Fines and Fees Policy

Policy Purpose:

To ensure that staff and the public are aware and can easily access the parameters regarding fines, and fees for a variety of services, as well as the associated costs of replacing damaged materials.

Key Point Summary:

  • The Library charges fines for physical materials returned late and has different fine levels based on the type of Library material a customer borrows
  • Borrowing privileges for physical items are suspended once a fine limit has been reached
  • Customers will be billed and the Library uses a collection agency for overdue accounts that exceed an established threshold
  • Customers have different options on how to pay fines
  • A summary of fines and fees is provided for the following categories:
    • Fines for materials
    • Local History & Archives image reproduction fees
    • Non-resident fees
    • Printing and photocopying fees including Makerspace
    • Replacement costs of lost or damaged materials
    • Room rental fees
  • Fines and fees are set by the Library Board as stipulated by the Public Library Act.

Definitions:

  • Library fines are small daily charges that are applied to a borrower’s card after a book or other borrowed item is kept past its due date.
  • Fees are charges related to replacement fees, service fees, items or room rentals.

Policy Details:

Hamilton Public Library charges fines on overdue materials to encourage customers to return items on time.  Any fine revenue raised is added to the library's operating budget. 

Fines are charged on overdue materials up to a maximum amount per item based on Library card type. Customers will be billed if materials are not returned within a set period of time. The library does pursue overdue accounts with a collection agency for accounts that exceed the established threshold.

Please note that fines are charged on late materials on a calendar day basis at all locations. 

Fines are not charged on materials borrowed with Access cards with the exception of Express Items or video games. It should be noted that Access card holders have reduced borrowing privileges with this card. See Borrowing Policy

Staff members are encouraged to use their discretion to waive or reduce fines in such cases as illness, hospital stays, accessibility issues,  etc.  Staff members will refer to their Manager for extenuating and complex situations.

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