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Beginning March 1, 2022, Scott County Library will permanently eliminate daily late fines for overdue materials.
This change supports the Library’s mission of creating welcoming environments where all residents can connect with resources, support, and opportunities.
Scott County Library has historically charged daily late fines for overdue materials as an incentive to ensure those items were returned by their due dates. In recent years, however, the Library has taken steps to minimize the impact of overdue fines on customers. Fine-exempt library cards for youth were introduced in 2015 and automatic renewals launched in 2020.
“This change allows the library to get more materials into the hands of more Scott County residents and supports our mission of connecting all residents with resources, support, and opportunity,” explains Library Director Jake Grussing.
Scott County Library joins a growing number of US and Minnesota libraries that have eliminated late fines. Research has demonstrated that fines deter visitors from using the library and have no meaningful impact on items being returned.
Ending late fines for overdue items doesn’t mean physical library materials are free to keep. Customers will continue to be responsible for the replacement costs of unreturned or lost items. An item is considered unreturned 21 days after its due date. To ensure accountability, the Library is adopting enhanced measures to recover unreturned items, including increased communication and blocking library cards of customers who reach $25 in charges. Customers with blocked cards will be able to access eBooks, reserve meeting rooms, use public PCs and other library services. Existing account balances will not be removed, so customers are still expected to pay off balances accrued before March 1.
Customers may contact their branch with account questions or visit www.scottlib.org/catalog to access their account.