The Severn Library is closed for renovation and will reopen Friday, March 13.

Eliminating Children's Fines FAQ

Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) is pleased to announce that starting Monday, January 6, 2020 fines will no longer be charged on AACPL children's and young adult materials. 

I noticed my library account was recently cleared of many outstanding fines and fees. Why?
As we launch our new fine-free initiative on children's materials, we wanted to offer people a clean slate.

Who's eligible for having their account cleared? What's included?
The library is providing a one-time amnesty of all overdue fines and fees, including referral fees for customers 17 and under as well as a one-time amnesty for any overdue fines incurred on children's material for customers 18 or over. Customers who are 18 and over will be responsible for referral fees even if those fees were incurred because of overdue children's material.

Why is Anne Arundel County Public Library eliminating children's and young adult fines?
Many library systems who have gone fine free have seen increases in usage and more old materials returned!

Fines are a barrier that disproportionately impact people without the means to pay. As a public institution, we have a responsibility to make our items available to as many people as possible. Removing these fines (while still requiring the items to be returned) will allow more people to enjoy our materials for education, enrichment and inspiration.

Also, the American Library Association recently passed a resolution encouraging libraries to consider eliminating fines and this a step in that direction.

What items will be exempt from fines?
All Anne Arundel County Public Library children's and young adult materials will be exempt from fines. Impacted items are marked with a sticker reading (J) or (YA).

Do I still need to return my books, movies and music?
Yes, please! Items that are 30 days past due are considered lost, and the replacement cost is charged to your account. Items that are damaged are also assessed a replacement charge.

How will eliminating fines on children and young adult materials effect the library's budget?
County government has allocated funds in our FY20 budget to allow us to make this wonderful change.