Starting in 2023, RIPL cardholders will not be charged a daily late fine for most materials, with certain exceptions. Most traditionally-circulated materials are fine free (for example, books, DVDs, CDs, magazines.)

Who Qualifies? Rock Island Public Library cardholders only. Patrons of other PrairieCat libraries will continue to be assessed for late items.

What Isn’t Fine Free? Mobile hotspots, mobile streaming devices, cultural passes, and Library of Things collections. These items will incur a late fine if returned after the due date. These are scarce items with high demand. Return these items by the due date to avoid a daily late charge.

Rock Island Public Library Goes Fine Free In 2023
Common questions about Rock Island Public Library fines

What if I use my RIPL card at other libraries? What happens if a book I order comes from another Illinois library? Fine Free lending status “follows” RIPL cardholders around the Illinois PrairieCat Library network. This status applies even if qualifying items were checked out at another Illinois Quad City Library, and even if the materials belong to another library.

What if I had overdue fines on my RIPL card? Previous overdue late fines for RIPL cardholders have been waived, see staff for details. Replacement costs for lost items, damages, processing charges, or collection fees, if applicable, will remain on accounts. These fees remain the responsibility of the cardholder.

What if my library card is from another library? Patrons of non-Fine Free Libraries will be assessed a fine for late returns. Any previous fines also will remain. For questions, please contact the library that issued your card.

Will I still get reminder notices? Yes! Items still have due dates, and we encourage you to return on time. Non-returned items will be billed if not returned within a reasonable time.


Notices for overdue items will occur:

Courtesy notice: 3 days before due date
Friendly reminder: 7 days after due date
1st overdue notice: 14 days after due date
Bill notice: 28 days after due date

Bring items back before they are billed to keep your account clear. Lost charges, damages, processing, and collection fees will remain on patron accounts until paid.

What happens with items I checked out in 2022? Due to system settings, items with 2022 checkout dates may still accumulate late charges if not returned on time. Please notify staff when returning the item.

As a gentle reminder, scarce specialty items such as mobile hotspots, streaming devices, culture passes,and Library of Things collections will still incur late return fines, regardless of when they were checked out.

Why Go Fine Free? It’s about equity and access. Eliminating late fines removes a barrier to library use. In reality, overdue fines account for less than one percent of our overall budget, and studies show that late fines have little or any affect on returns. We want our entire community to benefit from our lifelong learning opportunities.

Libraries nationwide are moving to eliminate late charges, and those that have done so have seen greater use of library materials and increased return rates. If you are able and would still like to “pay it forward,” change donation jars are available at library service desks.

Rock Island Public Library Goes Fine Free In 2023
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
Rock Island Public Library Goes Fine Free In 2023

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