Mercer County Public Library
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Overdue Fines Policy

The primary rationale for charging fines on overdue materials is to provide an incentive for patrons to return materials. In theory, fines result in materials being returned to the library in a more timely manner. These procedures are set up to stress getting the materials back.

Effective December 5, 2012 the MCPL Overdue policy states:

Our Library is a taxpayer supported institution; therefore materials belong to our community. It is the responsibility of the Library's Board of Trustees and Administration to be good stewards of the funds with which they have been entrusted. Library materials are loaned to cardholders in good faith that those items will be returned when due. If Library materials are overdue, patrons will be contacted periodically by the Library asking that the materials be returned. Items not returned by eight weeks from due date are considered "theft by failure to make required disposition" and the Library will submit the patron's name, address and information on the overdue items to the Mercer County Attorney for further action.

  • A patron whose record shows overdue items will be asked to pay fines at the time of return.

  • Any materials returned in the book drop or by any  person other than the one who checked them out will be automatically recorded on the patron's account.

    The following fines are established:

    • Books on a reserve list (two week circulation; non-renewable) fine is 25¢ per day per book, with no maximum fine.

    • Interlibrary Loan overdue fines are 25¢ per day per book, with no maximum fine.

    • Books, magazines, audios, videos and music not on reserve (two week circulation; renewable) fine is 5¢ per day per item, with a maximum fine of $2.00 per item.

    • DVD and BluRay (seven day (7) circulation) fine is $1.00 per day per item, with a maximum fine of $5.00 per item.

    • There is an OVERALL maximum fine of $10.00. This EXCLUDES Interlibrary Loans and Reserve items.

    • For all materials which are lost, the patron will be charged the replacement cost of the item.

    The following procedures for collecting overdue materials have been established.

    • Patron will be stopped on the computer when any material becomes overdue. Items (including DVDs) may be renewed if both renewals have not been used, if item has not been transfered to lost and item is not on hold for another patron.

    • Notices will be sent when materials are 2 weeks overdue.

    • Bills for replacement cost of materials will be sent 2 weeks after notices.

    • Information given to County Attorney for further action after materials are 8 weeks overdue.