No more overdue fines PDF Print

No one likes library fines. Not you, not us; no one. And they are not, in fact, the reason people return their materials on time. So we got rid of them. We are no longer collecting a per-day fine for overdue items checked out from the Vernon Area Public Library.

How will the library get items back?

"No overdue fines" does not mean "no responsibility." Due dates still apply. We send reminders and notices, and expect things back in a timely manner. At 14 days after the due date, materials not returned or renewed are assumed lost and the borrower is billed for their replacement. Until those materials are paid for or returned, that person will be unable to check out anything else.

Reminders & Notices Schedule
  • 2 days before due date: email reminder
  • 3 days after due date: email or paper overdue notice
  • 7 days after due date: email and paper overdue notice
  • 14 days after due date: library card suspended from further use; bill for item replacement
Log in to your library account to add or update your email address. You'll need your library card number and your PIN (usually the last 4 digits of your telephone number).

Doesn't the library need fines to operate?

It's a common misconception that we rely on fines for funding. Overdue fines represent a tiny fraction of our annual budget, just six-tenths of one percent (0.6%). And collecting all those nickels and dimes costs money! We save on staff time and service costs by eliminating those transactions.

What happens if I return an item after I received a bill for it?

Return the item and in most cases we can remove the charges from your account. If you are more than 35 days overdue and have received a collections notice, you will still owe a $10 collection fee. 

What about items I check out from another library?

The new policy applies only to items checked out from the Vernon Area Public Library. Items checked out from another library are subject to that library's overdue policies.

What loan periods and renewal options are available?

To make it easier for borrowers to enjoy their materials and still return them on time, we adjusted loan periods and renewals to more closely match actual use and to get materials back into circulation more quickly. The loan period for TV show DVD sets was increased from 1 week to 2 weeks in response to feedback that one week was not long enough to watch all the episodes. The loan period for popular picks books was updated, too: the first checkout was reduced from 3 weeks to 2 weeks and an option to renew once was added. Speedy readers are encouraged to return the book as soon as they are finished, while allowing extra time for those who need a bit longer. Finally, the maximum number of renewals for most items has been reduced from 4 renewals to 2. Why? Our research showed that items not returned within 2 renewals typically were not returned at all. Limiting the number of renewals allows us to start the replacement process for those items sooner.

  loan period renewals allowed maximum length of checkout
books, audiobooks 3 weeks 2 9 weeks
popular picks books 2 weeks 1 4 weeks
movies 1 week 1 2 weeks
popular picks movies 1 week none 1 week
TV show DVD sets 2 weeks 1 4 weeks
video games 1 week 1 2 weeks
puzzles, grab-and-grow packs, and most other items 3 weeks 2 9 weeks


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