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Finding Replacements for Lost Library Books and Serials

In cases that patrons are unable to return an item they have borrowed, they are asked to pay a lost-item fee. This fee is used to pay The Library to find a replacement copy, label it, correct the catalog if necessary, and return it to the shelf. In some cases, a Library borrower may avoid replacement charges by supplying The Library with a replacement copy of the same volume/edition or an acceptable substitute. Permission for replacements can only be granted by the lending library.  The Library will not accept replacements for Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) items.  If you have received replacement permission from a Circulation Manager to supply materials in place of payment, these guidelines may help you in your search.

If you find the materials you are looking for
Please submit replacement materials to the proper authorities in the Library to determine their acceptability. If you are unable to find the materials within the time limit established by the Circulation Manager, you may be held responsible for the full amount of the replacement charges for which the Library has billed you.

The Bay Area is rich in resources for locating replacement copies of books lost from Library collections. The following is an outline for utilizing those resources to the greatest advantage.

    Be sure you know what you're looking for:
  • Determine whether the title sought is available in the same, a later, or a reprint edition. If available only in a later or reprint edition, verify with the Library unit from which the original item was borrowed that this edition will be acceptable as a replacement for the volume lost.
  • If the original volume was in hardcover, the replacement volume should be in hardcover as well. Binding fees may be charged if a paperbound volume is supplied.
  • The library can not accept moderately/heavily marked up replacements, nor items that have been withdrawn from another collection, with alternate labeling/markings.
    If the book is out of print:
  • Out-of-print books can be more difficult and costly to find. The quickest and most efficient way to locate a copy is to use the metasearch engine, It is a "one-stop search site" that allows users to comparison shop among the collections of over 30,000 sellers of new, used, rare, and out-of-print books throughout the world. Also, if you do not locate a copy, you can list it for free in an out-of-print website covered by this engine. If a copy is found, you will be notified by e-mail.
  • Another method is to call one or more used book dealers from the listings in the yellow pages. If you are unable to locate the title in question, ask each dealer about its search service. Some dealers will ask for a small fee before beginning to search and others will not charge but will add the cost of the search to the price of the book if it is found. Ask the dealer what print and online sources he uses, the degree of difficulty in locating the particular title, and the length of the search period. Also ask if the used book is returnable as the condition may not be acceptable. Because dealers often use essentially the same resources, you should request only one dealer to conduct the search.

Few Bay Area dealers handle serials. In your search for single issues or volumes, you will have to contact dealers out of the area. As with books, it is possible, though not necessarily as likely, to locate replacement copies of issues or volumes using the Web. Please try:

If the websites do not produce results, a list of established used journal dealers in the United States is appended. If a dealer does not have the item in stock, ask if he will search for you or if you could be referred to a dealer who is likely to have it. As with books, ask about the degree of difficulty in locating the item, the length of the search period, and whether it is returnable if the condition is unacceptable. If it is available, prepayment will be requested either by check or credit card.



G. H. Arrow
2066 W. Hunting Park Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19140
(215) 227-3211

humanities, medical, sciences, social sciences, no popular magazines (e.g., Newsweek)

Hans Kuperus
11254 Bradley Avenues
Pacoima, CA 91331
(818) 890-1403

humanities, medical, popular, sciences, social sciences

Periodicals Service Co.
11 Main St.
Germantown, NY 12526
(518) 537-4700

humanities, medical, sciences, social sciences, foreign

United States Book Exchange (USBE)
2969 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 241-6960

humanities, popular, sciences, social sciences, foreign

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