Check-out Times, Renewals and Fines/Fees

Anyone with a library card can check out books, magazines, DVD’s and other items from your library, although some services and programs may be limited to eligible card holders within the service area. If we don’t have the particular item you are looking for, we will be happy to borrow it for you from another library through inter-library loan.

How long is the check out period?

Most items check out for three weeks, but there are a few exceptions. New popular fiction books for adults (audio & paper), magazines and DVDs check out for one week.

Are items renewable?

All items, except DVD’s and new audio books, are renewable if no one is waiting for them. All items, except DVD’s, board games, and technology (such as eReaders), will automatically renew up to three times. New audiobooks will renew for one week. You can also renew in person, over the phone, (620) 221-4470, or online through your account.

What happens if my items are late?

Materials will still have due dates and patrons are asked to return books on time. Patrons will be sent a reminder 3 days after items are due. Patrons with materials 10 days overdue will have their borrowing privileges suspended until items are returned.

Patrons will receive two reminders. If materials are not returned, the patron is charged for the materials with a $10 administrative fee for long-overdue items. If items are not returned the responsible party, (that means you, or if you are a minor – your parents) will be added to the State of Kansas Setoff system for payment.

In July 2022, the Winfield Public Library became a fine free library on most items. Fines are still charged on technology or Inter-library loan items. Fines are money charged when a book or other borrowed item is kept past its due date. While WPL is now fine-free, fees for lost or damaged items are still charged.

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.

What if I lose or damage some materials?

You are expected to return materials in good condition within the established loan periods.  Lost charges will be waived on items returned in good condition within six months of the original date due. Refunds will be given for items that are returned in good condition within six months of the original date due.

You may keep damaged items for which full replacement charges have been paid although the library reserves the right to dispose of damaged items within a reasonable time.

Material lost or damaged due to extraordinary events such as a house fire, tornado, or flood will be excused. Billing information will be provided for insurance purposes where applicable. Theft does not exempt the borrower from payment for the loss of library materials.

The library may forgive charges against a customer account in unusual circumstances not covered above.

The library assumes no liability for loss or damage to user’s equipment or injury from use of library owned materials.