No more late fines!

No more late fines at NVDPL! Go on, do your happy dance.  

 
North Vancouver District Public Library has eliminated overdue fines charged to late library items, effective May 4.
 
Why are we eliminating late fines? Simply put, we don’t want financial status to impact access to the Library. Daily late fines, while intended to incentivize the return of library material, unintentionally create a barrier for patrons to access critical library services. These barriers disproportionately impact families with young children, low-income households, and those in our community who need us the most. 
 

What does this mean for you? 

  • You’ve got a clean slate on late fines! 
    As of May 4, all fines accumulated as a result of late material have been removed from your library account! If you have other charges on your account and haven’t been to the Library in a while, please call us or visit us to discuss your account.
     
  • You still need to bring back your material! 
    Sharing is caring. Enjoy your material during the loan period and then bring it back! If it’s late, we won’t charge you overdue fines, but if it’s more than 21 days overdue, you will be billed for replacement and processing charges. Learn more about fines for lost or damaged items
     
  • If you’re in a position to support your library…you still can! We recognize some patrons pay their fines to support the Library. If you’re in a position to support, consider a donation
     

Read the FAQ below for more details!  

 
Does “fine-free” mean I will never be charged by the library ever again?
Not exactly—only daily overdue/late fines are being eliminated. You’ll still be charged when you don’t pick up your holds, replacement costs and processing fees for lost or damaged materials, and to replace your library card. Note that the fee for not picking up your holds by deadline is increasing from $1 to $2 per item.
 
Why get rid of overdue fines?
While intended to incentivize the return of library material, fines unintentionally create a barrier for patrons to access critical library services that disproportionately impacts families with young children, low-income households, and patrons in our community who need us the most. 
 
Due to improved online notifications and services, revenue from fines have actually dropped by 40% over the last ten years and revenue from fines only represents 1.5% of the library’s budget. Eliminating fines support one of our guiding principles to provide equitable access for all. If you or someone you know stopped using the library because of overdue fines, please come see us!
 
How will this impact wait times for popular items?
Good question! NVDPL will continue to encourage and promote on-time returns with email reminders and notifications. Libraries that have eliminated overdue fines report that items were returned at similar rates, or return rates actually increased after they changed their policy—which means, eliminating late fines shouldn’t adversely impact your wait time! If material is more than 21 days overdue, patrons will still be billed for replacement and processing charges. 

Why am I no longer receiving pre-overdue emails?
As part of the change to eliminate late fines, the email notification schedule has changed to reduce the number of emails we send out – especially to people who have borrowed items with a 3-7 day loan period.  Instead of receiving an email 2-3 days before the due date, you will receive an email the day the item is due as a reminder to return it to the library. The great part is, you don’t have to worry if you can’t get to the library right away. No more overdue fines! But we appreciate the timely return of materials and especially popular items with waiting lists.

Does this mean I can keep materials longer?
Not necessarily. You can renew your item if no one is waiting but we will continue to send notifications to your phone or email when your item is late. If you keep material 21 days past your due date, you will be billed replacement charges and processing fees. 
 
So if I accidentally keep an item at home more than 21 days past the due date, do I have to pay for it? I can bring it back!
The library’s current policy for this remains unchanged. If you bring the item back in good condition up to 6 weeks past the due date, replacement charges will be removed but you’ll still owe a processing fee which is non-returnable. That’s because once an item is designated as “lost” because it hasn’t been returned, we need to re-order it, or replace it with something similar—and the processing fee covers that. 
 
If you have kept the item so long that we have removed it from our inventory entirely (over 6 weeks overdue), you will be responsible to pay all replacement charges and processing fees. Please Note: If you have more than $5.00 in charges, you will not be able to borrow or renew items. Fees can be paid online, at the self-checkout terminals or at the Circulation desk in the library.
 

I haven’t used the library in years. I don’t even know where my library card is anymore.
No problem! We would love for you to visit and learn about all the exciting new services, programs and resources you can access in the library and from the comfort of your own home. As an extra bonus, if we still have your information on file, we’ll give you one replacement library card for FREE throughout the rest of 2021. If we need to re-register you, we are happy to do that too.

 
What if I have outstanding fees? 
We want to welcome you back! If you still have other fees on your account, we’re here to help. Please visit us or call us to discuss your account. 
 
I’ve always paid my fines to support my library.  What can I do now?
Thank you for your support! If you are in a position to pay fines, we encourage you to consider making a donation to the library. There are many ways you can do this. Learn moreThe Library also sells previously loved materials at all of our locations and our Friends of the Library will continue to hold larger book sales on occasion.