HomeMoorestown NewsMoorestown Library is fine-free

Moorestown Library is fine-free

Library is eliminating fees for materials that are returned late


Because it is good for the community. We agree with the American Library Association’s policy statement that the “imposition of monetary fines creates a barrier to the provision of library and information services.” We want to eliminate that barrier.

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What about past late fees? 

They will be waived.

What about lost items or items that are not returned?   

The library will continue to bill and collect for lost items.

Will some items still have a fee for lateness?  

Yes, museum passes (since they are reserved for a particular day by other patrons) and materials borrowed via interlibrary loan if the lending library charges a fee.

What happens if items are not returned?

Three courtesy notices are sent to the patron. A bill will be sent when an item is 28 days overdue. The patron’s library card will be blocked at that time.

What is an auto-renewal? 

Items will be renewed for two additional loan periods if no other patron is waiting. Messages will be sent to the patron via text or email to let them know which items have been renewed.

What is the impact of a fine free policy on the library budget?

Fines from late fees represent less than 1 percent of the library’s budget and decreases each year with the growing popularity of electronic materials. We expect the drop in revenue will be offset by other savings like the staff time needed to manage late fees and, perhaps, donations from happy patrons.

What will fine-free look like for Moorestown Library? 

Libraries that have eliminated late fees have consistently reported that:

  • There is no significant negative impact on the return of materials
  • Circulation of materials increases
  • Card registrations increase
  • Lost materials and patrons return
  • Staff morale improves
  • Staff time is redirected from fine transactions to more customer-focused activity
  • Patron satisfaction increases

We look forward to the same at Moorestown Library.


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