Answered By: Teaching, Learning, and Academic Support Library
Last Updated: Sep 27, 2023     Views: 398

If a lost item is turned in at the Information Desk and it is a generic item of little real value (gloves, umbrella, water bottle, etc.), it may be put in the dark blue plastic bin at the Info Desk (behind/below the 2nd row of staff seating). Approximately once per week, the items in the plastic bin will be taken to Library Stores and Distribution in Main Library Room 22 (basement) by the RIS Student Assistant, where they will be held until they are donated to a local charity. On weekdays, if a patron wants to know if their item is in Library Stores and Distribution, you can either direct them to the basement, or we or the patron can call the Mailroom/Stores & Distribution at 217-333-1113. If no one answers that number, try calling Norris Purdy (in Stores & Distribution) at 217-300-5237.

ITEMS OF VALUE (IDs, purses, wallets, keys, glasses, and cell phones):

  • Place these items as directed in the 'Securing items of value' entry in the Hub Wiki (login required).

  • If it is an i-card, please e-mail the patron using Reflib and the template for Lost i-cards.  Put a sticky note on it indicating the date the patron was emailed.  Place it in the "Lost IDs" plastic zipper bag in the wooden box on the middle shelf of the second cabinet from the left on the east desk side, labeled 'Lost & Found.'  NOTE: If i-cards are not claimed, they are periodically returned to the ID Card Center in the Illini Union Bookstore.

  • If there are items of value in the cabinet at closing time, lock them in the storage closet until the following morning. Whenever you have an opening shift check to see if any valuable items are there. If there are, take them to Library Administration (room 230) once you are joined by the second person.

  • In the case of an item being turned in on a weekend, send an email to circulation ( via the Reflib account to let them know in case the owner asks at their desk (they will do the same for Reflib). If no one picks it up, keep the item there until Monday morning (secured in the storage closet between closing and opening) when it can be brought to Library Administration.


If a container with liquid in it is turned in, please empty the liquid before putting the container in the Lost & Found bin.


  • Do not plug the drive into any staff computers--it may carry a virus!. Do not try to determine the owner of the drive.
  • Place the drive in the "Lost USBs" plastic zipper bag in the wooden box on the middle shelf of the second cabinet from the left on the east desk side, labeled 'Lost & Found.' USBs will be retained for at least 1 month.


  • Depending on what type of item they have lost, check for the item in either the blue plastic bin or in the wooden boxes in the second cabinet from the left on the east desk side, labeled 'Lost & Found.'
  • If we do not have the item at the desk, offer to take the patron's name and contact information in case the item is turned in later. If the patron wants to leave their information, record it in the black binder labeled "Lost Items Contact List" that is kept on the middle shelf of the second cabinet from the left on the east desk side, labeled 'Lost & Found.'
  • Let the patron know the other desk locations in the library where the item may have been turned in (see note below).

NOTE: The Info Desk does not have the only lost-and-found in the Main Library. If we do not have the item, the patron should also check with other library units that they have been in or near. For example, something dropped in the Marshall Gallery will likely have been turned in at SSHEL, and the patron may not think to check a library that they have not been in. CAS also maintains a lost & found at the Circ Desk. Someone from Library Administration will send a note out through LibNews when items are turned in to Administration, so checking recent emails can help determine whether the lost item can be retrieved from room 230.

Do not move or open the bag. If you can see an ID without moving or opening the bag, contact the owner and follow the procedure above for Other Items of Value. If no ID is visible and no one arrives to claim the bag within ten minutes, call Campus Police at the non-emergency number  (217-333-1216) and proceed as they direct.

Campus Police Dispatch 217-333-1216
University Lost and Found 217-333-4636 (located in the Illini Union)