Brandon Library is now Fine Free!

Starting March 1 all fines are eliminated

The Brandon Township Public Library Board of Trustees unanimously voted to eliminate overdue fines on all returned materials at its Board meeting on January 27, 2020. The Board also approved forgiving outstanding overdue fines. These changes are effective on March 1, 2020.

This means that any patron with past due items are encouraged to bring them back to the Library – no questions asked and no fines. All patrons with past due fines will be waived.

What items are fine free? Everything!

The American Library Association passed a resolution last year encouraging libraries to eliminate the imposition of overdue fines. Research has shown that overdue fines are not effective in encouraging the return of library materials. Instead, they can quickly become a barrier to using the library altogether. Fines make up less than 1% of Brandon Library’s total revenue.

More than 200 libraries across the country are fine free. The Austin Public Library, Chicago Public Library, the Cromaine Heartland Public Library, the Detroit Public Library, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kent District Library, LA County Library, and Palm Beach County Public Library are just a few of the libraries that have eliminated past due fines.

FAQs

I just paid for my late fines. Can I get them back?

Unfortunately, no refunds will be issued on previously paid fines or fees.

I have a MeL late fine. Can I get that waived?

Yes. All fines (including MeL), no matter how old, will be waived.

How will you make sure items are returned?

Cardholder privileges will be suspended if items are not returned.

I thought my fines helped support the Library?

Past due fines amounted to less than 1% of our total revenue. If you’d like to support the Library, please donate to the Friends of Library or directly to Brandon Township Public Library.

I found an item I’m being charged for as “lost.” Can I bring it back?

Yes, please do. There won’t be any fines as long as the item isn’t damaged.

What about hold items, will I have to wait forever for my item?

All items will still have due dates and patrons are encouraged to return their items on time.

Isn’t teaching responsibility a part of the library’s job? How does letting people return items whenever they want, without repercussion, accomplish that?

We do not regard it as part of our mission to teach responsibility. Please keep in mind that patrons are still expected to return their materials on time. Items kept past their due date will be marked “lost”; and  the patron will lose borrowing privileges until the lost items are returned or paid for.

Libraries have always charged fines for overdue items. Why change that now?

Overdue fines have a disproportionately high impact on lower-income families and individuals, often the people who most need free access to information. It is our hope that with overdue fines removed, more people will be able to seek out our services, and benefit from the library.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?
Contact us! We are happy to chat with you via phone (248-627-1460), text (248-600-5988), or email (libservices@brandonlibrary.org).