We’re Fine Free!

Effective February 1, 2020 the Beverly Public Library will eliminate overdue fines for materials borrowed at the main library, Farms branch, and the Bookmobile, and waive any previous overdue fines. The library will continue to issue due date reminders as well as overdue notifications and borrowers still need to return their books in a timely manner. Borrowing privileges will be suspended if an item is not returned within 6 weeks after the due date. The library will still charge for lost or damaged materials.

Why get rid of overdue fines?

  • The elimination of overdue fines is a growing trend among many libraries in the United States, including many local libraries such as Danvers, Hamilton-Wenham, Andover, Reading, Wakefield, and Newburyport. Both large and small libraries recognize that eliminating fines removes barriers to access for everyone in the community.
  • Libraries see an increase in usage when fines are eliminated. That’s what we want, more people using the library!
  • The Beverly Public Library is committed to equal access, overdue fines disproportionately affect low income families and those on fixed incomes. Eliminating overdue fines will remove economic barriers and promote equal access. 
  • There is no evidence that fines result in more timely returns. Research shows that when fines are eliminated, library circulation and return rates increase.
  • Beverly patrons check out thousands of eBooks and digital audiobooks per year. There are no fines for digital materials, which creates inequality between those who borrow physical materials and those who borrow digital materials. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When does fine free begin?
Saturday, February 1, 2020.

Will overdue fines be waived on ALL materials?
Yes.

How does the library get people to return borrowed materials without charging fines?
We will continue to issue due date reminders as well as overdue notifications. Borrowers still need to return their items in a timely manner. If an item is not returned within 6 weeks after the due date, borrowing privileges will be suspended. The library will still charge for lost or damaged materials.

I don’t mind paying fines, how can I help the library?
We encourage donations to the Friends of the Beverly Public Library.

Will I be charged overdue fines for items owned by other NOBLE libraries?
Materials that are checked out and returned to the Beverly Public Library, Farms branch, and Bookmobile will not accrue fines, regardless of where the material came from within NOBLE.