The purpose of this policy is to establish fair and consistent practices for collecting fees and fines for overdue, long overdue and lost library material. It defines expectations for the timely resolution of disputes and describes financial oversight and review.
Patrons are responsible for the library materials checked out on their cards and are expected to return materials in a timely manner. All patrons are subject to overdue fees and fines.
Patrons will maintain their account information. They will inform the library of any name or address changes and will notify the library immediately if their library card is lost or stolen.
To assist patrons with their responsibilities, patrons may:
Patrons are informed of borrowing privileges and responsibilities (e.g. lending rules, fees and fines) when they receive their library card.
Fees and fines for overdue, long overdue or lost library material are charged to patron library card accounts. The Fee and Fine Schedule is used to determine the amounts that are charged.
Hennepin County Library does not pursue payment for damaged materials that are returned by patrons. Any payment for damaged material that a patron wishes to make will be gratefully accepted. Patrons who pay for damaged material may retain the damaged material.
Fees and fines may be paid in person by cash or check. If the balance is $2.00 or more payment may be made online with a credit card. Fees and fines of all types remain on patron accounts until they are paid.
Outstanding fees and fines may result in restricted borrowing privileges. The following restrictions will apply:
Staff will work with patrons to explain charges and resolve disputes. They will seek to balance the values of stewardship and patron access to library resources in their decision making.
Staff will discuss fees and fines only with the patron involved, or in the case of a minor child, with the parent or guardian. Staff may share information about patron accounts with other staff only to the extent necessary to resolve the service question at hand.
Circumstances may warrant staff to waive a patron’s fees and fines. Staff will apply fee and fine waivers fairly and equitably according to the following practices:
Refunds are not given for payment made on long overdue or lost material that is later found and returned. Long overdue and lost materials are not available to library patrons, and may no longer be of use by the time they are returned. Circumstances may warrant refunds and will be determined on a case by case basis.
Staff will follow established cash management procedures for collecting and depositing fees and fines.
Fee and fine waivers will be tracked at the administrative level and reviewed for irregularities.
The Library Director has authorized participants in the following programs and services to be exempt from overdue fines.
This administrative policy is reviewed at least every three (3) years by the Library Services Division Manager (or designee) in conjunction with the Hennepin County Library Board’s review of the Fee and Fine Policy. Upon completion of the review, this policy is revised or reaffirmed.
Next review: 01/2021
Last reviewed/revised: 01/2018