A Fine-Free Siouxland Libraries

Siouxland Libraries is going fine free on December 1, 2022. 

Siouxland Libraries welcomes you to the library. If you have never used the library or stopped due to the possibility of late fees, now is the ideal time to come in, check out materials, and use our many services!

What does "fine free" mean for our customers?

Fine free is the elimination of all overdue fees for returning items late. Most items have a loan period of three weeks and when they were returned late, you were charged a small overdue fee. We are no longer charging this fee. We encourage customers to return items by the due date and even early. This helps us share the items with others.

How will the library ensure that customers will return library items?

The library expects that customers will return their materials on time so that other customers can use them. We will continue to send our customers reminders. Customers will receive a courtesy reminder 3 days before an item is due. If material is not returned, they will receive an overdue notice 7 days after the due date and again 14 days and 21 days after the due date. If the material is not returned 30 days after the due date, they will receive a bill for lost material. The customers will be blocked from checking out more materials until lost items have been addressed. If a customer returns an item that has been declared lost, all fines will be cancelled.

What happens if an item is not returned?

Customers who do not return their library items will be responsible for the replacement cost of the item. Customers will be billed at one month overdue and will not be able to use some of the library's services.

Will I still be able to renew items?

Siouxland Libraries auto-renews customers' items three days before the due date and will do this up to three times. If an item has a hold, the item cannot be renewed and is expected to be returned to the library. Some specialty items are not available to renew.

How will this affect hold waitlists?

Hold waitlists are closely monitored by library staff and additional items are ordered to meet demand. Siouxland Libraries will continue to do this to minimize wait times for library customers. Additionally, as with all items checked out, customers will receive reminders that their items are due to be returned to the library.

Why do libraries go fine free?

Fines don't work-Studies have shown that small fines have no impact on material return rates. There is also evidence it costs libraries more to enforce late fees than they get back by charging them.

Increase access to library services-Eliminating late fees increases access to the library services and materials customers need to pursue their goals. It also encourages past customers to return to the library and hopefully attracts new users.

An equitable collection- Not all library materials accrue late fees equally. Digital items accrue no late fees. Removing fines from the entire collection provides more equity for users of certain materials.

I didn't receive an email, phone call, or text that my items were overdue and now I have a bill for the book. What can I do?

We recognize that receiving email notices about your library account is important to you. However, email often bounces or ends up in your spam folder, or there may be problems on our end where it fails to send or problems on your email provider's end where it's not received.

As a result, we recommend that you add 2 email addresses to your library record, download our Siouxland Libraries app, and configure your spam folder:

  • Contact your local branch and make sure your email address is up-to-date in our records.
  • Download our free app so you can check due dates, renew items, and place holds.
  • Configure your spam filter to accept email from siouxlandnotices@iii.com so our emails don't get filtered into your email provider's spam folders. Providers change their spam filters frequently, so sometimes our emails fall through the cracks.
  • There may be a few exceptions where individuals will not receive our email. For example, if you are using a private or corporate email system that requires TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption, the emails will not go through.

Notices are provided as a courtesy; borrowers are responsible for returning materials on time. You can use your online library account to monitor your due dates and holds or contact the Library during open hours for information about your account.