Amsterdam library eliminates fines

AMSTERDAM — The Amsterdam Free Library has eliminated fines on late items, removing a barrier to borrowing for the community it serves, according to a news release.

“Our primary purpose is to provide our community with access to library books, materials, and services. Doing away with fines will encourage prior users to return to the library, and it will be more welcoming for new users, as well,” said Director Nicole Hemsley.

The users are still responsible for returning their borrowed materials and the library will continue to send reminders of overdue items.

The patrons with overdue fines that accrued before the library enacted the fine free policy will have their fines waived. Any patron with a fine that still appears on their account should speak with a staff member at the library’s circulation desk to have that fine removed.

The materials that are 30 days overdue are assumed lost and patrons will continue to be billed for the appropriate replacement and processing costs for lost, non-returned, and damaged items. The library still charges late fines on materials from other libraries and interlibrary loan materials. The patrons may be responsible for paying overdue fines from other libraries in the Mohawk Valley or Southern Adirondack Library Systems if they accrue fines at those libraries. Some of the libraries in both library systems have fines; others are fine free.

If new high-demand items such as books, audiobooks and digital visual discs are more than seven days late, the patrons will be unable to borrow more materials until these high-demand items are returned.

The library is open to the public every weekday, including special hours for patrons 60 years old and older who are at higher risk for COVID-19. The following are the library’s hours of operation.

∫ Special hours for patrons ages 60 and older: From 9 to 10:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

∫ From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

∫ From 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

By LH Staff