Today the Mount Prospect Public Library is officially a fine free library. In June 2020, the Board of Trustees declared a Fine Amnesty Day and cleared patrons’ accounts of fines. Since then, the library hasn’t assessed any fines, and as of April 1 it is now library policy.
“We want everyone in the community to have access to materials, not worry about overdue fines when ‘life happens,’” said Executive Director Su Reynders. “We want people to use the library, not avoid it because of fines that added up over time.”
Patrons should still return materials by the due date, and the library will offer reminders the first week when materials are overdue. When items are 14 days overdue, patrons won’t be able to check out any new materials or use electronic resources until they are returned.
For many years, the library moved toward helping patrons avoid late fines altogether, including automatic renewals. Reynders noted this is one reason why fines made up a very small part of the library budget.
“In 2019, late fines accounted for approximately .06% of our budget. By removing fines, we are more likely to have materials returned, which is better for the community and the library,” said Reynders.
The fine free policy only applies to overdue items; the library still assesses fees to replace unreturned, lost, or damaged items. To learn more, visit https://mppldev.org/about-us/fine-free.