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Fine Free!

The Woodridge Public Library is now fine free!

Effective August 1, 2021—FINE FREE

The Woodridge Public Library is now officially Fine Free! As of August 1, 2021, we will no longer assess late fees for anything borrowed from the Woodridge Public Library. Additionally, all existing overdue fines have been cleared from your account. 

What does this mean for you?

You will no longer be charged a daily overdue fine on late items. However, library items still need to be returned or renewed by their due date. To help with on-time returns, we will continue to automatically renew items up to two (2) times and send out reminder notices.

If you have an item that is 21 days overdue, your card will be blocked from checking out other materials. Once the item is returned, the block is lifted automatically. Lost or damaged materials will be charged a replacement and processing fee. Patrons receive several reminders before they are billed for lost items.

Reminders

 
Courtesy Notice Two days before item is due
First Overdue Notice 7 days overdue
Second Overdue Notice/Card Blocked 21 days overdue
Billing Notice 42 days overdue

 

Why Fine Free?

We want people to use the library; fines discourage and even stop people from using the library. Public libraries across the country have seen an increase on return rates after eliminating overdue fines.

It is that simple. Late fines are ineffective for getting people to return items on time. Suspending borrowing privileges is more effective without the financial burden of fines. Fine Free allows us to improve customer service and remove barriers to library use.

FINE FREE Frequently Asked Questions

Will this impact wait times for popular items or make my hold times longer?

We will continue to encourage and promote on-time returns with email reminders and notifications. Libraries that have eliminated overdue fines report that items were returned at similar rates, or return rates actually increased after they changed their policy—which means, eliminating late fines should not adversely impact your wait time. If material is more than 21 days overdue a patron’s card will be blocked until the overdue item is returned.

Does “Fine Free” mean I will never be charged by the library ever again?

Daily overdue/late fines are being eliminated. There will still be charges for lost or damaged materials.

What about old overdue fines?

All existing overdue fines owed to Woodridge Public Library have been removed. This does not apply to fines from other libraries or charges for lost or damaged items.

My card is still blocked. Why can’t I use it?

There are many reasons why your card may be showing as blocked. The most common reasons include you have fees for lost items, your card was reported lost, or we received returned mail from your address. Contact us and we will see how we can help you.

Will this affect library services or increase taxes?

No. Overdue fines account for less than one percent of our budget.

What if I lose or damage an item?

You will be charged the replacement cost and a processing fee.

What if I return an item after it was billed as lost?

We will not charge you any late fines if you return an item that was designated as lost.

Why not also waive lost item fees?

The Library’s collection - the books, movies, and other materials - is at the core of our services, and is a substantial investment of taxpayer funds. In order to be good stewards of these funds, it is important that we enforce compensation for lost, damaged, or stolen items.

What if I pay for a lost item and then find it?

Replacement costs for Woodridge Public Library items, minus processing fees, will be refunded.

What if a Woodridge library cardholder checks out materials at another library?

If you use your library card at a neighboring library, Woodridge Public Library cardholders will be charged overdue fines according to that library’s policies.

Does this mean I can keep materials longer?

No. Borrowed items still have due dates and need to be returned on time to avoid suspension of borrowing privileges. We will continue to automatically renew items up to two (2) times, if no one is waiting, and we will send notifications to your phone or email when your item is late. If you keep material 21 days past your due date, your card will be blocked until you return the overdue item(s).

Why is the library removing fines?

We strive to provide excellent service to all residents. Overdue fines create barriers to service and often stop people from using their library. By eliminating fines, we hope to share the collection and services with more community members.

Will I still have to pay to print and fax documents at the library?

Yes. Fees will still be charged for copying, printing, faxing, and 3D printing.