November 18 2019

Burlington Public Library Eliminates Fines


The Burlington Public Library has some good news for anyone who is perpetually bad at returning things on time. 


Starting November 18, the library will be fine free. 


“This means that there will no longer be any overdue fines on most items checked out at the library like books, music, movies, audiobooks, magazines, games, and more,” Director Michael Wick said in a release. “ And patrons don’t have to worry about old fines on their accounts — any overdue charges for Burlington Public Library items have already been cleared.” 


This means that if patrons need a few extra days to finish a book or if they can't make it back by the due date to return it, they shouldn’t worry, those daily fines have gone away.  


“Do patrons have items they have been hesitant to bring back because it's long overdue?” Wick asked. “Bring it in! All Burlington Public Library items returned in good condition will not have overdue fines, regardless of the due date. As always, we are happy to accept any donations to the Burlington Food Pantry if patrons are feeling guilty for returning an item late.”


Wick said the reason they made this change is that they believe the possibility of getting hit by fines keeps people away from the library and that goes against their mission of offering information to the public. 


“When we started looking at reasons why people didn't use the library, owing money was consistently mentioned,” he said. “By removing this barrier, we will help build a stronger community, improve literacy and educational attainment, and bring more people into the library. We want patrons to be able to enjoy events, access services, and expand their personal curiosity about people, places and things.”


While fines will be eliminated, patrons can still be charged for lost, damaged or never returned items. Also, items borrowed at other consortium libraries but returned in Burlington will still be fined according to the borrowing library's fine structure. Those with lost bills, damaged item fees, or fines from other libraries of more than $20 will be blocked from checking out more items until the items are returned, or the charges are paid.


Finally, patrons will receive a courtesy notice three days before the item is due and a notice that it is overdue at 7 and 14 days past its due date. Items not returned within 49 days of the due date will be marked as lost and patrons will receive a billing notice for the replacement fee.  


Talk with a librarian or call the Circulation desk at 781-270-1693 to learn more.



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