Say Goodbye to Overdue Fines!

The Burlington County Library System has eliminated overdue fines on most items! Starting on July 1, your account will no longer accrue overdue fines.*

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why did the Burlington County Library System eliminate overdue fines?

To encourage library use! Studies show that small fines do not encourage the timely return of items, and customers with fines are more likely to never return to the library. Eliminating overdue fines furthers the mission of providing free and open access by removing barriers to the library’s resources. Further, library overdue fines disproportionately impact those in low-income households by creating an additional barrier to access.

Do I still have to pay a fine that was on my account prior to the library going fine-free?

No! Effective, July 1, 2024, we will wipe away overdue fines on all accounts so everyone starts with the same clean slate. Other amounts, such as lost book fees as well as charges involving debt collection will remain on accounts.

Will lost or damaged fees also be forgiven?

No. Fees will continue to be assessed on lost or damaged items as well as costs incurred from our debt collection agency. While we are going fine-free we aren’t going responsibility-free. If you borrow an item we want to see it returned in the same condition as it was borrowed so another person may borrow it.

Will there still be due dates?

Yes! Borrowed items are still due back on a set date and we expect items to be returned on time. Be respectful of your fellow library users who may be waiting for items to be returned.

How will items on hold work?

Items that have a waiting list are not eligible for renewals. If a borrower keeps a requested item beyond the due date, it will be set to lost after a 7-day grace period. The borrower’s account will also be ineligible for further borrowing.

What happens if I have overdue materials?

Return them as soon as you can!

After the initial lending period and multiple auto-renewals have passed, the items will go into a 7-day grace period, giving you time to plan your library visit to return items.

After a 7-day grace period, the eligible items will go into a lost status and incur a replacement fee. In addition, the account will be locked to prevent further checkouts and you will not be able to download items on Libby or Overdrive until the fees are paid or the items are returned. 

Will I still receive reminders and notifications?

Yes, you will still receive reminders to return your materials or when items are past due.

How It Works
  • Item is borrowed and a due date is established.
  • If there are no holds, the item is renewed automatically, establishing a new due date after each renewal.
  • Item reaches the maximum number of auto-renewals (this varies by item) and enters a 7-day grace period.
  • At end of the grace period, the item is set to “lost” status and a replacement fee is added to the account.
  • Account-holder is ineligible to borrow items until the outstanding item is returned or the lost fee is paid.

*Most items, including books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, movies, video games and technology-on-loan will no longer accrue overdue fines. However, overdue fines will continue to accrue on Museum Passes, Borrow a Book Club bags, Classroom Kits and Interlibrary Loan items. 

Still have questions? Contact us.