Eliminating Fines FAQ
Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) is pleased to announce that starting Tuesday, March 2, 2021 fines will no longer be charged on AACPL materials.
I noticed my library account was recently cleared of many outstanding fines and fees. Why?
They were cleared as part of our new fine free initiative.
Who's eligible for having their account cleared? What's included?
The library will no longer be charging overdue fines on AACPL materials. Items that are lost or damaged will continue to incur fees.
Why is Anne Arundel County Public Library eliminating fines?
Many library systems that have gone fine free have seen increases in usage and more long-overdue 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.
Many library systems that have gone fine free have made it easier for the community to use library resources. Borrowing has increased the return of material for continued circulation.
Also, the American Library Association recently passed a resolution encouraging libraries to consider eliminating fines to improve access to library service. AACPL's efforts are a step in that direction.
What items will be exempt from fines?
All Anne Arundel County Public Library materials will be exempt from fines. Items borrowed for customers from other library systems may incur late fees.
Do I still need to return my books, movies and music?
Yes, please! Items that are 21 days past due are considered lost, and the replacement cost is charged to your account. Items that are damaged are also assessed as a replacement charge. Your account can also be referred to collections and an additional fee will be assessed for lost items.
How will eliminating fines on materials affect the library's budget?
County government has allocated supplemental funds in our FY21 budget to allow us to make this change.
Aren't you giving people a free pass to not return items?
No, items must still be returned or fees will be assessed.