I read that the Library will no longer collect fines for overdue items. How will this work?

During the Aug. 10, 2021 meeting of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library Board of Trustees, board members agreed to end the practice of issuing fines for overdue items. This change goes into effect Sept. 26, 2021.

In lieu of late fees, the Library locks a customer’s account if any item is 12 days overdue, meaning no additional print items can be checked out until either the overdue item is returned or the customer has paid the replacement fee for it. Customer accounts will also be blocked from renewing or placing holds until the overdue item is resolved.

Although the Library will no longer charge late fees when an item is overdue, materials still have to be returned. As of Sept. 26, 2021, at 30 days overdue, customers receive a bill for items that have not been returned and have been classified as “lost.” Previously, customers did not receive a bill until an item was overdue for 45 days. Customers can still return materials that have been billed, and the replacement fee will be removed. In addition:

  • If fees on a customer's card exceed $10, borrowing privileges are suspended until the amount is reduced below the $10 limit. Holds and renewals cannot be made while suspended. For further questions customers should contact the Library by phone, 513-369-6900, or ask the staff at their neighborhood branch for assistance.
  • Once unpaid replacement fees reach $50 and remain at $50 or above for 30 days or longer, customers are referred to a materials collection agency. A $10 processing fee also is added to the account. Customers can return materials that have been billed, even if the account is in collection, and the replacement fee will be removed.
  • The changes that go into effect Sept. 26, 2021 do not apply to library cards that have never had late fees associated with them, such as Child-Only, Teen-Only, Adult-Only, Educator and Book Club cards.

Please refer to our Circulation Policy for additional information about fees. You may also be charged repair or replacement costs if you lose or damage library material. Please refer to our Table of Fines & Fees for additional information.

The Library distributes overdue notices by emailtext message, or phone as a courtesy. Failure to receive an overdue notice does not exempt a library cardholder from responsibility for items that have not been returned.