Effective April 4, 2022, GCLS materials will be fine-free with the exception of specialty materials such as hotspots, museum passes, etc.
Why go fine-free?
It's good for the community!
The Library's vision is to be the center of an informed, engaged, and connected community. Eliminating overdue fines will further our mission by removing barriers to library services and increasing access to the entire community.
It's good for our relationships!
Going fine-free makes a visit to the library more enjoyable for both the patrons and the staff.
What led to this decision?
- The American Library Association (ALA) encourages libraries to remove all barriers to library and informational services, particularly overdue charges - https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/economicbarriers.
- Fine-free Library Systems report positive experiences for their staff and community members.
- Once the stigma of library fines is removed, some communities have found that long-overdue library materials and past patrons have returned.
What does fine-free mean exactly?
Patrons will no longer receive a fine on overdue GCLS items. However, patrons are still responsible for returning library materials. GCLS will continue to send courtesy reminders to return borrowed materials.
Will any items still have late fees?
Yes, there are a few exceptions to GCLS' fine-free initiative. GCLS specialty materials such as hotspots, video games, museum passes, wonderbooks, playaways, materials from our Library of Things, etc. will still accrue late fines, as well as materials borrowed from LOGIN libraries or through Interlibrary Loan. Please remember to check due dates and renew items as needed.
Will removing fines prevent people from returning items?
No, return rates are higher when fines are eliminated. Patrons who do not return library materials in a timely manner will be blocked from borrowing additional materials. Once materials are returned and their account cleared, patrons will be able to borrow again.