Allen County Public Library adopts fine free policy

ACPL adopts fine free policy for all patrons.
ACPL adopts fine free policy for all patrons.(WPTA)
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 12:00 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Fines and fees are a thing of the past at the Allen County Public Library (ACPL). ACPL announced it is adopting a fine free policy which will do away with all fines and fees for all cardholders.

No action needs to be taken to erase existing overdue fines, according to ACPL officials. However, fines and fees for damaged or lost materials will remain in place.

The Library’s Board of Trustees has approved the motion to erase all fines and fees from accounts effective Jan. 3, 2023. Patrons will no longer face fines and fees for overdue materials.

Fine Free for Minors Policy took effect Jan. 3, 2022 which erased fines for minors. As a result, ACPL experienced a significant increase in minors checking out material and using the library. According to ACPL officials, the number of cardholders aged 17 and younger checking out materials grew by 151% in the first year. ACPL noted no increase in number of replacement copies after the policy was implemented.

According to ACPL officials, more than 80 libraries in Indiana have already adopted fine free policies and report no significant increase in need for replacements or late returns.

Overdue fines minimally impact the libraries bottom line. According to ACPL officials, the fees are projected to make up around 1% of the library’s revenue budget in 2022.