Orange County Library System Goes Fine Free

ORANGE COUNTY – On Sunday, October 16, Orange County Library System eliminated all overdue charges on loaned materials. All existing overdue charges on library card accounts were also canceled, giving customers who have been unable to use the library due to accumulated fines an opportunity to return with a clean slate. Library customers are encouraged to return books and DVDs to the library without fear of overdue fines, no matter how far they are past their due dates.

The decision puts OCLS policies in line with a larger trend of eliminating fines in public libraries across the nation as a way of expanding library service to all. The American Library Association adopted a Resolution on Monetary Library Fines in 2019 to promote the elimination of barriers, especially financial barriers, to library services and resources. OCLS joins a growing number of libraries across the state and nation in eliminating fines in the hopes of removing some of those barriers. “This change fully aligns with the library’s mission: Adding to quality of life by creating a learning environment and experiences that foster personal growth and development,” said Library Director/CEO Steve Powell.

The decision to go to a fine-free model was made by the library’s Board of Trustees at their October 13 meeting.

Although overdue fines have been eliminated, library materials will still have due dates, and OCLS will continue to notify customers that they are expected to return materials on time. If an overdue item is not returned after 14 days, the customer’s card will be blocked, and they will not be able to borrow additional materials until the overdue items are returned. Customers will also still be responsible for lost or damaged items.

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