Children and Young Adult Materials FINE FREE beginning 6/1

by on May 2nd, 2019

We are happy to announce beginning June 1, 2019 we will not charge overdue fines for materials checked out from the Children’s and Young Adult collections that are returned past their due date. Libraries across the country are stopping the practice of charging overdue fines after a study from the Colorado Library Association demonstrated fines are not the motivation for on-time return of library materials. Instead, the study demonstrated fines are a barrier for Library use, especially for children. We want to remove barriers that stop people from using the Library!

We appreciate the support of the Iowa City City Council and the Library Board. Both groups voted on budget requests to support this change and the Library Board recently voted to update the Circulation and Library Card Policy to reflect this change. We understand there may be some confusion about this change. It does not matter if it’s a child’s card or an adult’s card that checks out the materials. No overdue fees will be charged on materials returned late that are checked out from the children’s and young adult collections.

This does not mean materials do not have to be returned to the Library. A full replacement fee will be charged to the borrower’s account when materials are not returned. For items with a 7-day loan period, there will be a bill at 14 days overdue. For 21-day items, there will be a bill at 21 days overdue.

To help with summer reading, we’ve also waived up to $50 of past fines and replacement fees on accounts for people who are 18 years old and younger. In past years, we waived fees in the summer when children asked. In order to eliminate barriers to Library use, this year we automatically waived these fees.

If you stopped using the Library because of fines and replacement fees, we hope you will come back. If you owe more than $50, please ask to talk to our Customer Service Representative or to me and we’ll do our best to work out a plan so you can use the Library.

Our bottom line … we want people to use the Library. We want people to bring our materials back so other people can use them. We want kids to read in the summer.

Three cheers for NO FINES and three cheers for SUMMER READING! Our staff is planning an awesome summer of activities at the Library and Summer Reading Program Sign-up begins May 13th. We’ll see you here soon!

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