HDL Goes Fines Free

HDL No Longer Charges Overdue Fines

No More Overdue Fines!

HDL's Board of Trustees has eliminated future overdue fines from all material owned by Herrick District Library.

The common practice of assessing overdue fines was meant to motivate borrowers to return materials in a timely manner. Nationwide, libraries have found that those able to pay overdue fines will keep visiting and borrowing, but those who are unable to pay stop using the library. The American Library Association ratified a resolution, opens a new window in 2019 that urged libraries move toward eliminating fines, saying they create a barrier to service to lower income users.

Overdue fines were temporarily suspended at the onset of the pandemic. During the temporary suspension library users continued to return library items in a timely manner. In their October 2021 meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to eliminate future overdue fines long term. Overdue fines create a barrier to service that HDL hopes to remedy by eliminating future overdue fines.

HDL Has Removed Fines on Herrick District Library Owned Items

Items owned by HDL will not accrue overdue fines from this point forward. Materials owned by HDL have stickers with one of 3 two-letter codes on the back: HO, HN, or HH. Materials owned by other Lakeland Cooperative libraries or obtained through inter-library loan may still accrue overdue fines.

Overdue Fines are Different From Fees

Returning items in good condition and in a timely manner ensures more people in our community can use more resources. Items returned excessively late or damaged will still incur fees to repair or replace those items so the community can continue to enjoy them.

Removing Fines Has Little Impact on the Library Budget

Fines constitute a very small amount of the library's budget, comprising less than two tenths of a percent of library revenue in recent years. Tracking fines on library accounts consumes staff time that will now be freed up with the removal of overdue fines.

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