PRLD No Longer Charging Late Fees
Starting February 1, 2020, the Prairie River Library District will no longer charge daily late fines for overdue items. We will additionally clear any late fines you currently owe from your account. You may still owe other library fees, including replacement charges for lost or damaged materials.
A growing number of libraries in Idaho and US have chosen to stop charging late fines. Evidence has shown that this has increased use of library materials while having no significant impact on return rates. Our own recent experience appears to back this up. PRLD has not charged late fines for minors since June of 2018. Usage of children’s materials increased by 5% and we estimate that return rates have remained level. Finally, fines are no longer a predictable source of revenue. With more people using digital library materials like e-books and audiobooks, which are automatically returned on their due date, we can no longer count on late fines to help cover costs.
A reminder that if you keep an item past its due date, we will temporarily block your library account. That means you won’t be able to check out more materials or use some of our digital services until your late materials are returned. If materials are not returned two months after the due date, we will charge you for the cost to replace it. All charges will be cleared from your account when the materials are returned. Even if an item has been sitting on your shelf for years, return it and you can use the library again with no charges or late fines.
Two of our Valnet partners, Lewiston City Library and Asotin County Library, will also stop charging fines on February 1. In this we will join the Clearwater Memorial Public Library in Orofino, who stopped charging fines in late 2019. Please note that you may still encounter late fines when checking out materials from other Valnet libraries.
Visit your local PRLD branch – Craigmont, Culdesac, Kamiah, Kooskia, Lapwai, Nezperce, Peck, Winchester – if you have any questions about existing fines or charges on your library account. Hours and locations can be found at prld.org.