The Fountaindale Public Library District is working to clear any previously issued late fines from patrons’ accounts, so everyone can have a clean slate.
By eliminating fines, Fountaindale hopes to share their collection of more than 430,000 physical and digital books, movies, video games and more with even more members of the community.
Going fine free is a growing trend among libraries across the nation, though it still is a rarity in Illinois. With the addition of Fountaindale, less than 5% of Illinois libraries no longer charge late fines, most notable of which is Chicago Public Library, which became the largest fine-free library system in the U.S. last September.
Within the first three weeks of their fine-free announcement, CPL saw a 240% increase in material returns.
Margaret J. “Peggy” Danhof, president of the board of trustees of Fountaindale Public Library District, said in a news release from the district that “removing late fines does not remove personal responsibly.
“We still encourage patrons to return materials in a timely fashion, and we suspect we’ll see even more materials, and more importantly people, return to the library,” she said.