We no longer charge overdue fines. This will help everyone have access to library materials and services.
We trust you are checking out items with the intention of bringing them back for others to use.
Questions? We can help! Give us a call at 217/403-2000.
Q: What happens to late fines that are already on my account?
A: They disappear! We have waived earlier overdue fines.
Q: If there are no fines, what keeps me from not returning items?
A: There are still consequences if a customer doesn’t return items. If an item is 4 weeks overdue, your borrowing privileges will be suspended until you return the item. If an item is 6 weeks overdue, you’ll be charged a replacement fee based on the cost of the item. When you return the item, the fee will be waived.
Q: What does it mean to have borrowing privileges suspended?
A: You won’t be able to check out items or use the E-Library.
Q: Can I still use the library?
A: Yes, library facilities, services, and events are open to everyone.
Q: Does this eliminate all fees?
A: Accidents do happen. You’ll be charged a replacement fee for lost or damaged items. If you owe more than $25, you’ll need to pay the fee before you can check out materials and use the E-Library.
Q: What about items checked out from the Urbana Free Library?
A: Fines will still be assessed for items checked out from other libraries. If you return items late, any charges will be based on their policies.
Q: What if I locate a lost item I’ve already paid for?
A: When you return the item, we’ll credit your account.
Q: Why the change?
A: There are many reasons why we have decided to stop charging overdue fines, but the main one is that overdue fines are widely recognized as a form of social inequity. The American Library Association and others have confirmed that imposing fines neither teaches responsibility nor motivates borrowers to return items on time. Instead, charging fines makes people less likely to return to the library. It also can keep people, including families and children, from using the library in the first place if they fear being responsible for fines they cannot pay.
Q: Will this loss of revenue hurt the library?
A: The loss of revenue will be minimal. We believe the benefits to our community are more important than the loss of revenue from overdue fines.
Some people have found fines are an easy way to give back to the library. While we’re not collecting fines anymore, we are happy to accept donations. Thank you for your support!
Questions? We can help! 217/403-2000.
Updated July 15, 2020