Dubuque library ditching fines for overdue materials, amnesty for existing fines

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(Background image: dubuque.lib.ia.us)(KCRG)
Published: Jun. 25, 2019 at 4:18 PM CDT
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A Dubuque area public library will be ending enforcement of fines for library materials returned past their due date, library officials said.

The Carnegie-Stout Public Library, located at 360 W 11th Street, will stop charging any fines for overdue items checked out from its collections effective July 1, 2019. Fines on patron accounts that exist on that date will be wiped out.

Under current policy, a library user has their account frozen if fines reach $10 or more. On and after July 1, library accounts will be frozen if it has items that are seven days or more overdue. Once those items are returned, the account will be unfrozen.

Data indicated that a fine-free system does not lead to overdue materials being held out longer, and the number of users borrowing under the age of 18 increased.

The library's Board of Trustees decided to adopt the new policy after a six-month trial in 2018.