Fine Free

The Norwalk Public Library strives to be an accessible and equitable community resource, which is why we are thrilled to announce we are officially fine free! This means individuals who return Norwalk Public Library items after the due date will not be charged a late fee. 

What about damaged or lost materials? Patrons are still responsible for fees from lost or damaged materials.  

Are all items fine free? Hot spots are not fine free and will continue to accumulate overdue fees.  

Will fine free rules apply to my existing check outs? Yes, fine free rules apply to existing check outs.  

Will my existing overdue fines be cleared? While existing overdue fines will not automatically be cleared, anyone who stops at the Main Desk or the Children’s Room Desk will have their fines forgiven upon asking.   

How many overdue items can I have and still check out? Once you have more than five overdue items on your card, you will be blocked from checking out until materials are returned.  

Does the library lose revenue by going fine free? Late fines accounted for less than 1% of our total operating budget, so going fine free does not affect our funds.  

Will materials come back more slowly (or ever)? Based on numerous studies, lots of research, and other library experiences, being fine free does not have an impact on when materials are returned. In fact, most find that return rates are the same, if not better. 

It is the hope of the Norwalk Public Library Board of Trustees and staff that removing this financial barrier will allow everyone, whether they are previous library users or not, to utilize our services.  

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