G04 The System Librarian’s Guide to Going Fine Free

In 2019, Chicago Public Library went almost completely fine free, eliminating fines on all material except interlibrary loan items and museum passes. The process required quite a bit of work at all levels, but especially for the staff who manage Polaris. This presentation will walk you through our process: from initial reports demonstrating how fines affected patrons in lower income brackets disproportionately, through setting changes and wiping out existing fines, to email notice updates and reports showing that fine free didn’t increase wait times for popular materials but did increase the return rate of long overdue material.

Video Presentation

Presenters and Coordinators
Paul Keith
Chicago Public Library


system librarians guide to going fine free.pdf (1.4 MB)