Fine Free Policy

The Wissahickon Valley Public Library board decided that in these unprecedented times, there should be no roadblocks to accessing information or using library services.  We will continue to waive any accumulated late fees as patrons check items out.

Why are we waiving late fees?
Libraries across the country have found that late fees create a barrier for many families who could benefit from accessing our collection. We hope that removing late fees will encourage all members of our community to come in and enjoy the library, whether they are learning a new skill or borrowing books to read to their children. Financial hardships have hit an all-time high these days, so removing late fees also removes an additional hardship from community members who may be burdened.

For a more detailed explanation about this trend towards late-fine free libraries, please go to these websites:

The library requires that all materials be returned or renewed within the checkout period (visit this page to see our loan periods). In order to avoid fines, patrons must return WVPL items to our libraries in either Blue Bell or Ambler.

If you are a little late to return a WVPL item, then you will not get charged for being overdue. However, if an item is not returned, then you will be charged a replacement and processing fee. This allows us to maintain access to our collection by the community. Any patrons with fees on their account totaling $20 or more may have borrowing privileges suspended.


Why do I still have a balance on my account?
In order to resolve this, the best thing to do is stop by with your library card and have us take a look at the fees. We are only waiving late fines accrued during the pandemic and onward, so it is possible that the balance on your account is for old late fines and/or lost items. This includes replacement fees and processing fees. Patrons are still responsible for pre-pandemic late fines.

What about my late fines from other libraries?
Each library has its own policy about late fines that we are not at liberty to waive. If there is a fine on your account that is charged by a different library, it is up to the patron to work with that library to resolve the charges. WVPL will not waive fines that are charged to your account from other libraries.

Will this new policy make my hold times longer?
The library does not expect that the late-fine free policy to negatively affect wait times for holds. All items still have due dates that must be upheld by the patron in order to avoid suspension of borrowing privileges.

Why not also waive lost item fees?
WVPL’s collection is vital; it’s what makes our library a library. It is an investment of taxpayer funds, so we must be diligent in ensuring that this investment is well-taken care of by charging fees for lost or damaged items. These fees are used to restock any lost items back into the collection for our community to enjoy.

September, 2021