"Fine free" means the library will no longer charge daily fines for overdue items.
If an item is damaged or lost, replacement fees will still apply.
It’s good for our community: New Braunfels benefits from an engaged community, and we want all members of the community to have access to the programs, information, services, and materials they need to pursue their goals in life—regardless of their ability to pay for them. Eliminating economic barriers (overdue fines) encourages former library patrons to come back and attracts new patrons who can benefit from library offerings.
No! All existing overdue fines are cleared from all patron accounts as of Feb. 1, 2020. Charges for lost or damaged items will remain on your account. You can check on any charges in your account by logging in online here or by calling the library at 830-221-4300.
While there are always a handful of library users who won't return things, studies actually show that as a whole, fine-free libraries see a faster return of borrowed materials. But to encourage the timely return of library materials, patron accounts will be blocked from further checkouts when one or more items on the account reaches 14 days past the final due date. If items remain out past 14 days, the item will be considered "lost" and the patron will be billed a replacement fee for the item. If the patron returns the item, the block and the charge on the account will be lifted.
Revenue from overdue fines has always gone into the City of New Braunfels' general fund, not directly back to the library. If you want to make a donation that goes directly back into library (programming, expansion of electronic resources, etc.), the Friends of the Library is the best route for you.
The New Braunfels Public Library is going fine free beginning Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020! This means going forward, there will be no overdue fines for late materials. This change in policy is intended to ensure equitable access to library services for everyone in the New Braunfels community.
Libraries across the country (and around the world) are increasingly going fine free as a way to eliminate an economic barrier to the access of library materials. In January 2019 the American Library Association passed a resolution urging libraries to examine their fine policies and actively move toward eliminating them.