The Dayton Metro Library Board of Trustees has approved a new policy eliminating overdue fines, effective January 1, 2018. This expands on a policy implemented in 2007, which eliminated overdue fines for books borrowed from the Children’s Collection.
“Our goal is to make sure our patrons can enjoy all of the books, movies, music and services the Library offers,” said Tim Kambitsch, Dayton Metro Library Executive Director. “Accumulated overdue fines prevent some patrons from checking out books and other materials. It is more important that materials are returned so that others may borrow them, than it is to charge late fees that can add up and prevent someone from using their Library.”
Borrowed items will continue to have due dates, and borrowers will receive notices when their items are due to be returned. Items not returned after 21 days overdue will be considered “lost,” and the replacement cost will be charged to the borrower’s Library card. If items are not returned after 35 days overdue, a $10 fee will be added to any replacement costs, and the borrower’s account will be transferred to a collection agency.
As in the past, Library cards will continue to be inactivated when there are $10 or more in charges or 10 items or more overdue. Patrons with blocked cards may still check out eBooks, reserve meeting rooms, use public computers and enjoy other Library services, and full borrowing privileges are restored when charges are lowered below $10 or there are fewer than 10 items overdue.
“As the cost of handling cash continues to rise, the costs associated with collecting nickels and dimes in overdue fines cancels out any financial benefit,” said Kambitsch.
“Libraries across the country have documented that the cost of collecting overdue fines actually exceeds the revenues received.”
Overdue fines assessed prior to December 31, 2017, will remain on borrower accounts until they are paid. Other charges may still be assessed, including charges for items that are returned damaged.
Questions about borrower accounts or the new policy can be directed to the Library’s Ask Me Line at 937.463.2665.