The Kendallville Public Library eliminated overdue fines at the start of 2019 and is experiencing great benefits from it.
Library Director Katie Mullins said since getting rid of overdue fines on Jan. 2, two thousand more items have been checked out. She said in Jan. 2018, more than 15,000 items were checked out. In January of 2019, more than 17,000 items were checked out.
The big difference since then is the library going fine-free.
Overall, Mullins said they’ve waved $2,700 in fines. She said more people are also going to the library and returning overdue books.
“We have had a number of patrons that have come back to the library. They’re really thrilled and excited that they don’t have to worry about doing the walk of shame. That’s what we like to call it, where they come in and admit they’ve had a book long overdue. So, then when that happens, we are able to wave the overdue fines and any charges of the material that were associated with that,” said Mullins.
A few items still carry fines if returned late. That includes mobile hotspots and video games. Miller said they kept the fines on those items because of their popularity and to keep collections moving.
The library also started offering automatic renewals this year. It’s also piloting a program called ‘Door Step Delivery’ which delievers items to the home of the patron.
“Bottom line is that it just gives the patrons an easy way to access their library. We want them to be able to use it and we don’t want to put any barriers up that might prevent them from doing that.”