Starting on January 1, 2020, patrons of the Fox River Valley Public Library District will no longer be charged fines for materials that are returned late. In addition, existing overdue fines will be waived from all patron accounts.
Studies have shown that the implementation of late fees on overdue materials does not actively encourage patrons to return materials on time. Instead, these fees act as a barrier for some patrons and their families from continuing to visit our libraries altogether.
We want patrons to feel comfortable checking out materials at our libraries without the fear of accruing fees. The library’s mission statement is to provide equal opportunity for all to learn, explore, imagine, create, and connect in a welcoming environment and the existence of overdue fines prevents that from being a universal truth for all our patrons. Our hope is that the removal of fines makes the library a more positive space and allows us to focus on serving the public in a more productive way.
How will we get our items back?
No overdue fines does not mean “no responsibility.” There will still be due dates. We will still send reminders, and auto-renewals will continue as they do now.
At 14 days after the due date, materials not returned or renewed are marked as long overdue. Until those materials are returned, that person will be unable to check out anything else. At 45 days, items will be marked as lost and the patron’s account will be billed for replacement.
Are there any exceptions to this policy?
Due to the higher cost of replacement, some items in our collection will continue to accrue fines: hotspots, laptops, and kits such as American Girl Dolls, Early Learning, and STEAM kits.
All other materials – books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, video games, audiobooks and PlayAWays, magazines, library bags – will no longer amass overdue fines.
How much will this cost the library?
It’s a common misconception that we rely on fines for our funding. Overdue fines represent a tiny fraction of our annual budget – it’s actually less than 1% (0.55%) of our revenue.
However, we hope to replace any lost revenue incurred with overdue fines with services that are beneficial to the public. Stay tuned!
What if an FRVPLD cardholder checks out at another library?
FRVPLD cardholders will be charged overdue fines according to that library’s overdue policies. Our neighbor Algonquin is also fine-free and does not charge late fees to any patrons who use their libraries.
What if a non-FRVPLD cardholder checks out at our libraries?
No overdue fines will accrue for any patrons who check out materials at either our Dundee or Randall Oaks locations. These patrons will adhere to the same overdue policies as FRVPLD cardholders.
If you have questions about your account, please call us at (847) 428-3661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.