Fewer Fines FAQ
Indian Prairie Public Library no longer charges daily overdue fines for most items returned late. This includes books, DVDs, CDs, and magazines. The exceptions are the following, which have an overdue fine of $1 per day.
- Console Games
- Hot Picks
- LeapPad Tablets
- Library of Things
Why fewer fines?
This is a growing trend across the country due to studies that show that fines create barriers to library usage. Studies also show when overdue fines are removed, materials are returned. Suspending borrowing privileges is more effective without the financial burden of fines. Fewer fines allow us to improve customer service and remove barriers to library use. We want to encourage everyone to use their library and we’d rather have the items back than your money.
We still encourage you to return your items on time so that others may use them. You will receive a courtesy notice two days before an item is due.
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. If you keep an item 14 days past the due date, your card will be blocked until you return the overdue item(s). For items that have an overdue fine of $1, a total of $5 in fines and fees, of any type, will block your library card.
Does “fewer fines” mean I will never be charged by the library ever again?
Daily overdue fines for most items are being eliminated, but special collections such Console Games, Hot Picks, iPods, Kindles, Kits, Launchpads, LeapPad Tablets, Library of Things, and Rokus are not part of the fine free initiative. We also charge for lost or damaged items.
What about interlibrary loan items?
Our policies apply to all materials checked out at IPPL, including items received through interlibrary loan.
Do I owe for old overdue fines?
All existing overdue fines owed to Indian Prairie Public Library were removed November 23, 2021. This did 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 impact wait times for popular items or make my hold times longer?
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. We will continue to encourage and promote on-time returns with overdue reminders. If an item is more than 14 days overdue a guest’s card will be blocked until the overdue item is returned.
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?
If the item is returned within one year of the due date, we will accept the item back and remove the block from your card.
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?
If the item is returned within 30 days of paying for the item, we will refund the cost of the item but not the processing fee. This applies only to items owned by Indian Prairie Library. Refunds will not be given for items owned by other libraries that were obtained at Indian Prairie via interlibrary loan.
What if an Indian Prairie Public Library cardholder checks out materials at another library?
If that library charges overdue fees, you will be charged those fees for items checked out at the other library.
What about the money the library loses from collecting overdue fees?
Overdue fees have been a small part of the library’s revenue and the library is able to adjust the budget to accommodate this change without impacting services or increasing taxes.