Buckham Memorial Library is Fine Free!

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As of January 1, 2022, you will no longer receive a daily late fine on overdue Faribault library materials. Additionally, all current late fines have been cleared from patrons' accounts. 

Fees for lost and damaged items will remain on patrons' accounts and patrons will continue to be charged for lost and damaged items. 

Patrons will be billed and their accounts will be blocked when items are 50 days overdue. This will be resolved as soon as the item(s) are returned to the library.

You are still responsible for returning library materials. We do want all items back! Library users will still receive reminders when a due date approaches and when it has passed.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why did you decide to stop charging fines for late library materials?  
Eliminating fines for late library materials removes barriers and improves access to the library for everyone, especially for those living in poverty. Studies have shown that small fines do not have any impact on return rates. Instead, in many cases, people simply stop coming to the library. According to “Removing Barriers to Access,” a Colorado State Library whitepaper: “The scant research on the impact of library fines and fees does not indicate a clear benefit to administering these polices and may be costly to enforce.

How does going fine free impact a community?
Our community is stronger and healthier when people have access to the programs, services, and materials they need to pursue their educational, career, family, and life goals. We hope that eliminating late fines will encourage prior users to come back to the library and attract new users to experience our offerings.

Are late fines a source of revenue for the library? 
Late fines are not a sustainable or dependable form of revenue. Public libraries across the nation are reporting money collected from late fines has gone down steadily for the last 10 years.

What if I consider my late fines a donation to the library? How can I still give money to the library?
Donating money to the library is easy and is best done through a donation made to the Friends of Buckham Memorial Library. You can bring a cash or check donation to the library in person, or you can mail a check made payable to Friends of Buckham Memorial Library. You can also donate online by visiting this site.  

Will people return items if there are no late fines?
In fine-free libraries, people still return items. Library users still need to return items and will still receive reminders when a due date approaches and when it has passed. Libraries that eliminate late fines still block accounts of library users who do not return materials. 

What if an item is lost or damaged?
Buckham Memorial Library will still collect fees for lost or damaged items. 

How will eliminating late fines impact the library's budget?
Revenue collected from late fines has declined over the past decade from $27,294 in 2011 to $3,652 in 2020. This represents 0.3% of the library's budget.

How will this impact library patrons?
Before going fine free, patrons were charged a late fine of $0.20 per day per item. Borrowers' library cards were blocked when they owed $10 or more in late fines and fees. 

As a result of eliminating late fines, more than 600 library borrowers will have their cards unblocked and will be able to resume borrowing library materials. 

What should I do if I see a late fine on my library account?
Please speak with a library staff member for assistance during our regular hours. 

I haven't been to the library in years. Will my library card still work?
Your library card may be expired if you haven't used it in a while. Please stop in the library during our regular hours for assistance at the Circulation Desk.

I've never had a library card. I've lost my library card. How can I get one?
Stop in the library during our regular hours for assistance at the Circulation Desk. You will need to bring along a current photo ID and proof of your current address in order to complete the registration for a library card. 

When is the library open? What are the library's regular hours?
The library is open Monday-Thursday 9:00am-8:00pm and Friday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm. We are closed on Sundays and on federal holidays.