Fine Free FAQ

Fine Free FAQ

Seymour Library is Fine Free.

Seymour Library is now fine free! We no longer charge fines on late items. This ensures that everyone has access to library books and materials, which is the primary purpose of a public library. Here you’ll find information about this policy and how it affects you.

Why go Fine Free?

The goal of going fine free is to remove the barriers to access. Libraries make a community stronger and healthier when people have access to the programs, services, and materials they need. We hope this will encourage prior users to come back to the library and attract new users. It’s good for everyone!

What does this mean exactly?

You will no longer receive a daily late fine on overdue items. However, you are still responsible for returning your items. Seymour Library will send you reminders to return your items.

  • If you have overdue fines from other libraries in the Finger Lakes Library System, you are still responsible for paying these at the library where these fines accrued. If you check out materials while visiting another library in the Finger Lakes Library System, you could still be charged fines based on that library’s fine policy (some have fines, some do not).
  • Materials that are 30 days overdue are assumed lost and you will be billed for the replacement and processing costs.
  • If you return the items within 6 months, the replacement cost will be cleared from your account. Replacement fees and processing charges for lost or damaged items still apply.

If you have past overdue fines that you accrued before we went fine free, please reach out to us. If you have overdue books, please return them and we will remove the fines from your account.

Is Seymour Library the only library to adopt this policy?

No. Many libraries are eliminating their fines!
The Urban Libraries Council has published an interactive map showing U.S. libraries that have gone “fine free.”


  1. Fines have been waived, so why does my account still have a balance?
    Although Seymour Library has eliminated overdue fines, fees for lost or damaged materials will remain in effect.
  2. Aren’t you worried someone will not return their borrowed materials?
    “No fines” does not mean “no responsibility.” We ask that you reciprocate our fine free policy by bringing back the materials that you borrow. Materials that are 30 days overdue are assumed lost and you will be billed for the replacement and processing costs.
  3. Will I still receive reminders about returning materials?
    Yes, we will notify you if your items have not been returned.
  4. How is the Library budget affected by the loss of fine income?
    Overdue fines on average make up less than one-quarter of one percent of a library’s annual budget.
  5. I’ve always thought of paying my fines as my donation to the library. Can I still donate?
    Yes, please! Your donation will support critical Library programs and services.
  6. What are the fees?
    If you lose or damage an item, you will be charged a $10 processing fee for books and other materials, $2 for magazines in addition to the replacement cost of the item. If you owe more than $5 in fees, you may not check out materials or use the library’s public access computers. Fees may be paid online or at the library.

Remember, we are here for you! If you have questions or concerns regarding your account at Seymour Library please call us at 315-252-2571.