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L O A D I N G . . .

OFL is Fine Free!

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Onondaga Free Library is now fine free! We no longer charge fines for returning items late.

Below is more information about this new policy.


Why Go Fine Free?

It allows for better access to our library!

Our goal with this initiative is to allow all people in our community to have more access to library collections and digital resources.

It is good for our community!

In providing our community with access to programs, services, and materials they need, we are assisting them with their educational, career, family, and life goals. We believe that in providing this community service, OFL can continue to be a place that is open to everyone. Our hope is to encourage patrons to come back to OFL and attract new patrons to experience our offerings.

It helps build better relationships with our patrons!

We would like to make a trip to the library pleasant for both you and our staff. Our hope is that in going fine free and eliminating the potential hassle of being asked to pay a late fee, this experience will continue to be an enjoyable one.

It allows us to spend more time with our patrons!

Studies have shown that when staff time was redirected from collecting and dealing with fines, staff had more time available to focus on patrons and patron related services.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU:

  • You will no longer receive late fines on most of our library collections.
  • Fines will still apply for items in our Library of Things collection, including, but not limited to:
    • Hotspots
    • Roku
    • Park passes
  • The library will continue to send you reminders to return your items - Be sure you have a current email address listed in your library account to receive notifications.
    Notices you will receive:
    • Almost Due: 3 OR 7 days prior to due date (depending on original loan period of item)
    • 1st Overdue: 10 days past due date
    • 2nd Overdue: 7 days after 1st Overdue notice
    • 3rd Overdue: 7 days after 2nd Overdue notice
    • After 30 days, items will be declared lost and patron will be charged for the replacement cost.
  • If you have overdue fines from other libraries in the OCPL system, you are still responsible for paying these. You can pay these fines at any library in the system, including OFL.
  • If you check out materials while visiting another library in OCPL, you could still be charged fines based on that library’s fine policy (some libraries have fines, others do not). Fines are set by the lending library.
  • Replacement fees for OFL's lost or damaged items still apply. Items must be returned in good condition. Your library account will be charged replacement costs for the item including, but not limited to: water damage, food/drink stains, rips/tears, writing/drawing. See library staff for assistance with replacing damaged items.
  • If OFL's borrowed materials are not returned, you will be charged a replacement cost. Materials that are 30 days overdue are assumed lost and the replacement cost will be charged to your library account. 
    Note: Patrons will be prohibited from borrowing library materials if there is $10 or more in charges on their library card.
  • Starting at 14 days after your account reaches $100 in charges, your account will be sent to the UMS Collection agency. A $10 charge to cover collection costs will be placed on your account. Please return your materials in a timely manner to prevent this from happening.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  1. Do I still have to pay a fine that was on my account prior to OFL going fine free?
    If you’ve returned all materials, your fine can be waived. If an item has been assumed lost or damaged, these fees will remain on your account.
  2. How will OFL get people to return borrowed materials?
    “No fines” does not mean “no responsibility.” The sooner you return items, the sooner we can get them into the hands of more patrons. Materials that are 30 days overdue are assumed lost. 
    Note: Patrons will be prohibited from borrowing library materials if there is $10 or more in charges on their library card.
  3. Will I still receive reminders about returning materials?
    Reminders will continue to be sent to you just as they were before.
  4. How is OFL able to afford not charging fines?
    Overdue fines on average make up a very small percentage of OFL's annual budget and have been suspended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. When this is taken into account, along with the time and effort factored into collecting fines, this decision is in the best interest of our patrons and staff.
  5. I have always considered paying my fines as my donation to the library. Can I still donate?
    Yes! Donations to OFL can be made directly to our library. Learn more...
    Monetary donations can be made in person at any time in the library. Your donation is always appreciated and will support collections, programs and services at OFL.
  6. Have other libraries gone fine free?
    Yes! Across the country, almost 500 libraries have done so, according to Glen Ridge Public Library. This number seems to be growing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about this at: www.glenridgelibrary.org/finefree.html