Fines Free Libraries

Public libraries have traditionally collected fines for library items that are returned after the due date and have charged replacement fees for items that have been lost or damaged.

Library fines were previously considered a deterrent to late returns, damage, or loss of items. However, fines can also be a significant barrier which prevents users from accessing the resources of a public library and doesn’t necessarily act as the intended deterrent.

Infographic - Calculating the Hidden Costs of Collecting Fines

Customize the infographic for your library

OPLA’s Research & Evaluation Committee has been doing research on a variety of issues surrounding the Fines Free topic. The team is in the process of creating a number of presentations, templates, and how-to videos, showing public libraries different ways to advocate for going fines free. New resources will be added throughout the fall of 2021, and will include options for you to recreate the resources with your own logos/ library information. If you are investigating going fines free, these resources will provide various ways to help you make the case to your local Library Board and decision makers.