Fines Free: FAQ

We’re making some big changes to work better for you. On September 16, 2020, the library’s Board of Trustees voted to eliminate all overdue fines. That means no overdue fines on any materials!

Why is the Library eliminating overdue 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 will no longer charge overdue fines for materials returned past their due date. 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 materials returned after September 16, 2020, and will no longer accrue fines.

What notifications will I receive and when?
If you’re signed up for email or text message notifications, you’ll receive a reminder three days before an item is due.

If an item is overdue by seven days, you’ll receive an email, text, or mailed reminder notice. After 60 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!