Fine Free

As of December 1, 2018, the Verona Public Library is no longer charging overdue fines. This applies to all items checked out at the Verona Public Library. The purpose of our library is to supply our community with resources that can be borrowed for education, enrichment, and entertainment. Charging overdue fees goes directly against this goal and discourages the use of library materials.

As part of going fine free, we are also waiving all past overdue fines on items checked out at the Verona Public Library. Please bear in mind that you may still receive overdue fees from other libraries in the South Central Library System. Charges for items that are lost or damaged still apply.

What does “fine free” mean?

  • Fines are fees charged for overdue library materials. “Fine free” refers to eliminating fees charged for returning library materials after their due date.
  • Lost and damaged fees still apply. 
  • The library will continue to charge small fees for printing, photocopying, and faxing services.

Why is the library getting rid of overdue fines?

  • Charging overdue fines does not support the library mission to enrich lives and build community.
  • Fines disproportionately affect low-income families, adding another barrier to visiting the library.
  • Research shows no difference in overdue rates between libraries charging fines and libraries not charging fines.
  • The library incurs expenses to collect fines, including staff time handling fine disputes, fine collection, and billing postage.

Do I still need to return my library books?

Yes! Items that are kept 30 days past their due date are considered lost, and the replacement value is charged to your account. Items that are damaged and cannot be easily repaired are also assessed a replacement charge.

What if there are still fines on my library account?

We are currently working to waive past fines, but it is a process. It may take a few weeks or longer to complete that work.  No new overdue fines will be charged as of December 2018. We also cannot waive fines for items that were checked out at other area libraries or waive fees for lost or damaged items. Please ask a library staff member if you have any questions, and we'd be happy to go over your account with you.

Don't you need the overdue fine money to run the library?

This may be surprising but overdue fines made up a very small part of the library budget, about 1%. Most of our funds come from city and county taxes with supplemental funds coming from donations, the library endowment fund and support from the Friends of the Library. You can continue to expect the same great services and materials from our library. 

 

Want to learn more about why libraries are going fine free? Click here for a TED Talk by Dawn Wacek, a librarian from La Crosse Public Library.