Loudoun County Public Library's Board of Trustees voted in 2019 to eliminate fines for overdue items and waive existing fines for all customers. 

With this is mind, the library has changed some of its borrowing rules to make life easier for customers and to get books, DVDs, audiobooks and other popular items to patrons more quickly.

 

Fine Elimination

Overdue fines are gone. The trustees did this to ensure all customers have continuous access to library services as long as the materials they borrow are returned. Previously, library cards were blocked once a customer accumulated $10 or more in overdue fines.

Fees for lost items remain in place. If an item is 21 days past its due date, you’ll be charged the replacement cost and your library card will be blocked. If you return the item, the lost-item fee will be waived, and you’ll be able to start using your card again.

Automatic Renewal

You can renew items up to three times as long as another customer hasn't placed a hold on them — and you don’t have to do a thing. Eligible items will be automatically renewed three days before their due date. A full checkout period will be added starting at the previous due date.

You’ll still receive reminder emails / texts / phone calls (your choice) three days before an item is due. If you receive a reminder, you’ll know you’re either out of renewals or a fellow customer is waiting for it.

Please note that if your library card is blocked because of a lost item, any other items that you’ve checked out will not be eligible for renewal.

One-Week DVD
Checkout Period

The DVD loan period has been shortened to one week. You’ve told us you want the most popular titles in your hands faster, and we’re responding.

Changes to
Borrowing Limits

You can now borrow up to 50 items at a time and place up to 50 holds at a time. So, let’s say you have 50 items checked out, and three of your holds become available. You’ll need to return three items before you can pick up your on-hold items. Remember, you can always suspend your place on the holds list if you’re worried about items becoming available before you’re ready for them. You can do this in the My Account section of the catalog or ask a librarian to help either in person or over the phone.

FAQ

Why were overdue fines eliminated?

Because the library’s resources have the power to change lives, and we want them to be available to everyone all the time.

Won't people just ignore due dates if there are no fines?

No. Numerous studies have shown that small fines for overdue items do not affect customer behavior. Many library systems around the country have eliminated overdue fines and report little to no impact on borrowing habits. Besides, our customers are awesome. They know there’s an inherent trust that comes with signing up for a library card.

What happens if I miss the due date because I can’t find the item?

The item will be declared lost 21 days past its due date. You will be charged a replacement-cost fee, and your card will be blocked from use until you pay it or return the item.

Will I have to wait longer to get the items I’ve requested?

Many of the changes we’ve made are designed to get materials to our customers faster, so we don’t expect wait times to be negatively affected.

Are there any changes to the
Educator Card?

Yes, the loan period for DVDs will also be one week. All other pre-existing borrowing rules for teachers and homeschool parents are unchanged.

What if I pay a fee for a lost item, but then I find it? Can I get a refund?

No. Once you’ve paid the fee, you own the item. We cannot issue refunds.

Will the elimination of fines impact LCPL’s budget?

No. Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors decided LCPL’s budget would be unaffected by the elimination of fines. Besides, the revenue collected from overdue fines has been dwindling for years despite significant growth in library use.

How do these changes affect your online services?

They don’t. Our popular services such as OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy and RB Digital will continue to have their own unique checkout limits and borrowing periods. Visit the online resources page for complete information.