The Schaumburg Library has been fine free since April 2020! 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. 

What happens if an item is overdue? 

If an item is late, it's simply marked overdue in our system. It doesn’t impact your account until an item is 45 days overdue. At that time, you’ll be billed for the cost of the item and your account will be temporarily barred. If you return a item within six months the bill goes away. If you happen to have $50 or more in bills that are unpaid for 45 days, then the Library works with a material recovery agency to try to contact you about unreturned items. This adds a permanent $10 fee to your account.

Are all items fine free? 


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. 

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 have kept a close eye on this and have adjusted 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 decreased steadily over the three years before we went fine free. 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.