Libraries are at the of their communities.
As of February 14, Richmond Public Library is fine free! Permanently removing fines supports lifelong learning by ensuring library resources remain accessible to everyone in our community throughout their lifetime, regardless of circumstance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fine free means we are no longer charging customers for materials returned late and all cardholder accounts will get a fresh start without fines effective February 14.

Libraries are at the heart of their communities. We temporarily removed fines in March 2020 to support our community through the challenges presented by the pandemic and removed barriers for everyone, especially those most vulnerable. Permanently removing fines supports lifelong learning by ensuring library resources remain accessible to everyone in our community throughout their lifetime, regardless of circumstance. Did you know:

  • That of our 111,000 card holders, over 7,500 customers could not access our collections because they owed late fines?
  • Over 270 libraries in North America have permanently eliminated overdue fines including: Whistler, Burnaby, North Vancouver City, Calgary, Ottawa and Halifax among hundreds of others?
  • Our staff have spent over 10,000 hours each year handling questions related to fines and collecting them? Now we will have more time help you find your next great read, register for a program or make a new connection.

We know you may worry about this but please don’t – we have a plan for that! Life is busy and we all forget from time to time so friendly reminders will help keep more of us on track.

  • Additional courtesy and overdue notification emails will be automatically scheduled to remind customers to return their items on time.
  • Customers will still be billed for replacement costs if their library materials are not returned within 21 days after the due date and their accounts will be suspended until this amount is paid for or until the items are returned. Once returned, no late fines will apply.

We will continue to be pro-active in encouraging our community to return their library materials on time to ensure equal access to our collections.

No! Since going fine free in March 2020, we have fulfilled over 72,000 holds for customers and over 230,000 items have been returned back to our collections and made available to borrow. No more line-ups to pay fines means staff will be fulfilling and monitoring holds requests and lists to ensure quick turnaround on our in-demand items.

Although the library is no longer charging late fines, we are still charging a fee for holds not picked up and replacement costs for lost and damaged items. If library materials aren’t returned within 21 days after the due date, customers will be charged for the replacement cost. When these items are returned and checked in, these charges will be removed and customers can borrow again.

Customers who wish to support the library can donate via our website.  Your support makes a difference!  Every donation we receive goes towards enhancing the library’s collection and expanding the services we offer.