The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 1:00 am

ACPL to put hold on overdue fines

Journal Gazette

The Allen County Public Library hopes to recover overdue materials and is giving patrons a temporary break on fines and fees.

Beginning Wednesday, library cardholders who return overdue materials will have all associated fines and fees removed from their library accounts, a Monday news release said. The reprieve applies even in instances where items are damaged or have missing pieces.

“Our hope is that a lot of people spent the past several months 'hunkered down' cleaning out closets, basements and under beds. Our guess is that more than a few stumbled across library materials they thought had been lost or returned,” said Stephanny Smith, director of community engagement. “This is their chance to bring back those items and have fees removed from their library accounts.” 

For borrowers with long overdue materials, items are considered lost. Those borrowers are charged the replacement fee and a $5 processing fee for each item lost, damaged or returned incomplete.

Current library policy states that individuals whose fines exceed $15 will not be able to borrow physical materials. One objective of the fine forgiveness is that by returning overdue materials, many cardholders' account balances will fall below the $15 limit.

“As an organization, we are very aware of how much this community values and depends upon the library,” Smith said. “That is why we have taken a series of steps to reduce barriers and allow more people to access our resources, both physical and digital.”

In May, the library's trustees voted in favor of allowing those who had exceeded the fines limit to have access to the library's electronic resources, such as e-books and audible books.

The fine forgiveness event will run until Oct. 1. Overdue items can be returned to any library location.

For more information, call the library at 260-421-1200.

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