Fine-free Library

Winfield Public Library is now fine free!

In January 2019, the American Library Association (ALA) passed a resolution encouraging libraries to eliminate fines as a way to ensure equitable access to materials.

Due to COVID, WPL stopped charging fines in March 2020. This temporary policy became permanent in July 2022 when the Library Board of Directors removed this financial barrier to its resources. Leading up to this decision, WPL gathered information from studies and fine-free libraries. In true librarian fashion, we researched. While WPL is no longer charging fines, fees for damaged or lost materials will still be assessed.

Libraries that have adopted fine-free policies have found that:

  • patronage increased
  • borrowing of materials increased
  • library card registration increased
  • more library materials were returned
  • staff time spent tracking fines was redirected to helping patrons

For answers to frequently asked questions about this policy, click here.