We’re Going Fine Free!
How and Why?
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.
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.