As of October, Cass County Public Library will not charge daily fines on overdue items. This change will allow individuals in the community greater access to materials, resources, and services.
When the library closed on March 17th due to the statewide stay at home order, all overdue fines were suspended for items. This suspension continued throughout the offering of curbside services. With the library’s reopening, overdue fines for items have been completely eliminated. Existing overdue fines, totaling approximately $18,000, have been cleared on all accounts. Any existing bills for lost or damaged items will remain on accounts, however.
Late fines, no matter how small, are a very real and significant burden for some individuals, children, and families. These kinds of financial barriers can discourage many people who rely on the library from coming back, which means they can’t access books required for school, use public computers or the Internet, or access job resources. In removing this barrier, we want to help everyone in Cass County have greater access to information and opportunity.
While overdue fines will be eliminated, the library will still charge fees for lost or damaged materials. These fees are necessary to ensure items can be replaced and enjoyed by others patrons. An item is considered lost if it is not returned within 3 weeks of the due date. Lost or damaged item bills include a charge for the library’s replacement cost of the item as well as a $5.00 processing fee. Because we want to give our patrons every chance to return materials, patrons receive multiple notifications about overdue items–3 days before an item is due, 1 day after an item is due, and once more before they are billed.
Checkout limits have remained the same:
- Books, audiobooks, and CDs may be borrowed for 3 weeks and renewed 3 times if no other patron is waiting for the item.
- Up to 5 DVDs per card may be borrowed for 1 week and renewed once if no other patron is waiting for the item.
For more information, visit www.casscolibrary.org/finefree.