Fine Free Research

Here are links to some of the studies and articles APL consulted when making the decision to go fine free: 

OverDue and wait times

Fine Free Policiesa detailed analysis of the return rates, days overdue, and circulation in several libraries that have gone fine free.

Lightfoot's Decision to Eliminate Library Fines Triggers 240% Increase in Book Returnsa newspaper article reporting data for the first three weeks of Chicago Public Library's fine free policy.

The Dayton Library Ended Late Fees: Here's What Happened - an article on the return rate of books to the Dayton Public Library in the six months since it went fine free.

Libraries are Increasing Usage by Going Fine Free - a report from Information Today about the fine free trend in U.S. libraries and how it is increasing checkouts.

Are Fines Effective? - research conducted by librarians at Bowling Green State University about the efficacy of fines in getting students to return materials on time.


Children and families

Removing Barriers to Access: Eliminating Library Fines and Fees on Children's Materials - a report from the Colorado State Library that presents a thorough overview of all of the research done on elimination of fines and borrowing behavior and how fines can adversely impact the borrowing behavior of families with children.

The Case Against Library Fines - According to the Head of the New York Public Library an opinion piece about how fines can disproportionately affect children in low income families.


Equity and access

A Year After Denver Public Library Ended Late Fees, Patrons - and Their Books - are Returning a report on Denver Public Library's decision to go fine free, one year later.

Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement - a toolkit from the American Library Association with suggestions for ensuring equity and access to homeless patrons.

Library Late Fines are Not Helping Anyonean opinion piece by a library professional working in a low income community, and how fines negatively impact her patrons.


General Information on Fine Free Libraries

Doing Fine(s)? | Fines and Fees - A report from Library Journal on a survey of 450 randomly selected libraries about fine policies and procedures, and the impacts of going fine free.

Long Overdue: Why Public Libraries are Finally Eliminating the Late-Return Fine - an article from Slate Magazine about the move towards eliminating fines in libraries across the U.S.

The End of Overdue Fines? - an article about the experiences of the Vernon Area Public Library going fine free, and how that may translate to other libraries.