Fine Free FAQ!

Why did the library get rid of fines on children’s and young adult materials?

The mission of the Dwight Foster Public Library is to help people achieve their full potential by being a leading resource for information, education, culture, and recreation.  We believe in access to information.  Unfortunately, some families were unable to utilize the library’s many resources because their library cards were blocked by overdue fines.  Life gets busy and sometimes, despite our best intentions, we return our library books late.  This happens to everyone.  Some families are able to easily pay overdue fines.  For other families, this is more of a financial burden.  We hope that by eliminating overdue fines on children’s and young adult materials, small mistakes will not prevent families from using the library.

What does “fine free” mean?

Starting May 1, 2019, the Dwight Foster Public Library will no longer charge overdue fines on children’s and young adult materials checked out at our library.  Overdue fines will still apply for adult materials, lucky day items, and young adult audiobooks.  Also, overdue fines will still apply if you check out a Fort item at any other library.

What happens if I don’t return my items by the due date?

If you do not return a children’s or young adult item by the due date, you will receive overdue notices as a reminder but your account will not accrue overdue fines.  If the item is still not received by 6 weeks past the original due date, your account will be charged the replacement cost of the item and a bill will be mailed to you.  Bring back this item as soon as possible and the replacement cost may go away.

For items that are long overdue, the library may utilize the services of either the police department or a collection agency to retrieve materials or collect payment for their replacement.  Once a patron’s account is sent to the collection agency, the items may no longer be returned for credit as they may already have been replaced.  At that point, the patron is responsible for paying for the item(s) through the collection agency.

Will I ever be charged anything?

We will no longer charge overdue fines on children’s and young adult materials checked out at our library; however, we will still charge replacement fees for lost, damaged, or long overdue items.