Effective immediately, the Brown County Public Library is no longer charging fines for most overdue items - WiFi hotspots will continue to accrue fines.
This policy change comes after almost a year of temporarily suspending fines due to the pandemic. Library hours were curtailed, and in-person activities were limited for a large part of the last 12 months. “The Library wanted to eliminate obstacles to using its resources, and we believed that waiving fines could play a significant role in accomplishing that,” says Lynn Harden, BCPL’s Executive Director.
The fact that digital resources – eBooks, and downloadable music, movies, magazines, and audiobooks – are a growing percentage of library borrowing, was one reason for making “fine-free” a permanent part of BCPL policy. Digital resources simply become unavailable after their due date, so there is never an opportunity to receive fines for late returns of digital items.
Another reason for making fine-free permanent is that the revenue generated from collecting fines is a tiny portion of the library’s total income. In 2019, the last full year of collecting fines, only 1.2% of library funding came from overdue fees.
Of course, library patrons are still responsible for renewing and returning items by their due dates to ensure that everyone has equitable access to library materials and services. Convenient text and email alerts, plus a library app that allows you to easily monitor your account, are available to help remind you when your items are due.
For more information about the Brown County Public Library, contact any of our branches: Georgetown 937-378-3197; Mt. Orab 937-444-1414; Sardinia 937-446-1565; Fayetteville 513-274-BOOK (2665). Or, you can use the chat feature on our website: https://browncountypubliclibrary.org, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube!