Library Director Amanda Hirst and the Board of Library Trustees are pleased to announce that the Public Library of Brookline will no longer charge overdue fines on any borrowed materials, effective Saturday, July 01, 2023.
The new fine-free policy aims to promote discovery, connection, and opportunity for all residents by extending access to our diverse resources. Patrons will no longer collect daily overdue fines for late returns of books, DVDs, audiobooks, and other materials borrowed from the Public Library of Brookline.
Additionally, all accrued fines related to overdue items have been waived, allowing residents to start fresh with the library’s offerings. Charges due to lost or damaged materials still remain on patron’s accounts. Library materials go into “lost” status when they are four weeks overdue.
The library’s implementation of a fine-free policy aligns with a growing national trend among libraries seeking to break down barriers and improve equitable access to knowledge and resources.
“I believe that libraries are at their best when we are promoting community engagement and lifelong learning. By eliminating overdue fines, the library is reducing barriers that often prevent people from utilizing library resources and services,” said Library Director Hirst. “I want to foster a culture of accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that everyone in our community has equal opportunities to benefit from all that the Public Library of Brookline has to offer.”
It is important to note that when residents check out materials from another library in the Minuteman Network, those materials are subject to that library’s policies, which could include late fees. Fees for lost or damaged items will still be applied to Public Library of Brookline patrons.
The responsibility of residents to return borrowed materials in a timely manner remains. To encourage prompt returns, the library will continue to send reminders and notifications to borrowers, highlighting the importance of returning items to ensure their availability for other patrons.