Forever Fine Free!
There are many reasons why we have decided to stop charging overdue fines, but the main one is that overdue fines are widely recognized by professional library organizations as a form of social inequity. The American Library Association and others have conducted multiple studies that show that imposing fines neither teaches responsibility nor motivates borrowers to return items on time. Instead, assessing fees makes patrons less likely to return to the library. It also keeps people from using the library in the first place if they fear being responsible for a fine they cannot pay.
The bottom line is that we want library services to be as equitable and accessible as possible, and removing overdue fines is the best step we can take as an organization towards that goal.
Though we are no longer charging overdue fines, there are still consequences if a patron never returns an item. When one or more items on a patron’s account reaches 28 days overdue, the patron’s account will be billed for those items and no more checkouts will be allowed until the balance is paid or the items are returned.
We trust that our patrons are checking items out with the intention of bringing them back for others to use. Libraries that have removed overdue fines have reported very few adverse effects.
Yes! If you had fines for items that were overdue on your account, you now have a clean slate.
If you had fees on your account due to lost items, damaged items or collections, you will still need to settle your account to get your card ready to borrow items once again. We are happy to work with you on getting your account back in good standing!
To find out if there is a balance on your account, log into your account at normalpl.org, call us at 309-452-1757, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask staff at the library.
Fines are daily penalties assessed for the late return of library items. We no longer charge fines at Normal Public Library.
- replacement charges assessed for materials that are lost, unreturned or returned damaged
- charges assessed when the situation warrants referral to a collection agency
Fees are still included as part of the Normal Public Library's return policy.
All DVDs now check out for free. Additionally, Normal Public Library patrons will now be able to request DVDs from other libraries within the Resource Sharing Alliance (RSA) catalog. Previously, Normal Public Library patrons only had access to DVDs in our collection.
If you return an item up to 27 days late, you will not be assessed any overdue fines. However if your item(s) passes 28 days overdue, a replacement cost will be assessed as we will assume the item is lost. If you still have it, you can bring it back and the lost charge will automatically clear from your account.
However, if you wait too long your account may be referred to a collection agency. Accounts that show a balance of $50 and above for more than 21 days are candidates for collection. At that time, a non-negotiable $10 collection fee is assessed to cover the costs that the library incurs by initiating the collection process.
The loss of revenue to the library is minimal, as the overdue fines collected in any given fiscal year make up less than 1% of the library’s overall budget. While that amount is not completely insignificant, we believe that the benefits of making the library more equitable and accessible to our community are more important than the loss of revenue from overdue fines.
If you are interested in donating to the library, please click here.
Normal Public Library automatically renews eligible items up to two times. If an item is requested by another patron, it will not be eligible for renewal.
If you would like to renew an item more than two times, we are happy to do that for you as long as there are no holds on that particular item. To request a third renewal, please call us at 309-452-1757.
To change any of your contact information, please call the library or speak to us during your next visit. It is important that we have your contact information updated.
You’ll need to enter your current PIN and then enter your new PIN twice.
Once you’ve done this, click the red Send button and you should be set!
A library account with $20 or more in total fees (for lost or damaged items or collection fee) will have library privileges blocked until such time as the account is resolved.
The Normal Public Library offers many ways for you to enjoy downloadable content from wherevever you are with your Normal Public Library card. Download or stream thousands of items, including eBooks and eAudiobooks, music, movies, tv shows, and more!
Looking for help with any of our resources? Click on the orange Tutorials button on the right side of our homepage to find informative video tutorials.
Under the Account Summary, you’ll see “Holds.” You can click on Holds to get detailed information on all of the items that you have on hold. You can also cancel holds by checking the box next to a hold and clicking the red Cancel Selected Holds button.
Hold requests may take up to 24 hours to be processed, longer if coming from another library. Hold requests on items that are currently checked out will be placed in queue for the next available copy. Patrons will be notified of available holds by email or phone.
You can log in to your account here. You can access your account anywhere you have an internet connection.
Library materials are now renewed automatically. An item will fail to renew if another patron has placed it on hold.
Under the Account Summary, you’ll see “Checkouts.” You can click on Checkouts to get detailed information on all of the items that you have checked out.
For each item, you’ll see when the item is due, how many times you’ve renewed it, and whether the item is overdue.
You can sign up to receive text messages to notify you when items are due soon or overdue, when your holds are available, and more using our Shoutbomb service.
To get started, send a text message to 309-326-7110 with this as your message:
- SIGNUP+[Your Library Card Number]+[Your PIN]
You’ll need the + signs, but not the brackets. Confusing? Here’s an example:
You’ll need your library card number in order to log in. You can find it on the back of your library card.
Normal Public Library numbers start “D03…” That second digit is a number 0, not the letter ‘O.’ You’ll also leave out any spaces that you see in the number.
Your PIN is your password to log in to your online account.
It should start out as ‘1234’ when you get a library card.
You may want to change your PIN from ‘1234’ to make sure that your account is secure.
If you forget your PIN, please contact us at 309-452-1757 or email@example.com to reset it.