Your library is Fine Free
In July 2020, the West Fargo Public Library became one of the few libraries in North Dakota to do away with overdue fines for library materials. Eliminating fines for overdue materials allows the WFPL to build stronger relationships with patrons and provide more equitable access to materials, services and resources.
Why go Fine Free?
Fines of any size are an economic barrier to utilizing the library, which leads to inequitable access to the library based on a patron's ability to pay fines. Library policies may also block these patrons from library use if fines accumulate. This can cause significant issues for those who may rely on library services. The inability to pay fines can also end up discouraging patrons from returning their late items. When this happens, our collection of materials takes a loss. Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies have seen an increase in returned materials.
The elimination of fines also helps the West Fargo Public Library cultivate a friendly atmosphere and more efficient operations. Instead of addressing a patron's outstanding fines and then collecting and managing said fines, WFPL staff are able to devote their time to other patron-focused services.
The West Fargo Public Library no longer charges fines for overdue materials. No new fines accumulate on accounts except in the case of lost or damaged items.
What does Fine Free mean?
"Under this policy, patrons with overdue items aren't turned away due to financial circumstances," Library Director Carissa Hansen said. “This is an incredibly important step for us, as we aim to be accessible to all people regardless of socioeconomic status. We don’t want patrons to avoid the library or be unable to use our resources due to inability to pay a fine.”