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We’re so excited to share that we are officially fine free! We’ve put together these FAQs to give you all the details of what it means to be a part of a fine free library. 

I have fines on my account. Do I need to pay those? 

No. All current fines are forgiven. 

What happens if an item is overdue? 

After an item is overdue by one additional loan period, your card will be blocked and you can no longer check out items. For example, if an item can be checked out for 21 days, your card will be blocked when the item is 21 days overdue. (This is after any applicable renewals.) If an item can be checked out for 3 days, your card will be blocked when the item is 3 days overdue, etc. Once you return the item, your card will be unblocked. 

What if an item still isn’t returned after the extra loan period? 

After the item is 45 days overdue, if the item is still checked out, we’ll bill you for the item. 

Are all items fine free? 

A few types of items are subject to fines, including hotspots, STEM kits, Library of Things items (such as video equipment) and other special collections. 

What if I use my Schaumburg Library card to check out an item from another library? 

If you check out an item from a library that does charge fines, you're still responsible for paying any fines to that lending library. 

My card is still blocked. Why can’t I use it? 

There are many reasons why your card may be showing as blocked or barred. The most common reasons include you have fees over $10 for lost items, your card was reported lost or we received returned mail from your address. Contact us here and we’ll see how we can help you. (Please know that we may not be able to resolve some issues until our buildings reopen.) 

Will this impact the availability of popular items? 

We did a lot of research before making this change, including talking to other libraries about questions like this. While most fine free libraries have no problem meeting the demand for popular items, we will be keeping a close eye on this and will adjust our buying and leasing practices as needed. 

Why is this a good idea for our Library? 

In recent years, we’ve already taken steps to decrease the impact of fines at our Library, such as being fine free for seniors and implementing automatic renewals. Financially, fines are only about 0.25% of our annual budget and have decreased steadily over the last three years. Being fine free removes a barrier to access our materials – the last thing we want you to worry about is paying a fine to your Library for an overdue item.