In 2021, The Indianapolis Public Library officially eliminated late fines! Additionally, we waived unpaid late fines for over 87,000 Library accounts. (Go ahead - log in and check your account!) Tell us how this decision impacts you and your family, and read further below for details about this decision.
Ultimately, there should be no change to your borrowing habits. Library materials will still need to either be returned or renewed within 21 days of checkout. But if you are a little late, you just won’t get charged each day for being overdue. If an item is overdue for too long, The Library will consider it “lost,” and you, the borrower, will be charged a replacement fee. Patrons with large unpaid balances for “lost item” and other fees may have borrowing privileges suspended and could be referred to a debt collection agency.
The IndyPL Board of Trustees approved the discontinuation of charging late fines in April 2020 to ensure that The Library would not add any financial hardship for patrons. There are several reasons that The Indianapolis Public Library joined hundreds of other libraries across the country and made the policy permanent:
We only waived historical per day late fines. Other fees and charges, such as for lost items, printing, and other purchases may still be on patron accounts.
We don’t anticipate that this will negatively affect wait times for holds. Books are still due and need to be returned on time to avoid suspension of borrowing privileges.
If a patron eventually returns “lost” items, their account may still reflect a $10 collections fee because of the expense IndyPL incurs for the collection service to recover the value of the item(s). This fee would exist as a balance on the patron’s account even after returning the item(s).
The Library’s collection - the books, movies, and other materials - is at the core of our services, and is a substantial investment of taxpayer funds. In order to be good stewards of these funds, it is important that we enforce compensation for lost, damaged, or stolen items.
Rules are on our Circulation Policies webpage.