As of September 10, 2022 the library has removed most fees and fines in order to reduce as many barriers as possible to those wishing to access library services. As a part of this the library granted a one-time amnesty for all those with any fines on their account, prior to September 10, 2022. Clearing all accounts of any fines owed helped us create a fresh start for the entire community in their use of the library. An official copy of our announcement can be found HERE.
Below are a list of frequently asked questions and answers in response to this policy change.
When will the Library "go fine-free"?
September 10, 2022
What does "fine-free" mean?
It means we no longer charge for late or overdue materials, replacement costs for library cards nor for holds from our library that have not been picked up. Going forward, we will only charge for printing, Interlibrary loans that were not picked up, or lost/damaged materials.
Does going fine-free affect due dates?
No. All items continue to be borrowed for the usual amount of time and they are expected back on or before their due date.
What happens if I return items late?
We will automatically renew items for you twice, if no one else is waiting for them. After 42 days past a final due date, the item will be noted as ‘lost’ and a replacement fee will be posted to your account. When the item is returned, and it is in good condition we will automatically remove the charge.
I have existing charges on my account. What will happen to those?
In September we will remove any fines or fees related to NWPL materials from your account balance.
Why are we doing this? (what will be better, what value will this bring to the community?)
Many people with fines or fees on their accounts stop using the library. We’d rather have our New Westminster community using the library and ensure equitable access for all. Also, our research with other libraries who have taken similar measures has told us that applying fines and fees has no impact on whether or not people return items. We are wanting to remove as many barriers to library access as possible.
How will the library encourage people to return materials?
We will continue to operate as we always have, with the expectation that materials are returned to the library in good condition by their due date, and we will send reminders before and after the due date.
How will this impact the library’s budget?
Revenue from fines was a very small part of the budget and the City of New Westminster approved a budget enhancement for 2022-onwards.
What about Interlibrary Loans (ILL)?
Because Interlibrary loan materials are not owned by us, we will charge a $1.00 fee for each ILL not picked up.
How can I continue to support the library without paying late fees?
Use the library! We also welcome financial donations that help support special projects. You can donate to us in person or via our website here: https://www.nwpl.ca/donate/
What if I still have questions?
As always you can reach out to us in person, by phone at (604) 527-4660 or by email at AskUs@nwpl.ca.