Palliser Regional Library has eliminated all overdue fines for library materials effective immediately. All existing overdue fines will be forgiven on June 17th, with the exception of fines for lost or damaged materials.
“We are happy to announce that we are going fines free,” said Jan Smith, Director. “Overdue fines were meant to encourage the fair use and timely return of materials, but they are instead a financial barrier, preventing the people who need it the most from accessing the library. We want to ensure the library is a welcoming and inclusive place for all and we hope that this change will encourage those who may have been hesitant to return because of their overdue fines.”
Palliser had already been waiving overdue fines since March of 2020 due to the pandemic. “We had been talking about going fines free for awhile, and the pandemic offered us an opportunity to see that, yes, we really could do this,” Smith added. Going forward, patrons will only be charged for replacing lost or damaged items.
This new policy is now in effect at all 20 Palliser Regional Library branches, including Moose Jaw Public Library. “We are excited to announce that we will no longer be charging patrons for late items,” said Shevaun Ruby, Acting Head Librarian of Moose Jaw Public Library. “We believe this will lead to an increase in circulation as more patrons come back and re-discover everything the library has to offer.”
Palliser Regional Library patrons are encouraged to donate to the library or the Friends of the Library in lieu of paying fines. This can be done in person at any branch in the region. Palliser Regional Library is a registered charity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I already have overdue fees on my account?
Existing overdue fees will be forgiven, and will no longer have any impact on your account. If your account was locked due to overdue fees, you'll now be able to borrow items again.
Some overdue fines may have been missed in the waive, so if you still have fines on your account that you think should have been waived, contact your local library. Some of the fines were not included in the Big Waive and must be manually waived.
Do I still have to pay if I lose an item, or if it gets damaged?
Yes, there will still be fees for lost and damaged items. This will allow us to replace the item in our collection.
If your fees total $10 or more, your account will be blocked until the fee is paid or the item is returned.
Do I still have to return my library books on time?
Yes, patrons are still responsible for returning library books by their due date. The only difference is that if you need to take a few extra days, we won't charge overdue fines.
Overdue reminders will still be sent out on the following schedule:
1st Overdue notice: 3 days overdue
2nd Overdue notice: 17 days overdue
Lost notice: 31 days overdue – you will be charged for replacement cost of the item.
If you return the item in good condition, within a reasonable time-frame after it has been marked as lost, then the charge will be removed.
What if I still want to financially support my library?
If you used overdue fees as a way to support your local library, you can still donate! We encourage you to donate to your local library or the Friends of the Library in your area. Palliser is a registered charity and we are able to issue tax receipts for donations of $10.00 or more. Contact your local library for more details.