Bethel Park Library is now Fine Free!

Beginning January 1, 2022 BPPL will no longer charge fines for overdue items!

What does this mean?

The library no longer charges daily late fines on items that are overdue. And if your home library is Bethel Park, any existing fines on your account have been waived. You will still be charged for lost or damaged materials, printed items, or other fees.


One of our goals is to eliminate barriers to service. Fines on late materials prevent our patrons from using the most valuable community resource. We want to ensure that BPPL is accessible to all of our residents.

Can I keep my library material forever?

No. Libary materials will still have a due date. Items that are lost, damaged, or otherwise not returned will be charged just as they are now.   As the due date approaches, the library will notify the patron of the due date and ask that they return it (if the item is not eligible for renewal).  If the item is six weeks overdue, a bill to replace the item will be issued, and if an item is more than six weeks overdue, the account may be referred to a collection agency depending on the registering library. 

Will this impact the Library's budget?

No. Fines account for less than one percent of the budget.  Donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Will items be returned in a timely manner?

Yes. We believe that our patrons are reliable and responsible.
Other libraries that have made this change have not seen a significant change in the rate of items that are overdue and see around 95% of items returned within one week of the due date. 

Will the library eliminate previously accrued overdue fines?

Yes. This policy change will eliminate previously accrued fines.

Will the library give refunds to patrons who paid their overdue fines before this change? 

No, the library does not refund overdue fines previously paid under the old late fee policy.

Will materials accrue a daily overdue fine? 

No. Items checked out from BPPL will no longer accrue overdue fines. Any fines that are assessed while we transition to Fine-Free will be waived. Damaged items, lost items, and items that are not returned after all eligible renewals have been used will generate replacement fees.   
Note:  Materials checked out at other libraries may still have fines. Fine are generated at point of check out. 

Will the library continue to participate in Unique Management Collection Agency services? 

Yes, it still gives us an avenue to ensure that all material is returned

What about ILL overdue fines?

ILLs will not have fines if checked out at BPPL. They are not able to be renewed.  

Will the library change the fee limit at which it block accounts? 

The library blocks account privileges (borrowing, renewal, e-resources, and databases access) if more than $10.00 in fees are owed.

What is the difference between a fine and a fee? 

Fines: funds owed for overdue items 

Fees:  funds owed for replacement items, collection agency charges, and other manual charges.