[Michlib-l] Fine Free policy compilation

Amber Hughey a.hughey at bridgeportlibrary.org
Tue Feb 11 14:12:59 EST 2020

I'd just like to thank everyone who sent me their policy. It's greatly appreciated!


We don't have a written policy about it, but we’ve been fine-free for all items since the mid-1990s. Instead we have a donation jar on the circ desk and the patrons who feel guilty about returning overdue books put money in the jar. New patrons are absolutely delighted when we tell them we don’t charge fines. It’s such a source of goodwill. We do charge full price for lost or damaged items, though. 




We just went Fine Free Feb. 1.  The response has been VERY positive.  Here’s a link to our info on our web site https://grossepointelibrary.org/news/gppl-no-longer-charges-overdue-fines  And here’s a link to our FAQs that talk about fines. https://grossepointelibrary.org/frequently-asked-questions




We made the switch back in July.  We set it up so that none of our items will assign fines for being overdue.  I know some libraries simply forgive fines when items are returned, but we're part of a consortium, and close enough to other libraries that we were concerned people from the area would take advantage of our policies if we did that.  Didn't want to step on any toes.


We do still expect patrons to pay for lost items (not returned 21 days after the due date), though as long as the item comes back SOMEDAY, no overdue fines will be given.  We also use a collection agency, that gets involved if items are lost long enough, and are above a cumulative value of $25.  Being sent to collections incurs a $10 fee, and we DO expect that to be paid as well, even if the items are returned.


We block patrons if they have too many items overdue, the cap is 24.  They're also blocked if they have ANY items marked lost.  If you'd like, here's a link to our page regarding the issue.





We just circulate as usual only we do not charge fines on any of our items . We also understand that other libraries do  and let our patrons know that if another library"s  item is returned late, there will be a fee. We notify our patrons by phone or email when the item is overdue and by mail when it is considered lost.  Patrons are charged for lost or damaged items. If one item goes to lost, we block the account until it has been resolved. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I am happy to help! 

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