, as long as there are no holds on them and your account is in good standing. Note: Quick Picks and Quick Flicks cannot be renewed.

What is the Library's overdue notification system and how does it work?

The Overdue Notification System is a series of overdue notices sent by phone, email and text. For each method of notification, three overdue reminder notices are sent as follows:

  • 1st Notice - 7 days
  • 2nd Notice - 17 days
  • Final Notice - 27 days

Billing Notices are sent through the mail 10 days after the "Final Notice" has been sent. Note: Reminder notifications are a courtesy provided by the Ajax Public Library, but are not a replacement for keeping track of your borrowing.

How can I renew my library items?

  • Online through the Catalogue.
  • Through our automated telephone service at 905-686-2472.
  • By calling one of the branches directly at 905-683-4000.

24-hour exterior return boxes are located at Main and McLean branches.

Claims Return?

If you report an item returned to the Library which is still checked out on your account, we will add a “Claims Return” message to your file. Over the following seven days, staff will search each branch three times in an effort to locate the missing item. We will contact you after this seven-day period. If we find the missing item, your record will be cleared. If you find and return the item, you may incur overdue charges. If item is not found, you will be charged for the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee.

Refund for lost material?

If you find an item that was previously reported lost, the billed amount for the item and the processing fee will be refunded with the following conditions:

  • The total refunded amount will be reduced by any overdue fines accumulated from the item due date.
  • The material must be returned in good condition.

Note: Replacement in kind or substitution for lost or damaged material is not accepted.