Fine-Free is here
On September 3, the library began preparing for the move to fine-free by not assessing any fines on material that was checked in. We’ve worked to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone, but unfortunately, we are unable to offer refunds on any fines that have been paid. Thank you for understanding.
Historically, libraries charged fines for overdue materials to insure that materials came back on time. The primary reason for this was when library collections were relatively small, it was important to receive books back in a timely fashion so they were available for others in the community.
The American Library Association issued a statement stating that libraries should scrutinize policies involving fines to eliminate barriers to members facing financial pressures. Fines, it was determined, reduced the library’s ability to provide equitable service to the community.
In early 2019, Indian Trails Library began discussing going fine-free and studying the effects of this change at other libraries. The migration to a new catalog was the perfect opportunity to make fine-free a reality. In August 2019, the library’s board of trustees voted to approve a fine-free policy.
How does fine-free work?
With the migration to a new catalog system on October 22, fine-free was easy to implement as the new catalog offers automatic renewal for up to three times, if no one has placed a hold on the material.
It’s important to remember that materials will still have due dates, and members will receive notices when items are due. Here is how notices work:
What about lost books or other material fees?
Fees for lost or damaged items or other various fees, such as Launch Pad material, printing or test proctoring must still be paid. There is no change to this policy.
Does material still have due dates?
Yes, material will still have due dates.
How often will material be renewed?
As long as no one has requested an item, most material will be automatically renewed three times.
What happens if I don’t return the material?
If the item has already been renewed 3 times or has been requested by another borrower, accounts are blocked 14 days after the due date.
Do I have to pay fines if I return the item late?
If the item is returned within three months of the due date and/or before the account is sent to collections (whichever comes first), charges are removed from the account and the card is no longer blocked.
Without fines, how can you be sure the material will get returned?
Our objective is always to get material back so it is available for someone else to check out. We believe most people want to return their items on time, but sometimes that isn’t possible. This is why everyone receives a reminder when items are overdue.