O'Fallon Public Library cardholders no longer accrue fines for overdue items!
The O'Fallon Public Library is no longer charging cardholders a daily overdue fine for items returned late. Under this new policy, items can be checked out for their standard loan period and, if eligible, renewed a number of times. Library cardholders are responsible for returning or renewing items to prevent their library card from being blocked.
You will receive a notification when your library materials are ten (10) days and twenty (20) days overdue to alert you that you must return or renew them. When materials are thirty (30) days overdue the library considers the items lost and will invoice you for the cost of the items and any applicable processing fees. Your library card will be blocked at this point, preventing you from renewing or checking out items. If you return the item in good condition, the replacement fee and processing fee will be waived. These fees become non-cancellable if the items are not returned within ninety (90) days of being overdue.
For starters, it's good for our community! Our community is stronger and healthier when people have access to programs, services, and materials they need to pursue their educational, career, family, and life goals. Libraries are a place open to anyone and everyone. We hope this will encourage prior users to come back to the library and attract new users to experience our offerings.
Secondly, it’s good for our relationships. When you walk through our doors, we want to do our best to help you, not badger you about a late fee. Going fine-free makes a trip to the library more pleasant for both you and our staff.
Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies found that:
- Library card registrations increased
- Borrowing of materials increased
- More library items were returned
- Students returned to the library to use homework resources
- Staff time was redirected from fines-handling to patron-focused services
We believe in providing access to knowledge for all. Eliminating fines for overdue materials means more people in our community have greater access to the Library’s vital materials, resources, and services. Late fines, no matter how small, are a very real and significant burden for low-income individuals, children, and families. These kinds of financial barriers can discourage many people who rely on the Library, which means they can’t access books required for schoolwork, use public computers or job resources, or simply have a safe, open, welcoming space to visit.
While the Library is always carefully watching its bottom line, any loss of overdue fine revenue is tiny compared with the good this new policy will do for the community. Overdue fines account for less than 1% of the library's overall income and going fine-free will not significantly impact the budget moving forward. In addition, due to the rise in electronic materials (which do not accrue late fines) and other factors, fines are not a sustainable form of revenue for the library. Above all, it’s worth it to us to forgo potential funds from fines to remove barriers to Library use.
What happens if an item is not returned, returned damaged, or is lost?
If materials are 30 days overdue, the library will block the account and issue an invoice to the patron for the cost of the item(s). You will be unable to renew or check out any items, including digital content.
You will have 30 days to return the item or pay the replacement fee. If you return the item, the replacement cost and the processing fee will be waived. If you have lost or damaged item, you must pay the replacement cost and the processing fee.
When an item is over 90 days overdue the replacement cost becomes non-cancellable.
Can I purchase a replacement for a damaged or lost item?
No. Replacement costs and processing fees must be paid for each lost or damaged item. We do not accept replacement items in lieu of payment.
Will I be notified if an item is overdue?
Yes. You will receive notices when an item is 10 days and 20 days overdue.
The O’Fallon Public Library offers library services to all residents of, and visitors to, O’Fallon regardless of age, economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Library staff are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all library users. The user guidelines outlined below set expectations for all library users to ensure the safety, cleanliness, comfort, and accessibility of all O’Fallon Public Library spaces.
Illegal activities and behaviors that are violations of state, local and federal laws are prohibited on library property and at library events. Library users may not engage in behaviors, actions, or activities that violate any Federal, State or Local Laws as well as community ordinances and regulations. Weapons of any kind are forbidden on library property.
All library users and staff, while on library premises, have the right to enjoy a library experience that is free from threat, harassment, lewd or disruptive behavior. To ensure this, library users, while on library premises, must not:
- use, sell or be under the influence of drugs (including alcohol and marijuana)
- use tobacco products or substitutes
- wear attire inappropriate for public places
- sleep, bathe, shave and/or wash clothes on the premises
- solicit for funds or signatures, panhandle, sell goods, or gamble
- monopolize/obstruct space, seating, tables or equipment to the exclusion of others
- make unreasonable and disruptive noise, including speaking loudly, singing, snoring and listening to music at a volume noticed by others
Bags and other personal belongings may not be left unattended, and must not block access to aisles, doorways, stairways, walkways, elevators, ramps, or computers.
Children are welcome in the O’Fallon Public Library and we are concerned about their safety and welfare. However, parents and caregivers are responsible for monitoring the activities and regulating the behavior of their children while in the library:
- All children aged nine (9) years or younger shall be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible person at all times
- Children who exceed five (5) years of age but who are less than ten (10) years of age may be left unattended in the library during scheduled library programs
- Children using the library are subject to rules and regulations of the library concerning behavior, conduct and demeanor. Children should not be left at the library in substitution for proper babysitting or day care
- If at closing time young children are still waiting for pick up, staff may contact the O'Fallon Police Department for assistance. At least two staff members will remain with the child. No staff member shall take the child home
- The library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended on library premises
Service animals are welcome in the library. Other animals are prohibited.
Food and covered drinks are permitted in the library. Please dispose of trash properly.
Furniture may not be moved without permission from library staff. Heads, legs, and feet must be kept off tables and chairs.
Violators of this policy may be subject to exclusion from library buildings and grounds and may lose library privileges. Violations of law will be referred to local law enforcement when necessary and criminal behavior will be prosecuted under the law.
This policy applies to all library users and/or persons on library property. If violations of these rules are observed, please inform a staff member immediately.
It is the responsibility of all public service staff and facility supervisors to understand this policy fully to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Library Director, with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor and recommend updates to this policy. The Library Director is the final authority in regard to enforcing this policy.
Effective Date: February 10, 2020
The O’Fallon Public Library utilizes various social media applications to keep the public informed about library events and topics. This also allows O’Fallon Public Library patrons to interact with library staff and other patrons to share information and opinions about library-related subjects or issues. The library’s social media sites are maintained and monitored by designated library staff.
Comments and postings from the public are allowed but will be reviewed by library staff for content. Appropriate comments and postings must be relevant to the topic posted by library staff. Library staff reserves the right to review all comments and postings and delete inappropriate content. Inappropriate content includes (but is not limited to):
- Obscene, sexist, or racist content.
- Harassing library staff or other social media users.
- Libelous and slanderous statements.
- Plagiarizing or posting copyrighted material without permission or authority.
- Private, personal information of another person without appropriate consent or authority.
- Comments, postings, and/or hyperlinks not related to the topic of the posting.
- Commercial promotion, advertisement, or spam.
- Photos or other images that fall in any of the above categories.
O’Fallon Public Library is not responsible or liable for content posted by any subscriber or user of its social media sites.
By choosing to comment and/or utilize O’Fallon Public Library social media sites, users agree to these rules.