Effective October 1, 2018, Way Public Library will be a fine-free library. In August, the Way Library Board of Trustees voted to eliminate fines for most overdue books and materials. Director Janel Haas has been advocating for a fine-free policy for the past year and is pleased to announce that Way Library can now offer this courtesy to all patrons.
“Collecting late fees for overdue materials has been synonymous with libraries for as long as anyone can remember, so the removal of fines may sound a little surprising at first,” says Director Haas. “There is much to consider when changing a tradition that has been around for so long. However, when we took a really hard look at the impact of overdue fees, we found that they presented a serious barrier to library use. The inability to cover a fine can cause a library user to avoid the library at a time when they may need our services the most. Eliminating the barrier was the logical step to take--a step that is in line with more and more libraries across the country who have also questioned the benefit of continuing to charge fines. As a public library, we place an exceptionally high value on equal access to information and knowledge. Limiting that access for some of the most vulnerable in our population is a serious disadvantage which can have adverse effects on the entire community. We want everyone to be able to benefit from the valuable resources we have available for informing, educating, and enriching lives.”
- In general, fines will no longer apply to books and most materials in the library’s collection. (There are a few exceptions, such as the items in the Party Express line. Due to their exclusive, time-sensitive nature, they are still subject to a maximum four-day checkout period and an overdue fine of $10 per day.)
- If there are no reserves on an item that has been checked out, it will automatically be renewed up to four times.
- Accounts with three or more overdue items will assume a temporary “suspended” status, and further checkouts will not be permitted until all overdue items are returned.
- Lost or damaged items will still result in replacement or repair costs, and the account will be suspended until all charges are paid.
- Any item which is kept for thirty days past its final due date will be considered lost, and the account will be suspended and automatically assessed a non-refundable $10 collections/referral charge plus replacement cost of the item, and referred to Unique Collection Agency.