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Boreal Community Media

Grand Marais Library goes fines free

May 16, 2019 01:25PM ● By Editor
Media Release from the Grand Marais Public Library - May 16, 2019  


At the April meeting of the Grand Marais Public Library Board of Trustees, the library changed its policy regarding fines for overdue materials. 

Effective immediately, fines will no longer be levied on Grand Marais Public Library (GMPL) materials kept beyond their due date, and existing fines on patron records are being waived. The library also will no longer charge $1 for a replacement library card. Library staff will be happy to assist those who have questions about their account.

It is important to note some charges remain in place, including charges for damaged and lost materials. Also, overdue fines on materials owned by a library other than GMPL are set by the owning institution and may not be waived. 

Library materials still have due dates, and patrons are requested to return or renew them in a timely manner. If a patron fails to return an item, they may still be held accountable. After 58 days past the due date, the online system presumes the material is lost, and automatically places a replacement charge on the patron account. 

Board considerations included the following: Library fines create economic barriers to information access and the mission statement as rewritten two years ago specifies that the library “removes barriers”; Economic inclusion is a priority in the 2019 Strategic Plan; Studies show fines are ineffective in ensuring materials are returned to libraries on time, eliminating fines can even result in materials coming back to the library sooner, and libraries that go Fines Free typically see an increase in circulation.

The elimination of fines has become a nationwide trend, and a number of other libraries in the Arrowhead Library System have already become Fines Free. We are proud to be joining libraries around the state and nation in making this change. 

Steve Harsin
Director (218) 387-1140
[email protected]
Grand Marais Public Library
104 2ndAve W, Box 280
Grand Marais, MN  55604

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