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Park Ridge is a Fine-Free Library

Instead of a fine, a patron’s account will be blocked when an item is more than 14 days past due. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If items are not returned more than 14 days past their due date, the patron’s account will be blocked, and they will be unable to check out any additional items until overdue items are returned.

This does not mean that the responsibility of returning Library materials goes away. We still ask that each patron “be a good neighbor” and return materials on the due date so other patrons can enjoy them. Or, return them as soon as possible once finished with them.

Instead of fines, we will use an account block model. Items will continue to have due dates, and if a patron doesn’t return an item within 14 days past the due date, that patron’s account will be blocked until the item is returned. When the item is returned, the account block will be lifted.

If the item is not returned within 45 days, the patron will be billed for that item. This is current library policy.

Many libraries in Illinois and this region are going fine free. In CCS, the consortium of libraries to which the Park Ridge Library belongs, 26 of 28 library members are now fine free, including neighboring libraries Niles-Maine, Morton Grove, and Chicago public libraries.

In interviews conducted by Library staff, area libraries who have gone fine free shared that they had a favorable experience implementing the policies. Some libraries have determined that establishing fine free policies is a positive investment in customer service and a way to provide equitable access to the community.

Fine revenue represents 1.17% of the Library’s total annual revenue. Based on FY2020, that’s an estimated $32,500 a year. This year, SY2021, the Library Board has not decreased services in order to make up for this slight decrease in revenue, with the total revenue budgeted at $4.3 million.

The patron will be billed through their library account, and a block will be placed on the account until the item is paid for or returned.

The account will be blocked if you have not returned the item(s) 14 days after the due date.

If you have an overdue block, you will not be blocked from placing holds. The block only applies to checkout.

At this time, any fines accrued prior to November 1 will remain on your account and your account will remain blocked if you owe $10 or more in overdue fines. We ask that you pay for your fines online through your account or at our checkout stations.

Items borrowed from our Exploration Library are not included in the fine-free trial. The fine for Exploration Library items will continue to be $5 per day.

You will not be charged for overdue fines for items checked out at the Park Ridge Public Library.

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