FAQ on New Fees and Loan Periods

FAQ

1. Why was the fee structure changed?

The new fee structure is being implemented to enhance your Library experience.  Lowering fees makes the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) more accessible for all customers and decreases the punitive association of overdue fees. 

 

2. What are the major changes?

  • Overdue fees on regular Children’s items are being reduced from $0.25/day to $0.10/day.
  • Overdue fees on regular Adult items are being reduced from $0.50/day to $0.40/day.
  • There will be unlimited renewals on regular items unless the item has been requested by another customer. Express and eBook renewals and loan periods stay the same.
  • Loan periods are being simplified and made consistent across all formats – loan periods for all regular items will be for 3 weeks (21 days).
  • Processing fees for lost or damaged regular items will be removed.
  • To help reduce wait times for items, a $1 fee will be charged if a hold or Interlibrary loan is not cancelled or picked up on time.
  • Express items that are lost or damaged will be subject to a rush processing fee of $20 plus the cost of the item to OPL.
  • To reflect the cost paid by Ottawa residents through their taxes, non-resident fees will increase from $50 to $80 for individuals, and from $120 to $160 for families/households.

3. What are the new fees? 

 

Adult Collections

 

This table includes the new and old fees for the adult collection.

Item

New Late Fees

(Effective Jan.24, 2018)

Old Late Fees

Books $0.40 / day $0.50 / day
Magazines $0.40 / day $0.50 / day
Recorded Books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games $0.40 / day $1.00 / day
Pedometer $0.40 / day $0.50 / day
Kill-A-Watt Meter $0.40 / day $1.00 / day

Children / Teen Collections 

This table includes the new and old fees for the children and teen collections.

Item

New Late Fees

(Effective Jan.24, 2018)

Old Late Fees

Books $0.10 / day $0.25 / day
Magazines $0.10 / day $0.25 / day
Recorded Books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games $0.10 / day $0.50 / day
Ready-to-Read Backpacks $0.10 / day $0.25 / day

 

4. Why am I being charged $1 for expired holds?

The $1 fee is incurred when your available hold or Interlibrary loan is not picked up or cancelled before it expires. Holds and Interlibrary loans must be retrieved by the pick-up deadline included in the email notification, phone notification, or under your account. 

Expired holds result in an additional 14-day wait time for the next customer in the hold queue, on average. The fee is expected to increase access to materials and reduce wait times. 

The $1 charge reflects the fact that it costs approximately $0.75 per item to move a hold around the Library system.

You can manage your holds and confirm expiry dates on the OPL website when signed in to your account, by calling InfoService at 613-580-2940, or by calling Telecirc at 613-580-2535.

 

5. Will I be charged a fee if I cancel my hold before the expiry date?

No. If you cancel your hold before the expiry date, you will not be charged the fee. You can cancel your holds:

  • On the OPL website, when signed in to your account
  • In person at any of the 33 branches or Bookmobile
  • By calling Telecirc at 613-580-2535

Holds can be cancelled while the item is on the holds shelf, while the item is in transit, or if the hold is still pending.

Please note that you cannot cancel your hold from the OPL app when the item is in transit or on the holds shelf. 

 

6. Will there be a fee for expired eBook holds?

No, there is no delay on expired eBooks and no cost associated with transporting eBooks.

 

7. Am I responsible for the $1 fee even if I did not receive a hold notification?

Hold notifications are a courtesy service that the Library provides. You will be held responsible for your expired holds, even if you did not receive notification of the hold.

You can sign up for phone and/or email hold notifications on the OPL website, by phoning or emailing InfoService at 613-580-2940 or InfoService@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca, or by phoning Telecirc at 613-580-2535.  

Customers are expected to monitor and manage their Library requests on an ongoing basis, so they are aware of any holds available for pick up.

 

8. Have the maximum late fees per item changed?

Yes, these fees have been simplified and made consistent. Prior to this change, late fees for Adult items ranged between $20-$35. The new maximum late fee per Adult item (except for Interlibrary loans and the telescope) is $20.

 

Late fees for many Children and Teen items have gone down from $10 maximum to $5 maximum per item.

 

9. What are the new loan periods?

Loan periods have been simplified and made consistent across different formats in order to enhance your Library experience and encourage more customers to be compliant with borrowing policies.

 

Adult Collections

 

This table includes the new and old loan periods for the adult collection.

Item

New Loan Period

(Effective Jan.24, 2018)

Old Loan Period

Books 21 days 21 days
Magazines 21 days 7 days
Music CDs 21 days 21 days
DVDs and Video Games 21 days 7 days
Pedometer 21 days 21 days
Kill-A-Watt Meter 21 days 7 days

Children / Teen Collections

This table includes the new and old loan periods for the children and teen collections.

Item

New Loan Period

(Effective Jan.24, 2018)

Old Loan Period

Books 21 days 21 days
Magazines 21 days 7 days
Music CDs 21 days 21 days
DVDs and Video Games 21 days 7 days
Ready-to-Read Backpacks 21 days 21 days

 

10. Have the loan periods changed for Express items?

No. Loan periods for Express items stay the same.

 

11. What are the charges to renew an item?

There is no charge for renewals.

 

12. How many renewals am I allowed?

Unlimited renewals are allowed on all items except for:

  • Express materials
  • Interlibrary loans
  • iPads
  • Assistive devices
  • Imagine Space tools
  • Items requested by another customer 

 

13. Are there any changes to non-resident fees?

Yes. The annual non-resident fee will be increased to $80 per person and $160 per family.  The new fees reflect the average annual cost ($81) of Ottawa Public Library services to an Ottawa tax payer.

 

14. What changes are being made to processing fees?

Processing fees have been removed for all regular lost items.

Express items will have a $20 rush processing fee, as demand for those is high and urgent. Customers will now pay the replacement price for the lost or damaged items. The replacement price is based on the actual price the Library paid for the item. Customers will no longer be permitted to provide a replacement copy, as copies received from customers in the past were often incorrect editions or versions, or from a different publisher.

 

15. Are fees for Lost Media Bags/Cases and Repairable Damage being removed?

Yes. You will no longer have to pay fees for lost media bags, cases, or repairable damage. The fees for these are being removed because the cost to replace or repair these few items has minimal cost impact.

 

16. Will the revised fee structure be reviewed at any time?

The fee structure is reviewed each year as part of the budget process.

 

17. Does the Library depend on revenue from fees?

No, fees are not a significant part of the Library’s overall budget. Revenue from fees represents approximately 4% of the Library’s overall budget. The changes to OPL’s fee structure are not expected to have any notable effect on the Library’s budget