The Philmont Public Library will stop charging overdue fines to all cardholders as of January 1, 2020
We are happy to announce that the Philmont Public Library will now be fine free — with no late fines on books and media — as of Jan. 1, 2020.
Fines make up only slightly over 1% of our budget – a number that is dropping every year due to programs like automatic renewal and text message and email alerts. These programs have been successful in helping people keep track of their items and avoid fines. Therefore, fines are no longer a necessary incentive to ensure that items return to the library.
The library’s board of trustees chose to go fine free to decrease barriers to the collection and encourage people to come back to the library. Having late fines over $10 blocks a patron’s ability to borrow items and access their account on line. An inability to pay late fines causes some patrons to stop coming to the library. By eliminating late fines, we can better fulfill our goal of providing free and equitable access to lifelong learning and we hope to make it easier for all people to visit the library, borrow materials, and access our many online services.
We will still charge fees for lost, non-returned, and damaged items. Donations are also always welcome.
We are very excited to be able to provide a fine free library for the Philmont community. We hope to see even more guests coming through the front door to enjoy all that we offer. Part of our mission is to create a welcoming, accessible space. We feel that no longer charging overdue fees takes us one step closer to the goal.