Updated Dec. 12, 2022
Fines Policy Changes
Wright Library is joining many libraries across the country by eliminating fines on most items in our collection. Beginning Jan. 2, 2023, nearly all books and videos — those that were previously charged $0.10/day in overdue fines — will no longer have fines assessed.
Fines will continue to be charged at the current rates for special items like interlibrary loans, video games, mobile hotspots, and Library of Things items (e.g. Makerboxes).
Learn more about why we’re changing and how it will work.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is the library getting rid of $0.10 fines?
- When will this take effect?
- Will current overdue fines be wiped away?
- Which items will still have fines?
- What happens if I do not return something?
- When are accounts sent to a collection agency?
- What if I return an item after I’ve been billed for it?
- What will the library do to get patrons to return borrowed materials?
- How will the library protect the community’s investment?
Why is Wright Library getting rid of $0.10/day overdue fines?
Many libraries across the nation are eliminating overdue fines. According to the American Library Association, research indicates library fines restrict access to materials and services, while evidence shows ending library fines results in an increase in patron usage of library resources, as well as an overall increase in circulation.
When will this take effect?
January 2, 2023
Does this mean my current overdue fines are being wiped away?
Because not all overdue fees are being eliminated, existing balances are being waived on a case by case basis. Talk to a staff member if you currently owe fines.
Which items will still have fines?
Fines will continue to be charged at the current rates for special items like interlibrary loans, video games, mobile hotspots, and Library of Things items, such as Makerboxes.
What happens if I do not return something?
Patrons with overdue items receive weekly courtesy notices during the first 3 weeks their items are overdue. If an item is not returned by 21 days past its due date, the full replacement cost for the item will be charged to the patron's account. If the item is returned, the replacement charge will be removed. Depending on the type of item, overdue fees may be owed.
At what point are accounts sent to a collection agency?
Patrons carrying unpaid charges of $25 or more on their account for 45 days or more may be sent to a collection agency with a non-refundable collection agency fee added to their account.
What if I return an item after I’ve been billed for a lost item?
If the item is in good shape, the billed amount will be waived. In most cases, no money will be due.
However, overdue fines will be due if items returned late are part of special collections that still incur fines. In addition, if the account was referred to a collection agency the $13 collection agency fee will be owed.
What is the library going to do to get patrons to return borrowed materials?
Most patrons return items on time, especially when they know others are waiting. We will continue to send reminders via phone, email and text. We are also shortening the time before overdue items are billed from 45 days to 21 days which, in most cases, will prevent borrowing and renewing on that account. This is a more effective way of making sure items are returned promptly.
How will the library protect the community’s investment?
When checked out items are damaged or lost, we will continue to add the cost to replace these item(s) to the patron’s card. When a patron’s fines and/or replacement costs exceed the threshold limits, they are blocked from borrowing library materials.