Fine Free

Wilkinson Public Library is excited to announce that as of January 2nd, the library is going fine free. There will be no fines for overdue materials. Sarah Landeryou, Library Director, Jill Wilson, Public Services Manager, Amy Sieving, Tech Services Manager and Paula Ciberay, Youth Services Manager studied both the financial and technical implications of going fine free, something many libraries across the nation have done, and determined that fine free was a good fit for the San Miguel County Library District #1. The library has not assessed fines on youth materials for many years now and is expanding that approach to all materials.

“We want to encourage people to use their local public library and removing late fines really just aligns with our mission of providing access and valuing equity for everyone in the community. We are hoping that more people will rediscover their library,” says Landeryou.


WPL’s mission is to provide as much material as possible to as many people as possible as often as possible! WPL wants to take down all barriers to using the library and have everyone feel welcome. Many studies show that fines do not encourage people to bring back their items on time (It’s only 10 cents a day, who cares?) and, in fact, discourage some people from using the library (10 cents adds up fast and now I don’t want to bring back my item because I dread the fines).

Many other libraries in the US are recognizing that fines do not align with the values of public libraries and have gone fine free successfully. Recently, Denver Public Library joined that growing list.

Revenue from fines has been decreasing and is a tiny percentage of WPL’s overall budget, less than one-half of one percent. Fines actually cost the library money to collect; credit card fees and the cost staff time significantly reduce the money collected annually from fines.


Items will be automatically renewed one time after a patron checks it out if he/she does not return it. (Unless there is a hold on that item for another patron.)

The item’s check out periods determine the renewal periods.

For example, books are checked out for three weeks and will be automatically renewed once for three weeks for a total of a six week check out. The GoPro has a four day check out period and will be automatically renewed once for a total of an eight day check out. Patrons are more than welcome to return items as soon as they are finished with them of course.

Patrons can renew the item one more time after that.

If the item is not returned after the two renewals, it will be considered lost and the cost of the item will be put on the patron’s account. Once the item is returned, that fee will automatically be cleared.

WPL will still be charging for lost or damaged items. Accounts with $50 or more outstanding will be blocked.

For people who really just want to give, there will be a donation jar out on the desk!