A person looking at an open book while a small stack of books sits on the end of a shelf

On Tuesday, August 23, 2022, the Wichita City Council approved the 2023 budget. Included in the budget is Wichita Public Library's initiative to stop charging overdue fines. Borrowers are no longer charged daily overdue fines for Wichita Public Library materials.

Research has shown that overdue fines are not effective in encouraging patrons to return library materials. Instead, overdue fines become a barrier to using the library. With the elimination of overdue fines, Wichita Public Library joins libraries across the country that choose to focus on access to information without barriers. We want you to feel welcome and that your time is well spent.

So, what does all of this mean? Here's a quick rundown:

  • Moving forward, Wichita Public Library accounts will not accrue daily overdue fines. Past overdue fines were waived from accounts.
  • It's important to return overdue materials. If materials are not returned within 30 days of the due date, you will be responsible for paying the cost to replace the material plus a processing fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • We will continue to charge for the replacement cost and processing of any lost or damaged materials. For Wichita Public Library materials, the processing fee is $7 per item; for Interlibrary Loan materials, the processing fee is $25 per item.

  • Yes. You will receive notifications reminding you to return materials, even once they are overdue. You will also receive a billing notice issued right after the 30-day unreturned date. You will have 30 days from the date on the billing notice to pay the balance or make payment arrangements with the Library. Any unpaid accounts will be sent to a collection agency and assessed additional fees.

  • If your account is still blocked, speak with a Library staff member during your next visit to the Library. There may be other fees on your account that require payment.

  • Due dates are listed on your receipt when you borrow materials. You will receive notification via text or email when your materials are due. You will also receive notifications after your due date to remind you to return materials as soon as possible.

  • No. Library materials should be returned so other people can borrow them after you.

  • No, interlibrary Loan items will not accrue overdue fines. However, it is important for you return Interlibrary Loan materials on time since need to return these materials to another library system in the United States. If these materials are returned late, it may affect our ability to borrow from other libraries. There will still be a $3 request fee for each Interlibrary Loan item. If Interlibrary Loan materials are not returned within 30 days of the due date, you will be responsible for paying the cost to replace the material plus a non-refundable, non-waivable $25 processing fee. Interlibrary Loan materials do not renew.

  • Our collection development team will keep an eye on the hold lists for new materials. If we see a hold list growing because of unreturned materials, we will work on getting more copies added to the collection to lower the hold list.

  • The Library did not keep this money. Instead, it was placed into the City of Wichita's general fund. Overdue fines collected by the Library have been a small percentage of the City of Wichita's overall revenue.

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