New Year, New Chapter: Elimination of Overdue Fines
Effective January 1, 2020, Wixom Public Library eliminated overdue fines for Wixom materials. This move ensures that our Library is living up to our mission to provide free and equal access to quality collections, services, and programs that support the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of our diverse community. The Library is committed to promoting literacy for all ages and, by eliminating overdue fines, we are making sure we are the place for Wixom residents to read, discover and connect without barriers.
We know that life sometimes gets in the way – work schedules change; kids get sick; it snows. However, overdue fines can be frustrating enough to make people not want to borrow again from the Library. We want all Wixom residents to be able to access our materials regardless of ability to pay overdue fines. The Library Staff and Board of Trustees spent 2019 studying fine free policies by analyzing our fine data and finances, reading articles, attending workshops, and speaking with other area libraries that are fine free. During this research we discovered that overdue fines had a disproportionate effect on Wixom residents based on neighborhood and income.
Equal access to all Library services leads to a curious and engaged community, something that benefits everyone in Wixom. It’s a new year and a new chapter! From all of us here at the Library, we thank you for your continued patronage and support.
What if I misplaced a book and can’t return it? Did the Library eliminate replacement fees?
Library users are still responsible for fees associated with the replacement of lost or damaged materials on your account. Items are considered lost on the 21st day overdue and you will be billed replacement fees for those items at that point. Damaged materials are also assessed a replacement fee. Overdue fines are the daily charges applied to items not returned by their specified due date. These are the fines that will no longer be charged to patrons.
What happens if I don’t return my items by the due date?
Your card will be blocked when one or more items reach 21 days overdue and/or if there are 25 or more overdue items on your account.
What about mobile hotspots?
Due to the high replacement cost and time consuming process to turn off service, hotspots will still incur a $5 fine per day overdue fine.
I didn’t really lose these items, can I still bring them back?
Yes! Lost fees will automatically be removed from your account and you’ll be back to borrowing.
What about old overdue fines?
Overdue fines for late materials belonging to Wixom have been eliminated and removed from accounts. However, patrons who have lost or damaged materials will still need to settle their account to reinstate borrowing privileges. If you have overdue fines for materials borrowed from another library, those fines will remain on your account. The easiest way to find out if you have a remaining balance is to login to your account at catalog.tln.lib.mi.us or visit the Library.
What about items from other libraries?
If you use other libraries, overdue fines may still apply.
What about revenue from overdue fines?
Revenue from overdue fines has been steadily declining due to improved technology and notification systems. In FY 19-20, overdue fines were expected to account for under .8% of the Library’s budget. Collecting overdue fines also costs the Library in staff time and efficiency. Combined with cost savings in other areas, the Library Board of Trustees were able to make this policy change without impacting any other library services.