One-time Fee Waiver Restores Patron Accounts

To support the county’s strategic priority to facilitate access by removing barriers, Ramsey County Library will forgive existing fines and fees on adult patron accounts except for charges related to lost or damaged items. This waive will restore about 13,000 library accounts with blocked privileges due to charges in excess of $10.

At the February Library Board meeting, trustees voted to do a one-time waive of existing charges for patrons to ensure that their Library privileges are intact. This decision follows the elimination of adult late fines implemented on January 1, 2022. These fines were suspended during the pandemic and will now be permanent. This policy change aligns with the 2020 efforts to eliminate late fines on all youth materials.

Patrons checking out library materials will continue to be charged for lost or damaged items, and privileges will be suspended if charges exceed $10. Reminder notices will continue to be sent. These procedures will help maintain the timely return of materials.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: Will people return items if there are no late fines on these materials?

A: We do not anticipate a change in patron behavior regarding returning items. The Library will continue to charge for lost or damaged materials. If a patron incurs charges above $10, they will lose their account privileges. We will continue to send reminder notices regarding due dates. These policies will support the timely return of materials.

Q: How will this initiative affect the Library's budget?

A: Eliminating this revenue will not affect Library collections, technology, programs or services. The County Manager’s 2022-2023 Library budget includes funds to offset the decreased revenue (estimated to be about $190,000). The budget will support the library’s services and operations.