The Northwest Georgia Regional Library System (NGRL) libraries are going fines free as part of a two-year pilot project. The project begins December 1, 2021, and ends December 2023.
What does Fines Free mean?
We are no longer charging overdue fines on books, audio, and videos that are owned by the following libraries:
- Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library
- Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library
- Chatsworth-Murray County Public Library
You are still responsible for the items you borrow and we request that items are returned or renewed on time so that other members of the community can also enjoy them.
When are items NOT fines free?
Anything that is not an NGRL-owned book, audio, or video will still be subject to overdue fines. This includes video games, kits, park passes, and items placed on hold from other library systems. Items that will accrue overdue fines will be marked on your receipt.
Fees for prints, copies, faxes, notarization, and similar services may still be charged.
What if a book is lost or damaged?
We will continue to charge replacement costs for items that are never returned or are too damaged for continued use. Even if an NGRL item is returned late, you won’t pay any fines on it.
Items that are lost from other library systems will be charged replacement costs and NGRL is unable to remove those costs.
What happens to the fines already on accounts?
We’re excited about this pilot program! As part of this process, you can come see us at any of our three branches for a fresh start. We will remove overdue fines on NGRL-owned items from your account. NOTE: Lost item fees may still apply, particularly if the items belong to another library system.
What about items I checked out at the beginning of the pandemic?
If you’ve still got items that you checked out early in the pandemic, please return them at this time! We’ll ensure that they don’t charge you overdue fines, and that will enable us to get them changed to the fines free status for future use.
How will NGRL ensure items are returned?
Most people return their items on time simply because that’s how libraries are designed to work. In order to share books, movies, videos, and more with the community, they have to be returned to the library. Research from fines-free libraries in other states shows that items continue to be returned without fines being charged and that in many cases, the return rate increases after removing overdue fines.
Email reminders will still be sent out to patrons three days before items are due, so please make sure to update your library account to include an email address if you’d like a reminder.