69 Main St. | Swansea, MA 02777 | (508) 674-9609

We are going Fine-Free!!

We are going Fine-Free!!

Why is Swansea Free Public Library going fine-free?

  • Eliminating fines will improve customer service and the patron’s library experience.
  • We want to increase access for patrons who cannot currently use our library’s materials.
  • Families depend upon the materials that libraries offer. Fines can be a prohibitively expensive penalty for them.
  • The model of charging fines is growing obsolete in a digitally advanced world, as no fines occur on digitally borrowed materials
  • Many other local & national public libraries have already changed their policies and are now fine-free including Freetown and Plympton Libraries in the SAILS network
  • It has been proven that fines are not an effective incentive to return books on time.

When does fine-free begin?

SFPL will officially become fine-free on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Will overdue fines be waived on ALL materials?

Overdue fines will not occur on materials such as books, dvds, audiobooks, magazines and cds. 

Late fees will still apply on special items such as museum passes, telescope, etc.

Lost and damaged item charges will also still apply.

How will the library get patrons to return borrowed materials without charging fines?

“No overdue fines” does not mean “no responsibility.” Due dates still apply! SFPL will expect items returned in a timely manner.  Borrowing privileges become blocked and patrons will be billed when materials are 30 days overdue.

What happens if I return an item after I receive a bill for it?

The bill (replacement cost) will be removed from your account if the item is still in our system and hasn’t been replaced.

Will I be charged overdue fines for items owned by other libraries?

This new policy applies only to items checked out at the Swansea Free Public Library, regardless of who owns the item. Items checked out at other libraries are subject to that library’s overdue policies.

Will my taxes increase because of fine-free?

Going fine-free will NOT impact taxes.