YAY! 🙂 The Gibsons & District Public Library has eliminated late fines as of June 1, 2021!
Why are we eliminating late fines? Library access is our main objective: we don’t want financial status to impact use of the Library. Daily late fines, while intended to incentivize the return of library material, unintentionally create a barrier for patrons to access critical library services. These barriers disproportionately impact families with young children, low-income households, and those in our community who need us the most.
What does this mean for you?
- You still need to bring back your material! Sharing is caring. Enjoy your material during the loan period and then bring it back! If it’s late, we won’t charge you overdue fines, but if it’s more than 21 days overdue, you will be billed for replacement and processing charges
- If you’re in a position to support your library…you still can! We recognize some patrons pay their fines to support the Library, you can still donate directly to the Library
Does “fine-free” mean I will never be charged by the library ever again?
Only daily overdue/late fines are being eliminated. You will still be charged when you don’t pick up your Interlibrary loan holds, replacement costs and processing fees for lost and damaged items. Note that the fee for not picking up your ILL holds by deadline is still $2.00 per item.
Why get rid of overdue fines?
While intended to incentivize the return of library material, fines unintentionally create a barrier for patrons to access critical library services that disproportionately impacts families with young children, low-income households, and patrons in our community who need us the most.
Eliminating fines support one of our guiding principles to provide equitable access for all. If you or someone you know stopped using the library because of overdue fines, please come see us!
How will this impact wait times for popular items?
We will continue to encourage and promote on-time returns with email reminders and notifications. Libraries that have eliminated overdue fines report that items were returned at similar rates, or return rates actually increased after they changed their policy—which means, eliminating late fines shouldn’t adversely impact your wait time! If material is more than 21 days overdue, patrons will still be billed for replacement and processing charges.
Does this mean I can keep materials longer?
No. You can renew your item if no one is waiting but we will continue to send notifications to your phone or email when your item is late. If you keep material 21 days past your due date, you will be billed replacement charges and processing fees.
So if I accidentally keep an item at home more than 21 days past the due date, do I have to pay for it? I can bring it back!
If you bring the item back in good condition up to 6 weeks past the due date, replacement charges will be removed but you’ll still owe a processing fee which is non- refundable. That’s because once an item is designated as “lost” because it hasn’t been returned, we need to re-order it, or replace it with something similar—and the processing fee covers that.
If you have kept the item so long that we have removed it from our inventory entirely (over 6 weeks overdue), you will be responsible to pay all replacement charges and processing fees. Please Note: If you have more than $5.00 in charges, you will not be able to borrow or renew items.
I’ve always paid my fines to support my library. What can I do now?
Thank you for your support! If you are in a position to pay fines, we encourage you to consider making a donation to the library. You can donate directly in person using cash, credit or debit; mail a cheque or make an online donation via Canadahelps.