Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.

Press ReleaseICPL’s children’s, young adult materials to be fine-free

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to announce that beginning June 1, children’s and young adult materials will be fine free. This means patrons will not be charged overdue fines for materials checked out from the children’s and young adult collections.

Multiple libraries across the country have stopped the practice of charging overdue fines in recent years, including several in Iowa. A study from the Colorado Library Association found that fines do not motivate patron to return materials on time. Instead, research found that fines are a barrier for Library use.

“Creating financial barriers to public library use is counterproductive and goes against the Library’s mission to encourage more use, not less,” Director Elsworth Carman said. “We want to remove barriers that stop people from using the Library, and we’re pleased to have the support of the City of Iowa City council members and our Library Board of Trustees to do so.”

Under the new policy, it does not matter if children’s and young adult materials are checked out on a minor’s card or an adult’s card; no overdue fees will be charged on materials returned late from the these collections. However, this does not mean materials don’t have to be returned to the Library. A full replacement fee will be charged to the borrower’s account if materials are not returned. For items with a 7-day loan period, there will be a bill at 14 days overdue. For 21-day items, there will be a bill at 21 days overdue.

“Life happens. We don’t want an overdue book to be the reason to not use the Library,” Community and Access Services Coordinator Kara Logsden said. “If you’ve stopped using the Library because of fines, we hope you will come back.”

For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.