We are fine free!

NO MORE Overdue fines!

The library has always been free. We think it should be free-er.

As of March 1, 2020, the Gay-Kimball Library is no longer charging overdue fines AND all current overdue fines have been forgiven.  (Note that the library will continue to charge for lost and damaged) items. 

Why?

  • Our goal is to ensure that patrons can access all the materials and services the library has to offer. Overdue fines can disproportionately affect low-income families and going fine free helps remove barriers to library services.
  • The risk of incurring overdue fines can prevent patrons from checking out items, and the embarrassment of having overdue fines can keep them away.
  • Recent research has shown that overdue fines do not increase the return of library items. In fact, libraries report that their rates of overdues are the same or even less after going fine free.

How can you afford this?

Late fees have represented a small fraction of the library’s budget. In 2019 they were only 0.5% of our income.  Overdue fines do, though, have a significant impact on patrons.  We believe this is a necessary and worthwhile step to reach more of our community. Libraries all over the country agree – it is a growing movement throughout the United States.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

  • Items are still expected back by their due date. Items not on hold for another patron can be renewed once.
  • Patrons will still be charged for lost and damaged items. Items will be considered lost after being overdue more than 90 days and will need to be paid for or replaced.
  • Checkout periods will remain the same, but once a patron has an overdue item their account will automatically be restricted meaning they cannot borrow more materials (including downloadable books & audio) until the overdue item is renewed, returned or paid for.
  • Reminders via email will still be sent. We will also continue making courtesy calls for overdue items and renewing those items when possible.
  • Fines that have already been paid will not be refunded.