Message from the Director

12/21/2020

Fine Free

Belleville Public Library is now fully fine free. In 2019 we stopped charging fines for juvenile items that were returned late. Now we won’t charge fines for adult items either. We are joining the national trend to eliminate late fees. Many libraries in the South Central Library System are already fine free, including nearby libraries in Verona, Fitchburg, New Glarus, Monticello, Mount Horeb, Middleton, Monona, and Madison.


How does this work? 

  • Items checked out at Belleville Public Library that are returned late will not be charged a late fee.
  • Old charges connected to overdue materials checked out from our library will be removed from your account during the coming weeks.
  • You are still responsible for returning items in a timely manner. Items not returned within 28 days of their due date are considered Lost.
  • You will still be charged for Lost or Damaged items.

Are any items still fined?

  • Items checked out at other libraries follow their fine policy, so you could incur fines if those items are returned late. The good news is that many nearby libraries are also fine free.
  • WiFi Hotspots still have a $5/day overdue fine. 

Why go Fine Free?

  • Inability to pay fines for late returns becomes a barrier to use the library. We want to do all that we can to remain accessible and reasonable for our residents with financial struggles. 
  • People still need to be responsible. We will charge those who lose or damage materials, but not penalize them for missing due dates.

Don’t you need the money to run the library?

  • Overdue fines make up a very small portion of the library budget at less than 1%. Most of our operating revenue comes from Village and County taxes with additional funding from donations and support from the Friends of the Belleville Public Library. Belleville patrons are generous and often make a donation to support their library.