February 3, 2021

County Public Libraries Goes Fine Free

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is no longer charging overdue fines. In addition, MCPL will waive all existing overdue fines from customer accounts. The new policy ensures that all residents have equitable access to MCPL resources and services, while eliminating the financial barrier of overdue fines.

Customers who previously had outstanding late fines will now be able to resume borrowing physical and digital materials and access online library resources.

“We know that some people are reluctant to use the Library because they are worried about the fines,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “We hope that anyone who stopped using our wonderful libraries will come back and take advantage of our great services.”

Checked out materials will continue to have due dates, and customers will receive notices when their materials are due to be returned. Customers will be responsible for returning materials and the cost of replacing lost or damaged materials.

MCPL joins more than 200 libraries across the country that have implemented a fine free model. Libraries that have gone fine free saw increases in circulation, library card registrations—and materials were sometimes returned that were previously thought to be lost. The libraries that have gone to fine free models report they have not found any increase in materials not being returned because of the new policy.