chat loading...
Skip to Main Content

User-Centered Access: Planning and Implementing a Fine-Free Policy (ASC 2017) and Revolutionize Circ: Free Yourself from Fines (VLA 2018)

Our library’s proposal to extend lending and eliminate overdue fines has been implemented successfully! We’ll share why and how we managed to align our circulation policies with the needs of our most frequent users. By Maryke Barber and Karen Ryan, Hollin


Wyndham Robertson Library proposed going fine free in the Fall of 2015. Planning ensued Spring 2016, together with our ILS partners at Roanoke College. We implemented a new borrowing policy extending loans and eliminating daily overdue fines in the summer of 2016. Read more in our FAQ.


Boyce, Crystal. "Practice Makes Perfect: Updating Borrowing Policies and Practices at a Small Academic Library." 2014.

Bowers, Paul. "No More Late Fines? Charleston County Libraries Could Join a National Movement." 2017.

Burgin, Robert and Patsy Hansel. "Library Overdues: an Update." 1990.

Crawford Barniskis, Shannon. "Library Fines: Barriers to Access?" Presentation. 2014.

Dasgupta, Partha and Ismail Serageldin. "Social Capital: a Multifaceted Perspective." 1999.

DePriest, Meg Johnson. "Removing Barriers to Access: Eliminating Library Fines and Fees on Children's Materials." Colorado State Library. 

Dixon, Jennifer A. "Nashville, Salt Lake City, Columbus Eliminate Fines." 2017.

Dixon, Jennifer A. and Steven A. Gillis. "Doing Fine (s)? Fines and Fees." 2017.

Eberhart, George M. "Doing Away with Library Fines? A Consummation Devoutly To Be Wished." 2017.

Epstein, Sue. "To Fine or Not To Fine." 2017.

Fehr, Ernst and Falk, Armin. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives." 2002.

Flood, Alison. "For and Against Library Fines." 2008.

Gardner, Marilyn. "Is the Lifting of Library Fines Long Overdue?" 2006.

Graham, Ruth. Long Overdue: Why Public Libraries Are Finally Eliminating the Late-Return Fine.  2017.

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, "Just Bring it Back! No More Late Fines." 2018.

Kohn, Kara. "Fine (Free) and Dandy: Libraries Say Goodbye to Overdue Charges." 2015.

LaGarde, Jennifer. "A Back to School Challenge." 2018.

Licking County Library. "We Care About You and the Materials, not the Penalties." 2017.

Miami-Dade Public Library System, "Fines and Fees." 2019.

Mitchell, Gregory. "Fineless Circulation at EKU Libraries: An Evaluation." 2000.

Morehart, Phil. "Imagining a Fine-Free Future: Midwinter Panel Argues for the Elimination of Fines." 2018.

Moreheart, Phil. "An Overdue Discussion: Two Takes on the Library Fine Debate." 2018

Mosley, Pixie Anne. "Moving Away from Overdue Fines: One Academic Library's New Direction." 2004.

Reed, Kathleen, Jean Blackburn, and Daniel Sifton. "Putting a Sacred Cow Out to Pasture: Assessing the Removal of Fines and Reduction of Barriers at a Small Academic Library." 2014.

Rupp, Eric, Kimberly Sweetman, and David Perry. "Updating Circulation Policy for the 21st Century." 2010.

Rustichini,Aldo and Uri Gneezy. "A Fine is a Price." 2000.

San Francisco Public Library. "Long Overdue: Eliminating Fines on Overdue Materials to Improve Access to San Francisco Public Library." 2019.

Shontz, David. "Effect of fines on length of checkout and overdues in a medical library." 1999.

Sifton, Daniel. "The Last Taboo: Abolishing Library Fines." 2009.

Sung, Jan S. and Bradley B. Tolppanen. "Do Library Fines Work?: Analysis of the Effectiveness of Fines on Patron's Return Behavior at Two Mid-sized Academic Libraries." 2013.

Wilson, Duane E. and Cynthia Frazier. "Circulation Policies in Major Academic Libraries." 2015.

Yeung, Michael. "Library Fines, Trust Games and Reciprocity." 2013.

Wood, Emma and Jessica Almeida. "If We Charge Them, Will They Come? Fostering Positive Relationships With Students By Remaining Fine-Free." 2017.

Woodworth, Andy. "The Library Reloaded: Fines." 2010.