We Are a Fine Free Library

Buena Park Library District Fine Forgiveness and Elimination of Overdue Fines

On June 1, 2020, Buena Park Library District will discontinue the use of overdue fines.

Why are you removing overdue fines?

We understand that fines are a significant barrier that prevents patrons from accessing much needed information. By removing that barrier, we hope that more people will enjoy our library, borrow our materials, and more easily receive access to information, programs and services that they need.

What does this mean for library patrons?

We would like to welcome the community back to the Buena Park Library District. Outstanding overdue fines will be forgiven so that patrons can receive a fresh beginning. We invite patrons who stopped going to the library due to overdue fines to return and enjoy our library materials and services. We also hope that anyone who has books or other materials that were billed as lost items, returns them to the library. If lost items are returned, the replacement fee and processing charge will be waived from the patron account.

Going forward, the Library will still be charging for lost or damaged items, processing fees, and collection agency fees, but will discontinue the use of overdue fines.

How will you ensure that patrons will return items to the library without charging overdue fines?

The Library expects that patrons return their materials on time so that other patrons can use them. We will continue to send our patrons reminders. Patrons with email notification will receive a courtesy reminder 2 days before an item is due. If items are not returned, they will receive two overdue notices and a bill for “lost” material.  The patron will be blocked from checking out more materials until lost items have been addressed. Patrons will continue to be sent to the collection agency after a balance of $100 or more remains unpaid after 120 days. If a patron returns an item that had been declared “lost,” the replacement fee and processing fee will be waived upon the return of the item. We believe that this will continue to promote the return of library items without having to charge fines for late returns. We hope this encourages the return of items without the use of punitive overdue fines.

What if I do not return my library items?

Patrons who do not return their library items will be responsible for the replacement cost and a $5.00 processing fee. Patrons with lost items will be unable to check out more items until the account has been addressed. Payment plans are available. Accounts with fees over $100 will still be sent to a collection agency.

How much is the replacement cost of an item?

Replacement costs vary by item.

How will this affect hold waitlists?

We closely monitor our hold waitlists and order additional items to meet demand. We will continue to do this in order to minimize wait times for library patrons.

Will I still be able to renew items?

If a patron wishes to extend the time they keep a library item, the item should be renewed before the due date. If an item has a hold waitlist, the item cannot be renewed and is expected to be returned to the library by its due date.

How will this affect the Buena Park Library District’s budget?

Overdue fines represent a small portion of the Library’s budget and are not a steady or reliable source of revenue. We believe that the Library’s mission to provide free and equal access to materials and services is important and are choosing to make that a priority for our patrons. The Library appreciates support from patrons who are able to make donations, but we will no longer be using punitive overdue fines as a way to generate revenue.