Teton County Library proposes doing away with overdue fines and fees

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Teton County Library is proposing doing away with most overdue fines and inter-library loan (ILL) fees. The proposal aligns with a nationwide trend to remove barriers that prevent patrons from checking out materials or requesting items from other libraries. If approved, the policy changes could be implemented in June.

The library staff is recommending a permanent change to waving fines and fees following the library choosing to waive overdue fines and ILL fees last year as part of a COVID-19 measure.

According to the library, overdue fines do not generate a significant portion of the library’s revenue. It is estimated at less than 0.5%.

Print materials, audiobooks, DVDs, game consoles, in-demand items, and e-readers will no longer have overdue fines. The ILL policy of $2 postage per book, in state and a 10 cent fee per day up to $3 will be changed to a $5 fine for each item not picked up and a monthly cap of 20 items.

According to the library, the main cost of providing ILLs postage, is only partially covered by fees, and the Teton County Library Foundation has offered to cover this cost; ILL service is less expensive to operate than trying to purchase all the items requested for the collection.

“Patrons have expressed gratitude for our recent fine-free practice and have responded by returning items in a timely manner,” says Deb Adams, Interim Library Director. “Ultimately, what we want is for patrons to return materials when they are done with them so that others can also enjoy them.”

The library is seeking public comment about the overdue fines and ILL fees change. Public comment is open through Monday, May 17. Feedback can be submitted via email to [email protected], or by mail to P.O. Box 1629, Jackson, WY, 83001. Community members may also share their comments in person at the Library Board meeting on Thursday, May 20, at 8:30 a.m.

Any change to library policy requires a public comment period ahead of approval by the Library Board and then implementation by staff.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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