Policy on Unreturned Library Materials

In all cases, it is the responsibility of the library patron to return items to the Dwight Foster Public Library that have been checked out on their card.  In the case of a minor, it is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

If you do not return your item(s) 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.

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.

While we will no longer charge overdue fines on materials checked out at our library, we will still charge replacement fees for lost, damaged, or long overdue items.

The Return of Library Materials bill or Senate Bill 466 was signed into law in February of 2016. The bill addresses libraries and the use of law enforcement and collection agencies. This legislation allows libraries to share the patron name, amount owed, number and type of materials but not the titles or subject matter, with collection agencies. The legislation also allows a library to choose to share the same limited patron information with local law enforcement for accounts with unreturned materials totaling over $50 in value. The Dwight Foster Public Library reserves the right to enforce this law in the return of library materials and to collect outstanding fines and fees owed to the library.

(Wisconsin State Statute 943.61 specifies unreturned library materials in an amount less than $1,000 as a theft prosecutable as a class A misdemeanor.  If the value of library materials exceeds $1,000 but not $2,500 it is prosecutable as a Class E felony.  If the value of the library materials exceeds $2,500 it is prosecutable as a Class C felony.)

Adopted 1/15/96
Revised 2/2/98; 3/15/16; 3/8/2021