Loan Periods and Fees FAQ

What does being fine free mean to me?

Effective November 1, 2021, Hamilton East Public Library with locations in Fishers and Noblesville will no longer charge daily overdue fines on late materials. This change applies to all circulating materials.

  • You are responsible for bringing materials back. Being fine free means that the library will no longer charge a daily fine for overdue materials.
  • Your account will be blocked from checking out additional items if you don’t return items within 3 weeks (21 days) of their due date. Your account will be blocked until you return the overdue items. When the overdue item(s) are returned, the blocked status will be removed.
  • When an item is 45 days overdue, you will be charged for the replacement cost of the item. If the item is returned anytime between 45 and 180 days overdue, the replacement fee will be waived and your account will return to good standing.
  • When an item is 60 days overdue, you may be referred to a materials recovery agency, and a $10 non-reversible, non-refundable referral fee will be assessed.
Why is the library going fine free? Aren’t you going to miss the revenue?

We want to remove barriers for all patrons to return to the library! Fines tend to keep patrons away from the library instead of encouraging them to return materials.

Fines account for less than one percent of total operating revenue. Going fine free will reduce staff time spent on fine-related issues, allowing staff to spend more time on other priorities.

What is the difference between fines and fees?

Fines are the daily charges when an item is kept past its due date.  Effective November 1, 2021, the library will no longer charge overdue fines on late library materials, including books, audiobooks, and DVDs. Customers who lose borrowed library materials will be charged the replacement price of an item.

Fees are the charges for special services provided by the library. Fees are assessed for photocopies, computer printouts, data storage devices, materials, etc.  The library will continue to charge for these services.

What if I have overdue fines that I have not paid?

Effective November 1, 2021, the library will waive all pre-existing overdue and related processing fees. Lost and damaged items and other miscellaneous fees will remain in place.

I’ve paid fines in the past! So... do I get a refund?

The library will not be issuing refunds for old fine payments. If you still have questions about this, please ask to speak to a librarian.

I still have fines on my account! What’s up with that?

Effective November 1, 2021, all pre-existing overdue fines and processing fees on your account will be waived. However, remember that you are still responsible for the replacement cost of long overdue, lost, or damaged materials, and you may see bills on your account associated with those items.

What about my holds? Will I be waiting longer for them?

Good news! Most libraries that are fine free report that a majority of patrons still return their materials on time, and waitlists aren’t affected. Rest assured, library staff will be monitoring the effect on waitlists and adjust accordingly. Of course, we always encourage patrons to return materials on time so others can enjoy them! If you still have questions about holds, please contact the library or email circquestions@hepl.lib.in.us.

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