NO MORE DAILY OVERDUE FINES!
The Portsmouth Public Library System is delighted to announce that our Board of Trustees has approved a new policy — no more daily overdue fines!
What does it mean to be “fine-free”?
Effective April 1, 2022, the Portsmouth Public Library System will no longer charge daily fines on overdue materials.
What’s the Same:
- Items you check out from the Library have a due date. Some checkouts can be renewed if you need to keep them longer.
- If you keep your item past its due date, the Library will notify you.
- If you have more than 3 overdue items, your account will be blocked.
- If you don’t return the items, they are considered lost. Your account will then show a charge for the price of the item.
- If you return the item, those charges are removed. If charges on your account are over $5, your account is blocked and you will no longer be able to check out items from the Library.
- If you damage an item or lose an item, you will be charged for repair or replacement costs.
- E-books and other electronic resources are returned automatically, so there are no overdue fines on them.
- Overdue fines WILL be charged for Wi-Fi hotspots and Leap pads.
- If you bring back your overdue items, you don’t owe any “overdue” charges. That’s it!
Why change the policy?
We are making this change because overdue fines are a barrier for many residents who simply cannot afford to pay if they are a few days late returning an item. When fines accrue over time, they represent a financial barrier that disproportionately affects low-income families and children.
Doesn’t the Library rely on fines for its funding?
The Library System is funded through the State (70%) and a local levy (29%). Fines historically represent less than 1% of the Library’s annual revenue. The value of eliminating fines and opening access far exceeds the cost.