• In consideration of the American Library Association’s (ALA’s) Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity; and
  • Given the urging of libraries by the ALA, to scrutinize their practices of imposing fines on library patrons and actively move towards eliminating them; and
  • In keeping with the Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library’s core values of equitable service and barrier-free access to information and services;
  • The Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library will no longer impose or collect fines for the late return of materials.
  • It has been demonstrated that the imposition of fines does not act as an effective deterrent to the late return of materials. However, fines do serve as an inequitable barrier to service, disproportionately impacting children and community members with the least financial resources.

Late Returns

Every attempt will be made to work with patrons in reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution to any problems arising from the late return of materials. Notices will be sent as a courtesy to remind patrons of items at least four weeks past due. Non-receipt of a courtesy notice does not negate the patron’s responsibility for returning library materials. When the material is eight weeks overdue the patron will not have borrowing privileges until the problem is resolved, which would include one of the following: returning the item; paying for the item, or by negotiating a payment plan to pay for the item, or at the discretion of the Library Director.

Lost and Paid

A patron who has lost material will be charged the replacement cost as listed at the Barnes and Noble retail store and if not available there, then the price listed on Amazon will be charged. The patron may replace the lost item, upon approval of the Director, only if the replacement is identical to the lost material. The lost item must be replaced within two weeks of notification of the item being lost. When a patron pays for or replaces the lost item, the Library will withdraw that item from the database.


When a patron with $150 or less in charges has been stopped from using his/her Library privileges for more than four years, their card and any items remaining on the account, will be withdrawn from the database and his/her Library card deleted from the system.

If a patron owes $151 or more, this information will be retained indefinitely or until the matter is resolved.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees on January 13, 2020.