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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Campbell County Library: No More Late Fines


The Campbell County Public Library is now permanently fine free. Patrons may return their items without the worry of late fines, no matter how overdue they are.

Fines were paused in March 2020 during the pandemic, which saw an overwhelmingly positive response and the return of many items once considered lost. The fine free model is here to stay, meaning that there are no longer late fines on books, magazines, movies, video games and more.

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“We want everyone to feel welcome at the library,” Library Director JC Morgan said. “Going fine free helps us reach that goal by removing unnecessary financial barriers. All of our patrons should have equal access to the library’s resources and services.” 

This decision is in line with hundreds of library systems across the country. Fines tend to penalize already vulnerable individuals or families who can’t afford them — the very people who often need the library most. Several studies have found that overdue fines do not ensure the return of borrowed items but do keep patrons from accessing valuable services. 

Library systems that have eliminated overdue fines experienced positive results, including increases in circulation and the number of people using their facilities. Other benefits are: improving patron relationships with the library; redirecting staff time toward patron-focused services rather than handling fines; students returning to use homework resources and increased library card registrations. 

Items still need to be returned so that others may enjoy them. Materials more than 60 days overdue will be considered lost, and a replacement fee will be charged. Library staff will continue to regularly watch hold lists and order additional copies of popular materials when necessary. 

For more information, visit www.cc-pl.org/fine-free. 

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