Frequently Asked Questions About Fine-Free
What does fine-free mean?
“Fine-free” means the South Brunswick Public Library, including its Mobile Branch, does not charge overdue fines for material returned after the due date. Borrowers are still expected to return items on time.
Why is this change being made?
The South Brunswick Public Library is committed to improving access and removing barriers for all! Fines restrict access and discourage people who need the library the most from coming in. We are grateful to our Library Board of Trustees for understanding that our priority is serving our community and ensuring all Library visits are positive.
Without late fees, what incentive do people have to bring borrowed items back?
We trust our community understands the need to return library items so others can borrow our shared resources.
Borrowers are responsible for returning or renewing items on or before their due date. If they do not, borrowers will be sent reminder notices for all overdue items.
Print material late by 42 days is considered “lost” and non-print items are “lost” after 28 days. Borrowers with “lost” material on their account cannot use their library card until they return their items or pay a replacement fee.
Does the fine-free policy apply to items borrowed from other libraries?
No. SBPL has no control over the fine policies at other libraries. If you borrow from other libraries you may incur fines if you return items late depending on their policy. Fines from other libraries cannot be waived at SBPL.
Items checked out at SBPL will be fine free, including items sent from other libraries to fill hold requests.
Are there any fines/fees that may still be charged to my account?
Yes. While we have cleared all of your past SBPL late fines, you may have fines if you borrowed items at another library and returned them late. Also, we still assess fees for lost or damaged material.
How will this impact the library’s budget?
SBPL believes the benefits of being a fine-free library far outweigh the loss of revenue generated from fines. With the increased use of digital resources and other factors, fines are no longer a sustainable source of revenue and have little impact on our budget. As always, the Library welcomes and appreciates donations from our community.