Fine Free Borrowing
Effective February 1, 2020
Why is Cass District Library going fine free?
This change is in response to the American Library Association’s Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity which “urges libraries to scrutinize their practices of imposing fines on library patrons and actively move towards eliminating them”. This policy change follows a national trend of public libraries adopting fine free policies to remove barriers to access.
Historically fines were imposed on library materials as a means to encourage their return. Recent studies have proven however, that fines are not effective and removing fines positively impacts the return of materials. Most importantly, studies have determined that eliminating fines increases library usage. CDL believes that eliminating fines will better connect the community to our resources, materials, and social services.
How can the library afford not to collect fines?
For the past several years, fine revenue has accounted for less than 1% of Cass District Library’s operating income and in fact, the expenses associated with collecting fines now outweigh the revenue.
When will this change go into effect?
February 1, 2020.
If I already have fines, will they be eliminated?
Yes, as long as all overdue materials have been returned. However, patrons are still responsible for the replacement costs of lost or damaged items.
Can I still renew my materials?
Yes! Borrowing limits, loan periods, and renewals have not been changed.
How does this process work for patrons?
- Patrons will be notified by phone, mail, or email when items become 7 days overdue.
- After 14 days overdue, patrons will be notified again and borrowing privileges will be suspended.
- Patrons are mailed a final notice at 28 days overdue. Final notices serve as a bill, detailing the replacement costs of all overdue items, which are subsequently charged to the account.
- Delinquent accounts $30.00 and over will be submitted to collections and assessed a nonrefundable $5.00 charge.
- Returning overdue items at any time will remove replacement charges from a patron’s account and will reinstate borrowing. If a $5.00 collections fee has been added to an account, the fee must be paid prior to reinstatement of borrowing privileges.
Click here to access the new circulation policy.