As of the beginning of September, Carroll County Public Library (CCPL) is no longer charging overdue fines. In addition, CCPL will waive all existing overdue fines from customer accounts.
The new policy ensures that all members of our community have equitable access to CCPL’s resources and services, while eliminating the financial barrier of overdue fines, according to a news release from communications director Lisa Picker. Customers who previously had outstanding account balances will be able to resume borrowing physical and digital materials and access online library resources.
Starting Sept. 1, the process for clearing accounts of overdue fines began. That process may take up to two weeks, according to CCPL. Checked out materials will continue to have due dates, and customers will receive notices when their materials are due to be returned. Customers will still be responsible for returning materials and the cost of replacing any lost or damaged materials. Full details about the policy may be found at library.carr.org.
Prior to the new policy, CCPL charged 25 cents per day for most overdue materials. The potential for incurring fines were a reason that many residents hesitated to check out all of the materials their family wanted and taking full advantage of CCPL’s collection, not borrowing at all or borrowing fewer materials in order to keep their fine risk low, while others chose not to use the library at all, according to the relase.
CCPL joins over 200 libraries across the nation that have embraced a fine-free model. Upon going fine free, these libraries have found an increase in circulation, an increase in library card registrations, and an increase in materials being returned that were previously thought lost. In addition, these libraries have not reported any increase in materials not being returned because of the new policy.