Jessamine County Public Library Transitions to a Fine-Free Library

Published 10:12 am Friday, July 8, 2022

The Jessamine County Public Library is now fine-free has been since July 1.

The library is forgiving past over-due fines, and over-due fees will no longer be charged. Lost items will still need to be returned, and costs for replacing lost items are still applicable.

“We hope that the community feels supported by the change … If you find a book even if it’s two years, 20 years overdue, doesn’t matter just bring it back and there will be no charges.” Sara King, the library’s assistant director said.

The transition to a fine-free library began with a discussion at a board meeting where the policy was discussed for the first time. After the board meeting, the library did more research into making the switch and later presented several points for a fine-free library. Since then, the library has transitioned into the new policy.

“We want to see if library card sign-ups go up, we want to see if people who haven’t used the library in a long time if they come back. We’re all going to keep an eye on some statistics to see what effect it does have,” said King.

The library hopes switching to a fine-free library will encourage the community to utilize the library without the barrier of fines. Other libraries have put this into effect and seen changes in patron statistics, and the Jessamine County Public Library hopes to see the same.

“We hope to see more people use the library. We don’t want people to be afraid that they’re going to rack up fines. We hear people say ‘Oh, I don’t want to use the library because I always rack up fines and I can’t afford to pay them’. We don’t want that, we don’t want fines to be a barrier to library use … We want everybody to be able to come use what we have to offer without the fear of fines standing in the way,” said King.

To find more information about the Jessamine County Public Library, visit www.jesspublib.org.