As of January 1, 2023, the Coburn Free Library will be fine free!
This means we will no longer charge fines on late items owned by the Coburn Free Library.
WHY GO FINE-FREE?
In short, it’s good for Owego. Going fine-free strengthens our community by providing stress-free, open access to materials and services. This provides access for patrons to pursue their educational, career, family, and life goals.
We want to remove barriers and encourage the use of library materials.
If you have a long-lost or ignored book that you have been feeling guilty about, you may now return it with pride–and no penalty.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LIBRARY PATRONS?
- You will no longer receive an overdue fine when you return an item a few days late.
- You are still responsible for returning your items so that others may enjoy them.
- While you will be billed for items when they reach 30 days overdue, if you return the item within 6 months, the bill will be cleared from your account.
- The library cannot clear charges for items owned by other libraries. This includes Inter-Library Loan and Out-of-System Loan. (The current fees for an overdue out-of-system interlibrary loan is $1/day and is set by the Finger Lakes Library System.)
- There are still library fees. What is the difference in a fee and a fine? Well, fines are punitive. Fees are a part of providing library services and products. Examples of fees are copying, printing, and material replacement costs.
- If you still have a fine that appears on your account, please discuss this with the staff at the Circulation Desk. Overdue charges for items owned by Coburn Free Library will be waived. Fees for lost or damaged items must be paid so the library may replace the lost resource.
HOW IS THE LIBRARY BUDGET AFFECTED BY THE LOSS OF FINE INCOME?
Overdue fines make up less than one percent of the Library’s annual budget.
Many people have said they view their fines as a way to donate to the library. If that applies to you, you can still help us. You can continue to donate to the library at the circulation desk by giving us a few dollars here or there to show your appreciation. If you use e-books and don’t come in very often, maybe consider mailing in a check to 275 Main Street, Owego NY 13827. Your donations support critical library programs and services. The more funding we have, the more books we can buy!