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Posted on: March 17, 2022

The NRH Library is going fine-free!

A blonde girl with glasses with her mouth open in excitement in front of a bright orange background

We're excited to announce that the NRH Library is going fine-free! Beginning Monday, April 4, 2022, items checked out from the NRH Library and returned past their due date will no longer accrue overdue fines. However, please note the overdue fines for Interlibrary Loans, as well as fees for lost, non-returned, or damaged items, will still apply.

Director of Library Services, Cecilia Barham, states: "The last few years have placed a financial hardship on many members of our community. In response, the Library is eliminating overdue fines to improve our community's access to the Library. We've worked hard to create a plan that balances accountability and access for everyone. The Library is using this policy change to kick off a year-long Kindness Campaign. There will be opportunities large and small for patrons to receive and express acts of kindness throughout the year when using the Library. We look forward to collaborating in kindness with our community, starting with eliminating overdue fines.”

How does this impact you?

  • Patrons will continue to receive notifications that items are due.
  • Patrons with overdue items will now be unable to check out additional items or use library services until any overdue items are returned.
  • When items are 30 days past their due date, they are marked as "lost," and patrons are charged for those items.
  • Most items will still be automatically renewed for you unless they have a hold on them. However, the amount of times an item will automatically renew has been reduced from five to three times.

Why go fine-free?

  • To ensure that everyone in our community has access to library resources regardless of financial hardships.
  • Our research and ongoing examination of library usage show that overdue fines are not an effective incentive to return books on time.
  • As other North Texas libraries have moved away from charging overdue fines, the model of charging overdue fines has become a dated and poor way of delivering service to our community.

What is the difference between a fine and a fee?

  • Fines are funds owed for overdue items -- these are going away!
  • Fees are funds owed for lost or damaged items.

Will this change negatively impact the Library's budget? I like supporting the Library by paying my fines.

  • We appreciate your concern! However, overdue fines made up less than 0.1% of the annual budget.
  • Patrons may choose to donate to the Friends of the NRH Library when returning items late.
  • Patrons who'd like to continue supporting the NRH Library also can become a Friend of the NRH Library! Friends memberships help fund popular literacy events like the Mayor's Summer Reading Club, the Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest, and the Behind the Book series.

We thank you for your continued consideration for other patrons in turning in items on time and hope you're as happy about this improvement as we are! 

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