Fine Free Library FAQ

What does it mean to be "Fine Free"?

The Granby Public Library, with support from the Granby Public Library Board, is happy to announce that the library is no longer charging overdue fees for most library materials.  We are proud to be following the practice of many libraries around the country and around the state, removing this potential barrier to library services.  This change is a part of an institutional movement from libraries nationwide, guided by the recommendations of the American Library Association, in an effort to increase free public access to library services and to encourage patrons to use this valuable community resource.

In the lead up to this decision, we carefully reviewed studies and articles about eliminating fines.

​Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies found that:

  • ​Library card registrations increased.

  • Borrowing of materials increased.

  • More library items were returned.

  • Students returned to the library to use homework resources.

  • Staff time was redirected from fines-handling to patron-focused services.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why Eliminate Fines? 

Research shows that overdue fines are not effective in encouraging the return of library materials. Instead, fines can quickly become a barrier to using the library. Our hope is that by going fine free we will encourage prior users to come back to the library and attract new users to experience everything our library has to offer. 

Will everything be fine-free?

“Fine free” means that there will be no late charges on most materials* checked out at either branch of the Granby Public Library. We want to ensure that all citizens of our town have access to our resources in the most equitable way possible.

*Due to a limited supply and a time-sensitive nature, late charges will still be charged on Museum Passes, Rapid Reads, Express DVDs, and Technology Equipment.

What if I have old overdue fines on my account?

Overdue fines on Granby items were wiped clean for a fresh start beginning in July, 2021. You are still expected to return all overdue items that are on your card or pay the replacement cost for the item(s).

What if I have fines from another library?

You are still responsible for paying overdue fines to other libraries that charge them. All items borrowed from other libraries are subject to the policies of the lending library. If you check out or renew items while visiting another library, you could still be charged fines based on that library’s fine policy.

Won't people just check things out and never return them?

“No fines” does not mean “no responsibility”. If your item is overdue for more than 3 weeks, then the item will be assumed lost and you will be charged the full replacement cost of the item. Your card privileges may be suspended until you return the item or pay the replacement cost.

Will There Still Be Due Dates?

Every item checked out will still have a due date. Please remember that someone else may be waiting for an item, so bring it back on time. 

Will I still receive reminders about returning materials? 

You will still receive courtesy notices to remind you to return your materials so that others may enjoy them.

What about hold times? Will I have to wait forever for my item? 

We regularly run reports to let us know what the most popular titles are so that we can purchase additional copies. Additionally, items with holds may not be renewed. 

What happens if someone doesn’t return their items? 

If items are not returned by their due date, they will be considered overdue. If items are overdue by 21-days, patrons will be charged for the replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee. Our fine-free policy applies only to overdue items. Fees for damaged or lost items will still be charged to cardholder accounts.

I have an item that I’m being charged for as “Lost”. Can I still bring it back? 

As long as you haven't already paid for it, please do! The point is for the Library to have a complete collection all of us can share.  No overdue fees will be charged for the item as long as we get the item back and in good condition.

Won't this affect the library's budget?

Fine revenue accounts for less than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the library’s total budget, and due to increased digital usage, more built-in reminders, and more patron-friendly policies, that number was only going to go down.

Have Other Libraries Eliminated Late Fines?

Yes! Visit https://endlibraryfines.info/fine-free-library-map/ to see globally how many libraries have adopted fine free policies.

I like to give a little donation to the library if I return my items late. May I still do that?

Absolutely! Donations can be made at the circulation desks. You can also support the Library by donating to the Granby Library Association or becoming a member of the Friends of Granby Public Library or the Friends of Cossitt Library.