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TRPLD is now fine free

The Trustees of the Three Rivers Public Library District (TRPLD) voted to make the Library “Fine-Free” beginning on May 13, 2020.

What exactly does that mean and how does it work?

TRPLD items will no longer accrue fines regardless of who borrows them, except for special collections such as hotspots, Kindles, and other Tech Take-Out items.

  • TRPLD cardholders with overdue fines on TRPLD materials have been waived. So if old fines have been keeping you away, welcome back!
  • TRPLD cardholders are still responsible for fines on non-TRPLD items. Fines can accrue from items borrowed in person at other PrairieCat libraries. These items will accrue fines according to the policy of the owning library.
  • TRPLD Cardholders are still responsible for replacement costs for damaged and lost items.
  • TRPLD Cardholders are still responsible for collection fees if overdue items are not returned and reactivation fees for long overdue tech items as applicable.
  • TRPLD Cardholders will not be able to check out items if:
    • They owe a replacement cost for a damaged or lost item
    • They owe over $10 in fees
    • They have not yet returned an overdue item*

*TRPLD Cardholders can renew overdue items if those items are eligible for renewal. If the overdue items are not eligible for renewal, patrons will need to return the items before they can borrow any additional materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is the library eliminating fines?

A: TRPLD’s mission is to make library materials and resources accessible to as many people as possible.  By eliminating fines, TRPLD is removing one barrier to expand access to services for our communities.  TRPLD looks forward to welcoming back people whose cards had been blocked by overdue fees including kids and teens.

Click here to read the ALA’s official statement regarding fines.

Q: Doesn’t this mean that people will borrow items and never return them?

A: Other libraries that have gone fine-free have found that this is not the case.  In fact, sometimes formerly active library users stop using the library when faced with a fine they cannot pay or feel too embarrassed about owing fines to come back to the library. 

Q: Will existing fines be waived for non-TRPLD cardholders?

A: Unfortunately, we can only waive fines for TRPLD cardholders for our materials. However, many libraries have made the decision recently to go fine-free.  Check with your local library on their recent policy changes. 

Q: Doesn’t the library need the income from fines and fees to operate?

A: Although fines and fees are incorporated into the library’s operating budget, they account for a very, very small amount and they are never a guarantee.  By not collecting fines, library staff time can be redirected to support other library services.

Q: Will TRPLD Cardholders still have to pay for lost or damaged books?

A: Yes. The library will charge cardholders for books that are returned damaged or overdue for more than 90 days.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to speak to a staff member or contact us at [email protected].