Beaumont Public Library is Fine Free!

Apr. 16, 2023

The Beaumont Public Library has eliminated all late fines on library materials!

The motion passed unanimously at the Beaumont Public Library's March 13 Board of Trustees meeting.  Eliminating overdue fines will permanently reduce barriers to accessing library resources.  The library is already in the process of eliminating all existing late fines, excluding fines for lost and/or damaged materials.

Over 300 public libraries across Canada have eliminated overdue fines for some or all library materials and we are proud to join this list.

Overdue fines are used to motivate patrons to return material, but evidence shows that they deter patrons from returning to the library and disproportionately affect socially vulnerable populations who cannot afford to pay.  A recent survey of nine public libraries found no increase in late returns or wait times for materials after going fine free.  In fact, one library saw late returns drop from 9% to 4% along with an 11% increase in circulation and memberships in the year following overdue fine elimination.  Another saw the circulation of children's material grow by 16% in the six months following fine elimination.   Yet another saw an astounding 240% increase in overdue material returns in the month after going fine-free as patrons returned long over due books.

The Beaumont Public Library is extremely proud to make the move to a fine-free model.  This is an exciting step towards inclusive library services.

Effective immediately, overdue fines will no longer accrue on overdue materials.  In the coming weeks, library staff will be hard at work removing all current overdue fines from patron accounts.  If you currently have accrued fines, please be patient as we complete this work.