We are now fine free!
Here’s what that means for our patrons.
What is fine free? We eliminated late fees for books, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs. We also waived old overdue fines for these materials.
What about other library materials? We still charge late fees for certain items including museum passes, hiking kits, laptops, and other electronic devices.
Does fine free impact interlibrary loan? Fine Free does not apply to Interlibrary Loan (ILL) materials.
What about other fines and fees? We still charge fees for items that are not returned or returned damaged.
What cardholders are impacted by the Newburgh Free Library’s fine free policy? Most items checked out from the Newburgh Free Library Main Library and Town Branch locations are fine free for all Ramapo Catskill Library System cardholders, regardless of which library owns the item or where it is returned. However, Newburgh owned items that are checked out at other RCLS libraries may have fines depending on the checkout library’s rules and fine structure.
Why are we now fine free? Fine free policies have been a growing movement among libraries nationwide. In fact, the Newburgh Free Library has been fine free on juvenile and teen material since 2018. Our library chose to go fine free for everyone in order to decrease barriers to the collection and encourage people to return to the library. There’s a mistaken impression that having late fines means that patrons cannot use any of our services or attend our programs. An inability to pay late fines causes some patrons to stop coming to the library. By eliminating late fines, we hope to make it easier for all people to visit the library, borrow materials, and access our services.
Will this hurt the library financially? No. Fines account for around .005% of the Newburgh Free Library’s operating budget, and have been steadily decreasing. Late fines are unnecessary to the Library’s viability. We have other sources of revenue to support what the Library provides to the community. Patrons who would like to contribute their “late fines” to the Library are encouraged to donate to the Friends of the Newburgh Free Library.
For more information about borrowing, please click here.