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Fine-Free Lakeland Libraries


 

Beginning October 1, 2022, Lakeland Libraries are fine-free!

What does this look like?

  • Effective October 1, 2022, late fines will no longer accrue on borrowed physical items belonging to the Lakeland Public Library, Larry R. Jackson Branch Library, and eLibrary South Lakeland
  • Existing fines on patron accounts are not affected or cleared unless paid by patrons
  • Items borrowed from other Polk County Library Cooperative libraries may still accrue fines

Check out the FAQs section below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Lakeland Libraries Going Fine-Free:

  • What does fine-free mean?

    The three Lakeland Libraries will no longer charge overdue fines for items belonging to Lakeland Public Library, Larry R. Jackson Branch Library, and eLibrary South Lakeland. Beginning October 1st, any items belonging to these three libraries will not have fines if returned after their due date.

  • Why are Lakeland Libraries going fine-free?

    Public libraries share a core mission to provide equitable service to all residents in their communities, and the Lakeland Libraries are no exception. Overdue fines can be a punitive barrier, restricting access to information, resources, and services for users. We want to remove barriers to access physical collections, resources, and information for our community.

  • What happens when an item is overdue?

    If an item owned by one of the Lakeland Libraries is seven (7) days overdue, the Library sends a notice by phone, email, or SMS reminding the patron to return the item. At 30 days overdue, the item is considered lost and the Library sends a notice by phone, email, or SMS that the account is being billed for the replacement cost of the item(s).

  • Why does my account say it is blocked?

    Patron accounts with a balance of $10 or more from overdue or lost item fees are blocked from borrowing additional physical items from any library until the account balance is below $10. If you have a bill for a lost Lakeland item and return that item in good condition, no money is owed. The replacement fee is automatically removed from the account and there are no late fees. If the overdue Lakeland item is not returned or is returned in damaged condition, the patron will owe the replacement cost of the item. If that cost is above $10, the account will be blocked until the item is returned or payment is made. Payments for patron accounts are accepted at each library's checkout desk or online when you log into your account.

  • What if I already have fines on my account or I recently paid fines to clear my account?

    Existing fines on patron accounts will remain on the account until paid by the patron. Items borrowed from other Polk County Library Cooperative libraries may still accrue overdue fines because not all public libraries in the county are fine-free. Patrons will be notified of an account balance at checkout or can view their account online. Accounts with a balance below $10 can borrow physical items from any library.

    There will be no refunds for overdue fines already paid on accounts, but items owned by Lakeland Libraries will no longer accrue fines beginning October 1st. If a patron pays for a lost Lakeland-owned item, they can return the item with proof of payment for a refund within thirty (30) days.

  • What about other fines or fees?

    There is still a $5 fee to borrow hotspots, but no overdue fines for them. If a hotspot is more than two days overdue, the device will be disabled, and the patron account will be billed the replacement cost of the device.

  • How does fine-free affect digital resources?

    Digital resources and eBooks are free to access with your library card and will never be overdue. Patron accounts with a balance of $10 or more can still use their library cards to access Library computers and most digital resources.