In order to make library materials more freely accessible to all patrons, the library will no longer be charging overdue fines. There are a few exceptions to the fine-free policy.
The library will still have fines on:
- ILL material (Jersey Cat - material from out of county)
- Museum passes
- Technology devices (hotspots, tablets, etc.)
Pals Plus sets the limit of checkouts to 75 items per card.
The library still has a time limit for borrowing, and we expect materials to be returned on time so that everyone has equal access to our collections.
Overdue item(s) notice schedule as set by PALS Plus:
- First notice will be sent out (email or postal mail) two weeks from the item(s) due date.
- Second notice will be sent out (email or postal mail) three weeks from the item(s) due date.
- Third notice will be sent out (email or postal mail) three months from the item(s) due date and at that point that book will be assumed lost. The cost of the book that the library set in WorkFlows will be applied to the user's account, and the account is blocked from being used at any library in the PALS Plus consortium.
The library will still charge for lost items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is the library eliminating fines?
A: Libraries are for everyone! Our goal is to make the library more accessible so everyone knows they are welcome here! Library fines create a barrier to the provision of library and information services. This disproportionally impact lower income communities, ultimately limiting access to our services. Similarly, when people accrue fines, they are less likely to visit the library, participate in programs, or check out materials. Our role is to encourage lifelong learning, exploration, and innovation. Charging fines for late items contradicts our role in the community.
Q: Does this mean other people will borrow items and never return them?
A: Other libraries that have gone fine free report no change in rates of return of materials. Some libraries have more materials returned to them after going fine-free.
Q: Will there still be due dates?
A: Yes. Our loan and renewal information can be found here. Items in the PALS Plus consortium automatically renew, unless another user has requested a hold on that item.
Q: What should I do if my account has late fines associated with it?
A: Visit us or contact us, an we will be more than happy to get rid of them for you!
"Free is Key: Library Fines and Access" Dawn Wacek, TEDx