In an effort to “share (its) collection with even more” of the community, the Winnetka-Northfield Library District recently announced it will no longer be charging fines on overdue materials checked out at either of its buildings.
The library district’s new initiative went into effect earlier this month, according to information from the library. Additionally, the district also removed all existing fines for overdue items.
“We strive to provide excellent service to all residents in our district,” a statement from the library’s website reads. “Overdue fines create barriers to service and often stop people from using their library. By eliminating fines, we hope to share our collection and services with even more of our community members.”
Each item checked out at the library will still have a due date, officials say, and patrons are “still responsible for honoring the due date or renewing the item.” Returning items in a timely manner helps other library users borrow them sooner, officials said.
Although patrons won’t be charged a late fine, a user’s account will be blocked from any additional checkouts if they have a library item that is two weeks overdue.
According to the library, the account block includes “checking out physical items (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.), as well as access to our digital collections (including downloads from Libby, Hoopla, Kanopy, etc) and research databases.”
Library officials say that if an item is more than 45 days past due, a patron will need to either return the item or pay the replacement cost to unlock an account.
If an item is damaged or lost, the user will be charged a fee to replace it.
The district, which has library buildings in both Winnetka and Northfield, is currently open for in-person visits.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.