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Circulation Policies

Library Cards

REGISTERED PATRONS - The term "Registered Patrons" refers to persons who have a library card from this or any of the NSU libraries. It is mandatory to have a Nova Southeastern University ID (for current students, alumni, faculty and staff), an NSU Library Card for Broward County Residents, or a Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) card to check out materials, to obtain reserve items, and to access the Electronic Resources.

For the Broward County public users library cards can be acquired at the Circulation Desk of the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center. You can also apply for a library card at any Broward County Library. After receiving your faxed application from the Broward County Library, will process and mail your card to you. Public patrons cannot check out items at the Law Library or the Health Professions Divisions Library. However, they can make copies of the materials if needed.

Proof of Broward County residency is required. Acceptable forms of proof are a driver's license, state identification card, or utility bill with a picture ID. Employees of Broward County can obtain a library card even though they do not live in Broward County. It is mandatory that they present their Broward County employee identification card in order to obtain an NSU public card.

(For SEFLIN cards please see SEFLIN policy below.)

In the event of a lost library card, Circulation staff can issue replacement cards for $5.00. For information in regards to privacy of library records please refer to Florida Statute #257.261 - Library registration and circulation records


Check in:
Borrowers are responsible for returning Alvin Sherman Library materials by their due dates. Materials are checked in the same day that they are returned, except for NSU materials returned through the BCL Branches. BCL materials are also checked in the same day that they are returned. Returned materials have to be in good condition to be able to be checked in. The library reserves the right to assess and declare the condition of all returned library materials. Please see Fines and/or Material Replacement policies for further information. All Alvin Sherman Library materials are checked in twice before re-shelving.

Check out:
Registered patrons can check out materials from the circulating collection of the Alvin Sherman Library. Borrowing privileges, loan periods, and fines may vary depending on the patron type, item type and item location. For further information please refer to Borrowing privileges and Fines policies listed below.

Loan Periods & Borrowing Privileges

Loan periods vary by a combination of material type, location, and user category. For students, loan periods are overruled by the expiration date of the library card/university ID, if that date precedes the due date of the loan period. The expiration date is the last day of classes; once students have registered for the following quarter (or quarters) the expiration date of their library card is changed accordingly. A similar ruling applies for alumni members with the renewal of their alumni card. Expiration date does not apply for faculty and staff.


All loan periods have renewal limits; library materials may be renewed until their renewal limit has been reached.
For more information, go to the online Patron Portals (www.nova.edu/library/portal) to find out your particular group's borrowing privileges.
Once reached, the material must be returned before it can be charged again. Renewals can be made by patrons as described below if the item in question is not overdue and if there are no holds placed on it. Renewals can be made as follows:

  • BY PHONE: Contact the Circulation Desk (954)262-4601.
  • IN PERSON: Visit the Circulation Desk during hours of operations.
  • ONLINE: Patrons can renew their items online by following these steps:
    1. Go to www.nova.edu/library/main
    2. Click on Use NovaCat to renew link located under the Renew Or Put Holds On Materials title in the center of the page.
    3. Type in your last name and enter your University ID number. (If you are not a student at NSU enter your barcode number located on the back of your library card.) Click on Display record for person named above.
    4. Select items currently checked out.
    5. Click on renew all items or individually check off the items you want to renew and select Renew selected items.
    6. Print out a copy of your record with the new due dates on it.

Library patrons may place a hold on materials based on the following:

  • If an item is checked out, visit the Circulation Department, call (954) 262-4601, or go online at https://novacat.nova.edu/patroninfo  to request it. Notification is done by phone or email when the item is returned, and it will be held at the Circulation Desk for 5 days for you.
  • If an item is available, the Circulation Department will place it on the hold shelf for five days. Holds on available items can be placed online at https://novacat.nova.edu/patroninfo or call (954) 262-4601. Online holds on available items takes a maximum of 2 business days to process. *Please note that borrowing of items is on first come first serve basis.
  • Patrons can place holds on Broward County Library items using the BCL catalog and they can request to pick them up at the Alvin Sherman Library Circulation Desk. A BCL library card is needed for the circulation of BCL items through the BCL system. BCL items will be held for only 5 days.
  • All patrons have a maximum of 10 holds.
Fines & Fees

Overdue fines vary by loan period, item type, item location and patron type. Fines and fees may be reduced or waived by authorized staff if the situation warrants, using good judgment. Only full time circulation employees can collect fines.

Fines can be paid with a personal check, money order, or with cash on a Smart Card (for university affiliates), or a Alvin Sherman Library card (for the public). Charges for returned checks may apply. Library and/or University blocks may be put in effect if the fines are in excess of $5.00. Cash and credit card payment methods are not available.

  • Fees for overdue regular books and bestsellers are 25 cents per day.
  • Fees for overdue audiovisual materials (AV) are $0.25 - $1.00 per day.
  • Fees for overdue software is $1.00 per day.
  • Fees for Inglés Sin Barreras and Muzzy items are $5.00 per day.
  • Fees for overdue reserve materials are $0.25 per hour.
  • For Lost/damaged materials: the cost of the item plus an additional $15 processing fee. If the item is out of print, the fine is a $35 charge and an additional $15 processing fee. See the library's Material Replacement Policy (http://www.nova.edu/library/about/policies/materialreplacement.html) for more information.
Library Notices

The Circulation Department of the library sends notices, either by regular mail or e-mail, to patrons alerting them of overdue books, and fines owed. Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy. Failure to receive these notices does not remove the borrower's obligation to return the materials by the due date or the recall due date, nor does it constitute grounds for reducing a borrower's fine.
Questions about the notices should be directed to the Circulation department.


Reserve Desk operation hours are Mon.-Thur. 9am-5pm. Reserves transactions are held at the Circulation desk for all other library operational hours. Only NSU students, faculty or staff are allowed to check out Reserve materials.

All reserve materials are checked out for two hours IN-LIBRARY USE ONLY unless stated otherwise from the professor (other reserve loan periods are for overnight or 24 hours).

Public patrons from Broward County can also check out Dissertations that are located in the Reserve Room for two hours (IN-LIBRARY USE ONLY).

Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN)

The library is a SEFLIN member and abides by the rules and guidelines of the SEFLIN organization. A SEFLIN library card introduces the holder to another campus library and requests special use and borrowing privileges. The lending library reserves the right to confirm the validity of a card or to refuse issuance of a card. The lending library also reserves the right of borrowing privileges.

SEFLIN Access Rules:
  • The holder must present the card at each library where special use and borrowing privileges are desired. The lending library will make arrangements (issue a card or equivalent), which must be presented each time materials are borrowed.
  • The SEFLIN library card is issued by the home campus of a person and the card issued (or arrangements) for check-out privileges made by the lending campus library are valid for only one academic semester or term at a time. Expired cards will not be honored.
  • A cardholder should utilize his/her home campus library materials or services before requesting materials or services from another participating library. The purpose of the card is to give access to materials or services not available at one's home campus library.
  • The rules for library use and checkout privileges are those set by the lending campus library. Those rules may include, but are not limited to, number of books issued, types of materials loaned, length of loans, renewal policies, charges for overdue or lost materials, and fees or deposits. Violation of the rules or delinquency in borrowing renders the cardholder ineligible for continued use or issuance of another card at a later date unless the directors of both the home and lending campus libraries consent.
  • Borrowed materials must be returned directly to the campus library from which they were borrowed.
  • The lending library will report un-recovered books or damages to the home campus of the borrower/user. The home campus will impose its own sanctions upon the borrower/user for library delinquency or material damage.

SEFLIN Users refer to NSU students (Law & HPD students are excluded) faculty, and staff. On the other hand, SEFLIN Borrowers are from Universities or Colleges that are SEFLIN members. They will have a current SEFLIN pink card from their school. Borrowing privileges are limited to eight items with no renewals for 30 days. Fines may apply.

  • Alumni can obtain an NSU alumni card that gives them access to various campus facilities. This card is obtained through their alumni representative.
  • Alumni should receive information in the mail about it. They pay an annual fee which needs to be paid every year for their alumni card to remain valid. They can contact their alumni representative for more information.
  • Borrowing privileges may vary for Law and Health Professions Division HPD alumni; limited or non-existent. Privileges for these types of patrons are still under revision.
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Last update: 12/27/11