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We Are Fine Free!

We’re so excited to share that we are officially fine free! We’ve put together these FAQs to give you all the details of what it means to be a part of a fine free library. 

I have overdue fines on my account. Do I need to pay those? 

No. All current overdue fines are forgiven. 

Does fine free mean that every service at the library is free

Almost all of library services were already free before the removal of overdue fees. When we talk about fine free, we are talking about overdue fees only.  There is still a fee for services like faxing and coping. 

Can I renew an item before the due date or after it is overdue? 

All of our renewal policies have stayed the same. You can still renew items as before and are encouraged to do so you don't accidentally end up being billed for the item after 21 days overdue. Renewals also gives the library an accurate accounting of what materials are circulating.

What if an item still isn’t returned after it is overdue? 

After the item is 21 days overdue, if the item is still checked out, we’ll bill you for the item. 

Are all items fine free? 

All items checked out from the Chilton Public Library will be fine free. 

What if I use my MCLS Library card to check out an item when at another library in the system? 

If you check out an item at library that does charge fines, you're still responsible for paying any fines to that lending library. 

My card is still blocked. Why can’t I use it? 

There are many reasons why your card may be showing as blocked or barred. The most common reasons include you have fees over $10 for lost items, your card was reported lost or we received returned mail from your address. Contact us here and we’ll see how we can help you. (Please know that we may not be able to resolve some issues until our buildings reopen.) 

Will this impact the availability of popular items? 

We did a lot of research before making this change, including talking to other libraries about questions like this. While most fine free libraries have no problem meeting the demand for popular items, we will be keeping a close eye on this and will adjust our buying practices as needed. 

Why is this a good idea for our Library? 

Financially, fines are only about 0.25% of our annual budget and have decreased steadily over the last three years. Being fine free removes a barrier to access our materials – the last thing we want you to worry about is paying a fine to your Library for an overdue item.  Studies have shown that there is not an increase in materials not being returned on time.  

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