NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — After a one-year trial period, Norfolk libraries announced on Friday that they will permanently eliminate overdue fines.
The decision comes after the library system received approval to indefinitely extend fine-free services. In addition, the system has removed all fines and fees incurred before 2010.
Fines accrued on kids’ accounts before January 1, 2021, were also removed.
The library system will, however, continue to issue fees for lost or damaged books and materials.
Previously, Norfolk Public Library charged 20 cents per day, per item, and up to a $6.00 maximum for books and materials. All DVDs, reference books, interlibrary loan materials, book club kits, and Toddle Totes are charged $1.25 per day and up to a $10.00 maximum.
Once items have been kept for 28 days after the due date, they are assumed lost, and the patron’s account is charged the replacement cost and processing fee. Accounts delinquent 30 or more days are referred to the Norfolk Department of Finance and a $25.00 non-negotiable fee is added, even if the items are returned.
In 2019, the American Library Association passed a resolution concluding that “monetary fines create a barrier in public relations, and absorb valuable staff time applying, collecting, and managing dues.”
According to the Urban Libraries Council, over 200 libraries across the country have already adopted this method.