Stuck in traffic? Kids home sick? Book temporarily lost under the couch? Life happens. The Lafayette Public Library wants everyone to bring their materials back in a timely manner but understands that unexpected challenges arise and sometimes library materials don’t get back on time.
For some, library fines are a financial hardship and for others it isn’t. We know that library fines can add up quickly and sometimes a balance at the library means a customer doesn’t come back. Others can afford to choose to keep items past their due date and simply pay their fines as a way to support the library, which means those overdue items aren’t available for other patrons.
Lafayette Library is committed to providing equal access to every member of our community and eliminating fines gives our patrons an opportunity re-discover their library and all that it has to offer. By eliminating fines, we hope to remove barriers and make access equitable and enjoyable for everyone. Beginning January 1, 2020 all existing library fines will be waived to ensure that all customers can start a new chapter with the library and monetary penalties will no longer be charged for late materials.
If people aren’t charged late fines, what will motivate them to return their materials?
- In place of a fee, customers’ accounts will be blocked from further checkouts when any item is 14 days late.
- When the item is returned, the customer’s borrowing privileges are restored.
- If an item is 30 days late they will be billed for the replacement cost of the item.
Will I have to pay for lost or damaged materials?
Yes, customers will still be billed for lost or damaged materials. Fees for lost or damage items will not be waived.
How much revenue will be lost from the elimination of fines?
Library fines represented 0.1% of city revenues in 2018, but because there are costs associated with the collection of fines, they are nearly revenue neutral.
I thought I was supporting my library by paying library fines. How can I support the Lafayette Library?