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Calgary Public Library Fine Free Model 

Calgary Public Library Fine Free Model 

On July 1, 2020, the Library moved to a permanent Fine Free model to reduce barriers to service for our members. Under this policy, no late fines will accrue, and all existing fines built up prior to July 1, 2020 have been forgiven.    

In recent years, over 100 major libraries in North America have transitioned to a Fine Free model, representing a commitment to accessible service. Calgary Public Library is committed to providing equitable access for all patrons. Fines are barriers that often penalize the most vulnerable in our communities. As the Library continues to see increases in digital circulation – to which fines do not apply – fine revenue continues to decline, making it possible for the Library to make this necessary change. 

Here are more details on what this model means for you and how it works: 

Due dates 

Members are still responsible for the items they borrow. You will continue to receive reminders when items are due and cannot be renewed. 

Auto-renewal and automatic returns 

Auto-renewals are an added benefit for our members under our Fine Free policy. Items that have no holds and/or have not reached the maximum of four renewals will renew automatically, giving members more peace of mind as well as more time with Library materials. Auto-renewed items won’t be marked as lost while in use, which reduces the amount of staff work related to lost items. 

Lost items and replacement costs 

Items that are 35 days overdue will be considered lost. Members will be billed the replacement costs of lost items, and borrowing will be suspended after a $10 balance is reached on your Library account. 

Wait times 

We do not expect wait times to increase significantly for holds following this new policy. Many libraries that have gone fine free have seen an increase in the return rate of overdue materials, and we expect wait times to reduce as well.  

Our staff will continue to monitor, maintain, and balance the Library’s collection as required. If you notice an item you’re waiting for has a significant hold time, you can continue to request that we order additional copies using this form. 



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