20c Fines Drop: FAQ

We’re making some big changes to work better for you. Starting January 1, we’re eliminating our 20¢ fines! That means no fines on any books, magazines, audiobooks and CDs you check out from the Library – even new releases! Due to high demand, DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games will continue to accrue $1/day overdue fines.

Why is the Library eliminating 20¢  fines?
It’s simple: fines prevent patrons from checking out materials, accessing online resources, and using our computers. We know from experience that fines aren’t a very effective way to get materials back on time, and often, they result in a financial burden that prevents patrons from using the library. We’re your public library, and we want to encourage you to use our services without creating barriers.

What do you mean by fines?

Fines are daily charges for overdue materials. We’ll be waiving all past unpaid overdue fines as of January 1, 2018, and starting January 1, we will no longer charge overdue fines for books, audiobooks, magazines, and CDs. However, we will not waive replacement costs, collection agency fees, and charges for items that are damaged or missing parts. You will still be responsible for payment of those charges.

Will there still be due dates?
Yes. Be a good neighbor by returning your materials by the due date. In order to provide the best materials and services for Waukegan, we need to make sure those materials are available when they’re needed.

What happens to materials I’ve already checked out?
Since we want to be a good neighbor to you, any books, magazines, audiobooks or CDs returned after January 1 will no longer accrue fines. And if you’ve accrued fines on those materials in the past, we’re giving you a fresh start this year: we’re eliminating all past unpaid 20¢  fines, too.

Why am I still getting fines for DVDs, Blu-rays, and videogames? 

All existing, unpaid fines will be waived at the beginning of January to give everyone a clean slate. Also, fines are no longer being charged for books, audiobooks, magazines, and CDs. However, due to high demand, DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games that are returned after January 1, 2018 will continue to accrue $1/day overdue fines.

What notifications will I receive and when?
If you’re signed up for email or text message notifications, you’ll receive a reminder two days  before an item is due. If you haven’t returned it two days after the due date, we’ll send you an email or text reminder then, too.

If an item is overdue by five days, you’ll receive an email, text, or mailed reminder notice. After 30 days, you’ll receive a bill for the item. If it’s been less than six months, and your materials are still in good condition, you can return them – and the bill will be removed! Daily overdue fines will still apply to DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games.