The Board of Trustees of the Park Ridge Public Library voted at its October 19 meeting to approve implementation of a fine-free system. Under the new system, a patron’s account will be blocked if they have an item checked out that is 14 days past its due date. To get the account block lifted, the patron would need to return the item.
If they are unable to return the item after 45 days, they will be billed for the cost to replace the item per current policy.
At its September 15, 2020, meeting, the Board approved a six-month trial of an overdue account block temporarily replacing daily overdue fines. The trial period ran from November 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021. In order to gather a full year of data, the trial period was extended to October 31, 2021.
“I am grateful for the Board’s support of the Fine Free movement,” said Library Director Joanna Bertucci. “All over the country, libraries have moved away from fines and toward models that encourage the timely return of materials in a less punitive way. We are thrilled that the trial was so well received by our patrons and look forward to implementing this model.”
Many libraries in Illinois and the region are fine free. In CCS, the consortium of libraries to which the Park Ridge Library belongs, 26 of 28 library members are fine free, including neighboring libraries Niles-Maine, Des Plaines, Morton Grove and Chicago public libraries.
Fine revenue for fiscal year 2020 was $31,857, representing 0.75% of the Library’s total revenue that year.