Fine Free FAQ

What does fine free mean?
Based on several factors – including library policies state and nationwide, patron retention, and community needs – patrons will no longer be charged late fees on a majority of overdue items.

What items remain subject to fines?
Items inter-loaned from other libraries will remain subject to fines as defined by MeLCat.

When did OTPL become fine free?
Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

How will I know when to return my items?
Initial due dates will continue to be printed on your checkout receipt and sent via email or text, depending on preference. Holds, as well as due date extensions, will also be sent through your preferred form of communication. To learn more about due dates, please review the “Borrowing Information” section on our website at

How will OTPL get items back without late fees? Couldn’t I just keep what I borrow forever?
Data from other fine free libraries lets us know that the majority of patrons return their items regardless of whether there are fines. Failing to return items after their renewal limits will cause the item(s) to be marked as lost and the borrower must pay the cost of replacement and a processing fee. This also applies for items that are damaged. We strongly encourage you to return any materials that have been considered lost on your account. Existing late fees will be removed as of September 6, 2022.

What about hold times for items?
Librarians consistently review not only the items on hold, but the number of patrons waiting for these holds. This allows OTPL to purchase extra copies of certain materials as needed.

Will I still get due date reminders?
Automatic renewals continue on eligible items two (2) days before the due date. To ensure timely return of materials, overdue notices will continue as a courtesy. These notices will be sent 3, 10, and 30 days after the item was expected to be returned. An item will be deemed lost after 30 days and a lost billing will occur.

Automatic Renewal Notice2 Days Prior to Due Date
First Overdue Notice3 Days After Due Date
Second Overdue Notice10 Days After Due Date
Final Overdue Notice30 Days After Due Date

Don’t fines help the library?
The revenue generated from late fees has steadily declined over the past five years, with fines accounting for less than 1% of the OTPL budget. OTPL is fortunate to have a majority of its funding through a dedicated millage. If you would like to support the library, there are several ways to contribute, including direct monetary donations, becoming a Friend of the Orion Library, or sponsoring our cornerstone events like Summer Reading or the OTPL Road Rally.

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