We’re Going Fine Free!
How and Why?

Article

Why will the library no longer collect overdue fines?
Our goal is to make sure you can enjoy all the books and services the library has to
offer. Overdue fines can prevent some patrons from checking out books and other
materials from the library. The library wants to unblock accounts and encourage you to
bring items back.

What is the difference between a fine and a fee?
Fines are a penalty for returning materials late. Fees are for library services and
products, such as replacement library cards, copying, printing, replacement costs,
inter-library loan, etc.

How does the new Fine-Free policy work?
You are still responsible for returning items on time as a courtesy to other patrons.
Overdue fines will not be reflected on the patron’s account for late items.
Library cardholders may check out items for up to 21 days (3 weeks) and have the
opportunity to renew each item up to two times. Certain items are not eligible for
renewal, including some items borrowed through Inter-Library Loan and items with
outstanding holds requests.
In order to help patrons return materials on time the library will send notices to patrons
regarding checked-out materials including upcoming due dates, overdue notifications,
and bills for never-returned items.
After 35 days overdue, the privilege of borrowing further physical materials (books,
DVDs, audiobooks, playaways) will be suspended. In addition, overdue item(s) will be
considered lost and the patron will be billed the replacement cost.
If the item(s) are returned undamaged, all related fees shall be removed from the
account and borrowing privileges will be reinstated. If the item is not returned or is
returned damaged the patron will be responsible for the monetary cost for the item.
Charges for never-returned or damaged items will be calculated at list price.

Will the library lose money or materials due to the new Fine-Free policy?
Overdue fines currently make up less than 3.4% of the library’s operating budget. The
reduction in money collected in fines will be offset with donations.

When does the new Fine-Free policy go into effect?
The Fine-Free policy went into effect July 1, 2019. Fines on all current accounts will be
forgiven. You will still be responsible for charges for never-returned items or damaged
items.
Should it become necessary staff may place limits on the number of items that can be
checked out per patron.

Exclusions
This policy does not apply to fees for library services and products such as replacement
library cards, copying, printing, or replacement costs for lost or damaged materials.