TFPL

Fine Free

We are excited to announce that starting January 2023, the

Twin Falls Public Library will be Fine Free!


The Library will no longer charge overdue fines on most materials. We are making this change in order to provide more equitable services to all our patrons. Keep reading for more information.



Frequently Asked Questions:


Why go fine free?
We want all our patrons to have access to the Library! Research shows that overdue fines aren’t effective in encouraging the return of library items. Instead, fines act as a barrier to library use, especially for low-income households. These financial barriers keep people from using libraries, and we want to make it as easy as possible for patrons to use our resources. Find more information here.


What about Due Dates?

Items checked out still have a due date, and are expected to be returned on time. Remember, there might be somebody waiting for that item! 


What if somebody never returns an item?

Remember, this change only applies to overdue fines! If you fail to return an item in a reasonable amount of time, your account will be charged a replacement fee & a processing fee.


Will Library accounts ever be blocked?

If a patron has 10 or more items overdue, the patron will need to return or renew the items in order to keep using their card. Also, if a patron doesn't return an item, they will be charged a replacement fee after 28 days. At that point, the item will need to be returned or paid for to clear that charge.


What if I have old fines on my account?

If you have overdue fines on your account, those fines will be cleared! Charges on your account for lost or damaged items, however, will remain. Check with the Circulation Manager to discuss how you can resolve any remaining charges on your account. 


Won’t the Library lose money without overdue fines?
Overdue fines account for only a tiny fraction (1%) of the Library’s budget. If you’d like to support the library, we will happily accept donations!


How will the Library get people to return their items without overdue fines?
It’s important to remember that no fines does not mean no responsibility. Patrons are still responsible for returning their items on time; items that are excessively overdue are considered lost, and patrons are charged to replace the item. Also, accounts with an excess of overdue items are blocked until the items are returned. 


You said most overdue fines, what fines will remain?

Some special materials like Hotspots & Interlibrary Loans will still accrue overdue fines. Those items will be noted, and you can find more details in our Circulation Policy.



We hope this answers most of your questions. If you’ve been nervous about getting or renewing your library card because of overdue fines, this is the perfect time to rediscover your Library. We invite you to drop in and explore all the resources available to you, your family, and your community. Visit the Library today!



More information on fine free libraries:

There are lots of outside factors that contribute to late materials - life happens! Libraries that go fine-free find that:

  • More people get library cards.
  • Use of library items increases.
  • More library items are returned!

Check out these studies and stories about fine-free libraries & the impact of overdue fines:


Studies & Data:

https://www.libraryconnection.info/documents/fine_free_policies_report_SC-2019-03-22.pdf

https://libguides.bgsu.edu/fine-research

https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=doing-fines-fines-fees 


Stories:

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/12/28/denver-public-library-late-fees-eliminated/ 


http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/Libraries-Are-Increasing-Usage-by-Going-FineFree-133407.asp