Circulation and Overdue Policies

Circulation and Overdue Policies

Circulation and Overdue Policies

The WMU-Cooley Law Libraries circulate materials to WMU-Cooley students, faculty, and staff; alumni, and members of any state bar association. Members of the Western Michigan University communities also have certain borrowing rights. All other patrons with legal research needs may use the collection in-house. 

Due Dates

You are responsible for returning your books on or before the due date. As a courtesy, notices are emailed or mailed to the address on file at the library.


Patrons may request non-circulating material. Permission will be determined on a case-by-case basis by a reference librarian.   Patrons using rare, archival, or other material from restricted locations may be required to use the material in supervised locations during regular business hours.


  • For each overdue item that checks out in hourly increments (most Reserve items) you are charged a fine of $1 for every hour the item is overdue. An item that is one minute overdue is considered one hour overdue. The fine accumulates to $35 ($10 overdue fine, $25 processing fee) at which time you are billed for the replacement cost of the item. Current market value is assessed.
  • For each overdue item that checks out in daily increments (Main Collection, Career and Professional Development office, and Academic Resource Center material, CD ROMs, popular movies, and some makeup lectures) you are charged a fine of $1 for every day the item is overdue. The fine accumulates to a maximum of $35 ($10 overdue fine, $25 processing fee) at which time you are billed for the replacement cost of the item. Current market value is assessed.
  • When you owe $10 or more, library privileges are suspended until the amount is paid and items are returned.
  • Overdue fines are the responsibility of the borrower regardless of vacations, exams, car trouble, illness, late or never-received overdue notices, etc. Do not check out materials for others. You are held financially responsible for all items checked out using your card. All payments are non-refundable.
  • Fine Appeals for the waiving of library fines must be made in writing.  Please visit our Library Fine Appeal Form page here to download the form and submit the completed form to the Head of Public Services at your campus. Circulation privileges are reinstated during the appeals process.
  • Verbal dialogue regarding contested fines is not permitted.


For more information, please contact the Head of Public Services at your campus library. Please visit our contact page here for names of our Heads of Public Services.


Main collection items are subject to recall after two weeks if requested by another patron, or immediately if the item is to be placed on Reserve.

What Circulates

  • Single-volume treatises in unrestricted locations circulate for one month to qualified patrons.
  • Reserve materials may be signed out for three hours.
  • Sum and Substance tapes circulate for three hours and must be used in the library.
  • Bound and unbound periodicals, statutes, codes, reporters, digests, records and briefs, administrative rules, multi-volume treatises, loose leaf services, reference books, and rare and archival material do not circulate.
  • Popular videos and DVDs circulate for seven days. 

MeLCat Circulation and Overdue Policies

MeL items are borrowed from other Michigan library systems through a cooperative lending program. Policies regarding renewal, checkout length, and damaged item charges are set by the Michigan E-Library and not WMU-Cooley Law School.


Students, alumni, faculty, adjuncts, and staff of the WMU-Cooley Law School may use MelCat for their legal research needs, by visiting our CoolCat  page here

Loan Period

Most items requested and received through MelCat circulate for 21 days. 


Most MelCat items that circulate for 21 days may be renewed once for an additional 21 days from the date renewed. Some 21-day circulating MelCat items will not renew. Items that circulate for seven days do not renew.

Time to Pickup

Patrons are given 10 days to pick up the requested material from the day the material is received at the library. Material not picked up in that time is returned to the supplying library.

Viewing Your Record

You may view your MelCat library record by visiting your My CoolCat page here.

Library policies were last reviewed in 2017. Policies are subject to change without notice.


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Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. The affiliation between WMU and WMU-Cooley, which are legally and financially independent institutions, will end on or before November 5, 2023. As an independent institution, the Law School is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. 

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