The Antigo Public Library is making big changes to its policy for fees and fines charged by the library.
Beginning November 1, the library will continue to charge fees for lost and damaged items but will no longer charge overdue fines when items are late.
Library Director Ada Demlow said this decision resulted from many years of study which have demonstrated that overdue fines do not have a positive impact on return of materials or on library usage by the community.
“What libraries who have pioneered in going fine-free have discovered is that removing fines increased returns of materials and made the library more accessible to those who might be deterred from using the library due to fines.” Demlow stated. “Several libraries in the Wisconsin Valley region have been fully or partially fine-free for a number of years,” she added.
To fully understand the changes to the policy, citizens need to understand the differences in fines and fees.
Fees are charges for lost or damaged items. There are also sometimes fees for using the library’s Interlibrary Loan Service. Fees will continue to be assessed to patrons. The board approved a ONE-TIME ONLY Amnesty for fees older than 10 years old. Fees for items lost or damaged in the past 10 years will still be owed by patrons as well as all fees moving forward.
Fines are penalties charged when materials are turned in past their due date. The library will no longer be charging fines AND past fines will be forgiven. Patrons will continue to get overdue notices and will be billed for items that are 28-days or more overdue. Bills for overdue items will be removed when the item is returned. Fines will not be assessed. No check-outs will be possible on accounts with bills of more than $10. Patrons who regular visit library locations outside Langlade should check with library staff about items checked out at those facilities as fines may accrue on those.
One other change that was made is that patrons will now be able to get one replacement card per year at no cost.
If you are not sure of the status of your library account, the library staff encourages you to stop by the library. If your account is no longer in our system, you will need a photo id and proof of address to get set up with a new one. If there are questions about this policy, please call Ada Demlow at the library at
715-623-3724 or email her at [email protected]