FAQ: Returns, overdue loans, debt collection and suspension of borrowing rights

How do I return materials?
May loans be re­turned to a library dif­fer­ent from the one from where they were checked out?

Yes. Helsinki University Library books may be returned to any site regardless of where they were borrowed from.

The Helsinki University Library sites are the Main Library in Kaisa House, Kumpula Campus Library, Meilahti Campus Library and Viikki Campus Library.

Materials borrowed from other libraries (for example, other Helka libraries, Helsinki City Library or the National Library of Finland) will not be accepted as returns to the Helsinki University Library sites.

May I re­turn a book by post?

You may also return a book at your own risk by post. The borrower is responsible for the book until it has been received by the library.

Use the library's PO Box number when sending books.

Helsinki University Library

Kaisa House

PO Box 53 (Fabianinkatu 30)

00014 University of Helsinki

Phone number: +358 50 4150491

Do you have a re­turn box or may I re­turn books, for ex­ample, to the porter?

At the Main Library in Kaisa House (Fabianinkatu 30), there is an overnight return drop box on the left side of the main entrance. The machine can be operated with a library card. The books will be registered as returned on the following working day. Every evening there is a service break around 22.00 during which it is not possible to return books.

At Kumpula Campus, it is possible to return items to the drop box outside the Library's opening hours. The overnight drop box is located to the right of the Physicum main entrance (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a), next to the grey side door. The books will be registered as returned on the following working day.

At Viikki Campus Library (Infocentre Korona) the drop box is out of the use during the renovation of the infocenter 2020-2021. There are exceptions to the frequency of emptying the drop boxes in campus libraries that are closed during summer.

If I re­turn a loan after the due date, will I be charged a fine?

Yes. Overdue fines are accrued for a maximum of 15 days starting from the day after the due date.

However, you can avoid the fines by returning the book to the library or by renewing the loan no later than on the due date. You can renew the borrowed materials if there are no requests for them.

How much are the over­due fines?

The overdue fines are accrued for 15 days starting from the day after the due date, after which the customer’s borrowing rights will be suspended. The collection of material that is a month overdue is handed over to a collection agency. The minimum compensation for a book is €80/book. In addition, the customer must pay the accrued overdue fines and the collection agency fees.

Check the overdue fines for textbooks, short-term loans and other collections from the library's price list.

When does the library send out over­due no­tice?

The first overdue notice is sent out after the due date, the second 15 days after the due date, and the third 30 days after the due date. After the second notice, your borrowing rights will be suspended until you return the loan.

The third overdue notice includes a warning of the fee for the overdue material being referred to a collection agency.

When will a cus­tom­er’s bor­row­ing rights be sus­pen­ded?

When loans are more than 15 days overdue or there is more than €15 in unpaid fines.

How can I re­gain my bor­row­ing rights?

By returning overdue loans and paying all the accrued fines. Please note that you have to pay all fines in full – it is not possible to pay in instalments.

I have lost or dam­aged a book I bor­rowed. Do I have to pay for it?

Yes. If you have lost or damaged a book that you borrowed, please contact the library's customer service. As per the library price list, the fine for a lost book is at least €80.

When will over­due loans be handed over to a col­lec­tion agency?

When they are one month overdue. In that case the customer has to pay compensation for the lost material (minimum €80 per item), the fines incurred and the collection fees. The compensation fee need not be paid if the material is returned. Even in such cases, overdue fines and collection fees do still have to be paid. The library sends out a reminder (second overdue notice) and warns about the collection before the matter is forwarded to a collection agency.

How can I pay my fees?

Online payment is possible with Visa and MasterCard cards, bank online payments and mobile payments (Siirto, MobilePay). Log in to your customer account in Helka, under "Fines & Fees" click "Pay fine" and follow the instructions.

In the library, you can pay with a regular debit card, Visa Electron, or a Visa or MasterCard credit card. Cash is accepted only in Kaisa House.

Payments with a UniCard/Lyyra card are not accepted, nor can fines be paid to a bank or in instalments.

Can I pay a part of the fines to re­gain my bor­row­ing rights?

Unfortunately, no. Payments cannot be made in instalments – all fines must be paid in full.

Why are over­due fines also ac­crued for books with no re­quests?

The library caters to the needs of all its customers and in order to do so, charges for all overdue loans.

By borrowing a book, the customer enters into a contract for a predetermined period, after which the customer may renew the loan (if there are no requests for the book). It is the customer’s responsibility to return the borrowed materials to the library when they no longer need them.

Please remember that people may expect or wish to have access to a book even if they have not placed a request for it.