The Ivoryton Library is Fine-Free!

Why is the library going fine-free?

It’s good for our community!  Overdue fines can be a major barrier to large numbers of people, including children, lower-income individuals, and seniors on fixed incomes. Often when overdue fines accumulate on someone’s card, they simply stop using the library altogether. That is the opposite of what we want. We want all members of the community to use the library equally.

It’s good for our relationships! We want our interactions with you, our patrons, to be pleasant and productive. When you walk through our doors, we want to do our best to help you, not badger you about a late fee. Going fine-free makes a trip to the library more pleasant for both you and our staff.


Will everything be fine-free?

Yes. No overdue fines will be charged on any item types.


What if I have old overdue fines on my account?

Overdue fines will be wiped clean for a fresh start beginning August 1, 2020. However, you are still expected to return all overdue items that are on your card or pay the replacement cost for the item(s).


What if I have fines from another library?

You are still responsible for paying overdue fines to other libraries that charge them. All items borrowed from other libraries are subject to the lending policies of the owning library.

If you check out or renew items while visiting another library in the LION consortium, you could still be charged fines based on that library’s fine policy.


What if my privileges from another library in our Libraries Online (LION) consortium are suspended?

Your borrowing privileges at all LION libraries must be in good standing in order to check out materials from the Ivoryton Library.


I like to give a little donation to the library if I return my items late. May I still do that?

Absolutely! Chocolate is good, too!


Will I still have to pay for printing and photocopying?

Yes. While overdue fines are punitive, fees for printing and photocopying help us to recoup the cost of providing those services and associated materials such as printers, copiers, paper, and toner.


Won’t the library lose a lot of revenue?

Fine revenue accounts for one-fifth of one percent (0.2%) of the library’s total revenue.


Won’t people just check things out and never return them?

“No fines” does not mean “no responsibility”. If your item is overdue more than one loan period, then the item will be assumed lost and you will be charged the full replacement cost of the item. Your card privileges will be suspended until you return or replace the item or pay the replacement cost.


Don’t overdue fines encourage people to return items on time?

On the contrary. Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies found that:

  • Library card registrations increased.
  • Borrowing of materials increased.
  • More library items were returned.
  • Students returned to the library to use homework resources.
  • Staff time was redirected from fines-handling to patron-focused services.