- Starting July 1, 2021, The American Fork Library no longer charges fines for materials that are returned after their due date.
- Patrons will be charged for the replacement cost of materials not returned four weeks after their final due date.
- Libraries across the country that have eliminated overdue fines have reported that patrons still return items on time, that more items are checked out (improving the return on the investment of their purchase), and that interactions between staff and patrons are more positive.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When does the change take effect? The policy will go into effect on July 1, 2021.
Will my previous fines be forgiven? Previous overdue fine will be forgiven. Any charges for lost or damaged items, and other fees will remain on your account and need to be paid.
Does this change apply to lost or damaged items? No. Items that you lost, returned with damaged or missing parts, or otherwise did not return in the same condition as when they were checked out will be billed accordingly.
Without fines, will library materials be returned in a timely manner? Several other library systems that have eliminated overdue fines have reported that books, movies, and other materials still get returned by their due date. Library cardholders understand that it is their duty to return materials so other people can use them. The Library will issue reminders (through email) when due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. If an item is four weeks overdue, we will charge the account for the item’s replacement cost.
Will you remind me when my items need to be returned? Yes. We email reminders when your due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. To ensure you receive these notices, please check that your email address is current in your account. You can review and update your email address by speaking with a library staff member.
Doesn’t the Library need overdue fines in order to buy more books? Purchasing new materials is part of the Library’s budget every year, and it is not tied to overdue fines. Any revenue from overdue fines has gone toward the City’s general fund, not to directly pay for materials.
If you have more questions, please follow these links to articles and studies on this subject.