Fine Free Trial

The Franklin Park Public Library now has a permanent fine free policy.

Starting June 1, 2021, the Franklin Park Library is beginning a four-month long fine free trial period.

This means from June 1 – September 30, 2021, the fines for most overdue Franklin Park Library items will be waived.

What does fine free mean?

Overdue fines will not be charged on most Franklin Park Library items.

Fines will still be assessed for:

  • Wi-Fi Hotspots
  • Rokus
  • Chromebooks
  • Digital Converter and other technology items

Fines on items from other libraries may be assessed on your account if that library is not fine free.

What are the benefits of going fine free?

Being fine free lifts the financial barriers to library use and increases access for the entire Franklin Park community.

Going fine free can create a more positive library experience without the additional financial worry fines can bring. We hope this encourages you to use the library more frequently along with checking out more items. Additionally, staff can focus on customer service rather than on settling fines. Everyone benefits by going fine free!

What about due dates?

Items will still have due dates, and you remain accountable for returning items. The majority of items will renew automatically up to two times, as long as there are no holds on the item. View item loan periods here.

Signing up for automated notices such as email and text reminders to help you return items on time. Learn more here on how to sign up for these free services. When items are returned early or on time, your fellow patrons can borrow items sooner.

How will items be returned to the library without overdue fines?

If items are overdue by 14 days or more, your library account will be blocked for both physical and digital checkouts. The block will be removed once items are returned or your bill is paid.

These procedures are in place to continue to motivate everyone to return items in a timely fashion.

What if I currently have overdue fines on my account?

Existing fines for overdue Franklin Park Library items will be waived starting on June 1, 2021. This does not include replacement fees for lost or damaged items. You may receive overdue fines for other libraries’ items depending on their policies.

What is the Library’s new procedure on overdue and unreturned materials?

While the Library is fine free during the trial period, if an item is not returned, you will be charged a fee. If the items are not returned after 42 days, your account will be billed a fee for these items. If at any time you return the items, the bills and the block on your account will be removed upon check in. Items may only be returned before 60 days overdue to have the bills removed.  At 60 days overdue, you will be in collection and must pay the replacement fee.

If you are having a difficult time paying fees, please contact

What is the difference between fines and fees?

Fines are a daily amount charged for each day the item is overdue. These are the charges being dropped for the trial period.

Fees are a replacement cost for items that are damaged or not returned. Fees are not waived even during the trial period.

Can I still be charged fines if I check out an item from a Library that isn’t fine free?

Yes. If you check out an item at a library that is not fine free, you can still be charged a fine from that library. However, many area libraries have already made the decision to go fine free. Fine free libraries include Melrose Park Public Library, Northlake Public Library, and Schiller Park Public Library.

What happens if I return an item after I received a bill for it?

If you return the item, the charges will be removed. If the item is overdue for 60 days, it is not eligible for the bill to be waived and at that time the replacement cost will be charged.

How do I pay a replacement fee?

Circulation Services accepts cash, credit cards, and personal checks to pay for fees.

Why does my library account show a balance from my old fines?

If there is a balance on your account, it is likely a fee for an item that was lost or damaged. Please see, email, or call the Circulation Department at 847-455-6016, ext. 230.

Will Library materials be returned more slowly?

According to the research from fine free libraries, the lack of fines does not affect how quickly items are returned. The return rates tend to stay the same as before the library went fine free.

Does this impact the Library’s finances?

The income that fines generate is less than 0.38% of the library’s budget, and the Library does not rely on it for regular operations.

Fines are meant to encourage the timely return of items as opposed to being a steady source of revenue. For some people, the idea of incurring fines may prevent library usage at all.

Does fine free apply if I check out items at Franklin Park Library, but I have a card from another library?

Most items checked out at Franklin Park Library will be fine free for all patrons, however, you may have fees on your account from your home library. Please check with your home library for further information on your account.

What will happen at the end of the fine free trial?

At the October 2021 Board meeting, the Library’s Board of Trustees will revisit the data and feedback gathered during the trial period, and make a decision about a more permanent policy change.


Visit or call the Circulation Desk at 847-455-6016, ext. 230 or email at