Do you have a long overdue library book sitting at home that you’ve been afraid to return because of late fees? Do you know someone who has been nervous about signing up for a library card because they couldn’t afford late fees if they returned their items a day or two late? Great news – on January 1, 2021, OPL eliminated late fees to make the Library even more inviting and inclusive!
This change is an important step in removing barriers for people who use or would like to use the Library – increasing equity of access, while also urging customers to return their items on time. This model encourages the return of long overdue items, which increases the number of copies available for other customers to borrow.
Other existing fees, including replacement fees for lost items and restocking fees for expired holds, are still in effect to ensure that items are returned and the OPL’s vast and varied collection is a widely shared resource every Ottawan can enjoy. No new fees have been introduced. For more information about current fees, visit our loan period and fees page.
In addition to removing late fees, we have made some changes that help shift the focus to having items returned on time and making the physical collections increasingly available to as many people as possible. These changes include:
- A shorter period than before for items are to be considered lost -- three weeks overdue for regular items and one week overdue for Express
- A maximum of five renewals for items from the regular collection
- Accounts will be suspended once they reach $25 in fees (previously $50) until the fees are paid or until lost items are returned.
MANAGING YOUR ACCOUNT
We are excited to be making the Library more welcoming to all, but we understand it takes time to adjust to any kind of change. Here are some reminders of ways you can manage your OPL account.
The new limit of five renewals will allow customers a maximum borrowing period of 18 weeks for an item from the regular collection. But remember – if someone has a hold on an item, it can not be renewed. If you think you won’t have enough time to enjoy your Library items, perhaps you could borrow fewer items at a time; or you can pause your holds in your account so that they do not become available all at once.
If you want to keep track of items you are interested in borrowing, but do not want to place a hold on it right away, try our “For Later” feature! You can add as many titles as you want to your “For Later” shelf and then refer back to it when you are placing new holds. You can learn more about this feature here.