JPL is Fine Free!

All overdue fines on library materials will be waived per the Juneau Public Library board of directors.

  • Charging overdue fines does not support the library mission to enrich lives and build community.
  • Fines disproportionately affect low-income families, adding another barrier to visiting the library
  • Research shows no difference in overdue rates between libraries charging fines and libraries not charging fines.
  • The library incurs expenses to collect fines, including staff time handling fine disputes, fine collection, and billing   postage.
1.  Do I still have to pay a fine that was on my account prior to JPL going fine-free?

Library staff is busy clearing all patron accounts of fines associated with materials checked out at JPL.  Fines charged by other Monarch member libraries will remain on your account.

2.  Fines have been waived, so why does my account still have a balance?

Charges for lost or damaged items, or additional charges such as copies, faxes, and notice fees, will remain on the account.

3.  I use more than one Monarch member library. How will that work?

Whether or not fines are charged is determined by the lending library policies.  Any Monarch member material checked out at JPL will be Fine-Free and can be returned to any Monarch library for check-in.  Likewise, any JPL item checking out at another member’s location will follow their lending policies.

However, there is a wrinkle with renewals.  If you check out at JPL but renew at another member library, the original checkout policies are nullified, and the renewing library’s policies take over.  To avoid this situation, we recommend you renew at JPL or another Monarch member library with the same fines policy.

4.  How will the library get people to return borrowed materials?

“No fines” does not mean “no responsibility.”  Our overdue notice procedure will not change.  Materials not returned 28 days (4 weeks) after the due date are assumed lost and will be billed to the account for the replacement cost and a $5.00 processing fee.

5.  How is the library budget affected by the loss of fine income?

We anticipated fines to generate 2% of our overall 2020 budget.  Like you during this time of COVID-19 crisis, the library will tighten its belt while still providing current materials and excellent service.

6.  I’ve always thought of paying my fine as a donation to the library. Can I still donate?

Yes!  The friendly staff at the circulation desk will gladly take your donation.  Donations can always be made directly to the library or the Friends of Juneau Public Library.  Your donation will support critical library programs, services, and materials.

7.  What’s the difference between a fine and a fee?

Fines are punitive.  Fees are for library services and products such as library cards, copies, faxes, materials replacement costs, etc.