Fine Free at the Library

Fine Free at the Library
Effective January 1, 2020, the Bud Werner Memorial Library is no longer charging fines for overdue materials.

Eliminating fines ensures that all people have access to library books and materials, which is our primary purpose as a public library.  Here is a handy list of Frequently Asked Questions that helps explain our new policy:

I have overdue items. How much is the fine?

A little late? No problem. Return all items on your account, and there is no overdue fine. We love a fresh start.

What happens if I don’t return my library materials?

If items become 30 days overdue, the replacement cost of the item + a $5.00 processing fee is billed to your library account. Once paid in full, or if the item is returned, all charges are removed from your account.

Can I still check out materials if I owe money on my account?

Yes. However, your Library account will be blocked if the amount owed is $25 or more.

If I have charges on my account from before the policy change, do I still have to pay?

All existing overdue fines will be cleared January 1, 2020. However, fees for previous lost or damaged items will still remain.

Isn’t the Library losing money by not charging fines?

Fines are less than 1% of our annual budget.

I have always thought of paying my fines as my donation to the Library. Can I still donate?

Yes! Donations support critical Library programs and services. We are always grateful for your generosity—thank you!

Will I still receive reminders about returning materials?

Yes. Here is list of the notices you will receive via email or text when materials are overdue:

Notice When
Reminder 3 days before an item is due
Overdue notice 4 days overdue
Overdue reminder 11 days overdue
Overdue reminder 18 days overdue
Overdue reminder 25 days overdue
Billing notice 30 days overdue

Why eliminate fines?

Urged by the American Library Association

The ALA asserts that imposing monetary library fines creates a barrier to the provision of library and information services, and urges libraries to actively move towards eliminating fines.

Growing cultural shift

As seen across the nation— from Denver to D.C., San Francisco to Salt Lake City, Nashville to Telluride-- public libraries of all sizes are eliminating library fines.

Fines are not effective

Studies have shown that overdue fines do not have any impact on return rates. Libraries across the country are eliminating late fines, with no reported negative outcomes.

Equal access for all

We want to encourage use by all community members no matter their income. Late fines inhibit use by those who often need library resources the most.

No fines does not mean no responsibility

Patrons are responsible to return library materials in good condition. The replacement cost of unreturned materials will be billed to the patron. Library accounts will be blocked when there is a balance of $25 or more.

Not a significant source of revenue

Overdue fines are not a significant source of revenue for the Library (less than 1% of the annual budget).

Show goodwill

We value and care about our community.
We want to ensure that everyone can use our stellar collections.
We aim to make life just a little bit easier and less stressful for all.

Pay Fines Online

If you do have replacement charges on your account, we are pleased to offer the option of paying with a Visa or Master Card credit card through your library account.

  1. Log into your account. This link will take you to our Classic Online Catalog. We can only allow credit card payment through this catalog for security reasons.
  2. You will need your library card number to log in.
  3. If you owe any money a link, stating the amount, will appear on the left. Simply click on this link.
  4. Look for the Pay Online button, and follow the instructions.