Hillsborough Libraries Eliminate Overdue Fines
Beginning Jan. 1, people who keep books and other Hillsborough County Public Library materials past their due dates no longer will face fines. Instead, their borrowing privilege will be suspended until the items are returned.
Checkout loan periods will not change. The grace period - the time between an item's due date and imposition of the no-borrowing penalty - will be eight days.
The new approach does not entirely eliminate fees. Library patrons still will be charged for lost or damaged materials. And any fines posted to a cardholder's account before Jan. 1 will remain.
Details about the new policy are available on the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC) website, along with information about branch locations, upcoming events, and other library services.
Library officials want to encourage people to borrow books, audio books, DVDs, music CDs, and eBooks, without fear of fines. Also, it costs more to process fines than the amount of fees collected.
The policy change follows another innovation launched this year that enables all Hillsborough County public school students to check out HCPLC materials without library cards. All they need is a seven-digit student ID number.