Loudoun County Public Library, or LCPL, has become the third public library system in Virginia to eliminate fines for overdue materials.
While customers will no longer be charged a 10-cent per day, per item fee for overdue materials, they are still responsible for replacement costs for lost items. Books and other library materials are considered lost once they are 21 days past due, library officials said. Borrowers will not be able to check out additional materials until they pay the lost-item fees or return the items.
The policy change is the result of a June decision by the Loudoun County Public Library Board of Trustees.
More than 125 public libraries in the U.S. and Canada have eliminated overdue fines, according to the Urban Libraries Council. Research from other libraries shows that overdue fines discourage or prevent customers from signing up for or using library cards
“The library’s resources have the power to change lives, and we want them to be available to everyone in the community,” Chang Liu, director of Loudoun County Public Library, said in a prepared statement.
With the policy change come a few tweaks to LCPL’s borrowing rules designed to increase the number of books on the shelves and to get items to customers faster. The shifts include:
-DVDs now check out for one week.
-All items will be renewed automatically up to three times as long as other customers haven’t placed holds on them.
-Customers can check out as many as 50 items at one time.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back people to the library who haven’t visited for a while,” Liu said. “I really hope this re-engages our community and makes people remember how much the library has to offer.”
More information can be found at library.loudoun.gov/NoMoreFines.