Skip to main content

JCLS Policies: No More Late Fees

No More Late Fees!

Jackson County Library Services will no longer charge cardholders late fees. It has been demonstrated the imposition of fines does not act as an effective deterrent to the late return of materials, but can serve as an inequitable barrier to service, disproportionately impacting children and community members with the least financial resources. Given the Library’s core values of respect, accessibility, integrity, innovation and collaboration, we will no longer impose or collect fines for the late return of materials. Please note, if you lose materials or return items with damage, you will still need to pay for the replacement cost.

When does the change take effect?

The policy will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Does this change apply to lost or damaged items?

No. Items that you lost, returned with damaged or missing parts, or otherwise did not return in the same condition as when they were checked out will be billed accordingly.

Will my previous fines be forgiven?

Come January 1, all overdue fines will be forgiven. Any charges for lost or damaged items, processing fees, and other charges will remain on your account and need to be paid.

I paid my fines. Can I get a refund?

You will not receive a refund for fines paid prior to January 1, 2018.

How will this new policy affect the Library’s budget?

The Library District does not rely on fines and fees to run the library. The Library currently charges 20¢ per day per item from the date due, with a $10 maximum overdue fee per item. The current FY 17/18 budget includes $120,210 revenue in the “Fines and Fees” line. Overall fines and fees represent .68% of the revenue projected for FY 17/18.

Without fines, will library materials be returned in a timely manner?

Several other library systems that have eliminated overdue fines have reported that books, movies, and other materials still get returned by their due date. Library cardholders understand that it is their duty to return materials so other people can use them. The Library will issue reminders (through email or text message) when due dates are approaching and when an item is overdue. If an item is 3 weeks overdue, we will charge the account for the item’s replacement cost. Accounts with fees for lost or damaged items may be sent to a Materials Recovery Service and charged with an additional $10. The Library account will be blocked from checking out more materials until the items are returned or the replacement charges are paid.

Will it affect the availability of items?

We continually monitor the availability of our materials. We will be extra diligent in monitoring availability as we implement this new policy. If we need additional copies of particular items, we will certainly acquire them. Our commitment is that you won't see a decrease in item availability.

No late fees