One of our main goals is to enhance our current library services to better serve community needs. That includes exploring new strategies to increase access, service, and resources for under-resourced households. Overdue fines are punitive and act as a barrier, especially for people with children or for people with transportation problems.
Free From Fines does not mean anyone can keep materials as long as they want. Originally, fines were meant as a way to encourage patrons to return their materials on time. Instead, fines created a barrier to access, and going Free From Fines will remove that barrier. Patrons will still be charged if they damage items or if they keep items 28 days past the due date and the computer system declares the item lost.
YES! It is weird but librarians call a book that is not returned Lost, even if the person who checked it out knows exactly where it is. If you’ve been billed for an item, we will take it back, remove the replacement charges from your account, and you can check out materials again.
• A pre-overdue reminder will be sent two days before an item is overdue by email or text. After that, the first overdue notice will be sent at 7 days.
• The second overdue notice will be sent at 14 days.
• The third overdue notice will be sent at 21 days overdue.
• After 28 days, the item is declared lost and you will be billed for the replacement cost.
• Interlibrary Loans will be billed as lost at two weeks overdue.
We encourage you to keep your contact information and notification preferences up to date. Talk to a library staff member to verify that you will get the notifications you want and need.
If you have returned all materials to the library, your old overdue fines will soon be waived. Until then, contact us by phone and email or stop by the Suzette Brumleve Memorial Effingham Public Library and we will waive existing overdue fines manually. Fees for lost or damaged items will remain.
The Library received $9,000 in fines and fees (including lost items.) This accounts for 0.82% of our total projected revenue in FY 2020. We have made plans to cut our new furniture line, our marketing line and to hold an annual “Keep Our Library Fine Free Book Sale” to ensure a balanced budget.
Libraries across the country have been eliminating overdue fines as a way to reduce barriers. EPL staff formed a taskforce over the summer to investigate the issue of fines and formally recommended moving to a fines-free model of service. The recommendation was presented to the Library’s Board at their September meeting and they approved it to begin October 1, 2019.
Library cards expire every one or three years depending on card type. If your card is inactive after expiration, it may have been deleted. The best way to find out the status of your card is to call or stop in to the Suzette Brumleve Memorial Effingham Public Library at 200 N. Third Street, Effingham, IL 62401 Tel. (217) 3422464. We’re always happy to help.