As of June 1, 2021, we are fine free, as voted unanimously by The
NBPL Board of Trustees.
Eliminating fines not only helps us meet our mission "...to ensure that
every resident has the opportunity to become successful and well-informed by offering resources,
sevices and experiences that build skills and provide enrichment" ‒ it ensures that we
provide equal access to books and materials to every one of our community members.
Overdue fines, on our items, will be wiped clean for patrons without
any outstanding items on their library card. Late fines, on your account, prior to the library
going fine free, will be removed.
Why are there still fees on my account?
Fees for lost or damaged materials remain, as will fines for items
borrowed at other libraries. Not all libraries are fine free. Once "lost" materials are returned,
any overdue fines and replacement fees affiliated with them will be removed from your record.
How will the Library get people to return borrowed items?
"No fines" does not mean "no responsibility". If items are
not returned, they are considered lost. The borrower will be billed the replacement cost, and
their card will be blocked. At any time, on return of the items, all the fees will be canceled.
Will I still receive reminders about returning materials?
Yes, you will still receive courtesy notices to remind you
to return your materials so that others may enjoy them. We also offer automatic renewal. However,
items that have holds on them cannot be renewed.
Won't this affect the library budget or my taxes?
Fine revenue accounts for less than .4% of the library's
total budget so it would not greatly impact the budget. And this will not affect your taxes. We will
find other ways to make up for this funding. If you would like to donate to the library to support equitable
access to library materials and services for all New Britain residents, we will gladly accept any donations.
These can be made online via our website, mailed to the library
or placed in the Library Support Jars at the Check Out desk.
Don't fines make people return their items on time?
There is no evidence that shows this to be true. In fact, when
libraries eliminated late fines, they saw an increase in the number of items returned and an increase
in library usage. If library fines worked the way they were intended, there would be no revenue because
all materials would be returned on time!
Our goal is to provide equal access to all community members and the
return of our materials so that they can be enjoyed and checked out by more patrons.